30/07/2015 00:00

CLASSICAL MUSIC AND CULINARY EXPERIENCE

In my previous blogs I spoke about different aspects of music like music and brain, music and emotions, music and fantasy and my today’s topic is why ears are also important when we are dining in the restaurant and why guests in the restaurant spend more money when they hear classical music.
Do you know the word Tafelmusik? Literally translated from German it means table music and it is a term used since the mid-16th century for music played at feasts and banquets. There are many titles of music composition that relate to meals: Tafelkonfekt, Mensa sonora, Musikalische Tafelbedienung, Musique pour les soupers du Roi or Musical Banquet In Mozart’s Opera Don Giovanni we have an illustration of this tradition: before starting an evening meal the invited guests would listen to a Divertimento played by the woodwinds. In the 19th century genre Tafelmusik was replaced by the so-called Gebrauchsmusik or Salon music and it lost its original meaning.
Scientists discovered that the flavour perception can be changed purely by sound. You can do a simple test yourself at http://condimentjunkie.co.uk/blog/2015/4/27/bittersweet-symphony..
The findings are that high-frequency sounds enhance the sweetness in food while low frequencies bring out the bitterness. The sensory science is booming now and researchers agree that when it comes to taste, everybody tends to experience some sort of synaesthesia, a state of mind when two senses are joined together. So sound could play a bigger part in our eating experience.
The British journal Chemosensory Perception published a paper in 2013 about music and smell in concerts. They were matching pitches and instruments with odours (as smell is a dominant sense in flavour appreciation). The aromas of candied orange peel, dried plums and iris flowers were all matched with piano. Musk, on the other hand, was overwhelmingly brass. In terms of pitch, candied orange and irises were significantly higher than musk and roasted coffee. The playing of French or German music has been reported to influence the choice of French or German wine in a supermarket setting, while “powerful and heavy music” or “ refreshing “ music would influence the evaluation when testing wine.
Austrian Company “Roomvibes” Peter Resch is working on a music concept for restaurants. His idea is to combine the menu with music that transports the character of the restaurant, chef and food. Surely it is not easy as people like to talk and relax and do not want music to be dominant.
Psychologist Adrian North finding was that soundtrack of Bach and Mozart gives a restaurant guest an aristocratic and prosperous feeling. The three week study of playing different genres in the same restaurant showed that the guests would spend on average 3 Euro more than when listening to pop music. The image of classical music like something intellectual and aristocratic brought the same associations when choosing the menu, guests were more in a mood of feeling rich on that evening.
And now my question to you is: what is your experience? Do you listen to music when you are taking your meals? Do restaurants need music? It would be great if you could share your opinion with me at www.movingclassics.tv
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