[D-G] find the d&g in this

joan carol urquhart jcu at execulink.com
Thu Mar 3 14:04:58 PST 2005

Report: Woman 'tastes' musical notes

Thursday, March 3, 2005 Posted: 1:18 PM EST (1818 GMT)

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Music can be a mouth-watering experience for
one Swiss musician who "tastes" combinations of notes as distinct flavors,
according to a report in the science journal Nature.

The 27-year-old woman known as E.S. is a synaesthete, someone who
experiences sensation in more than one sense from the same stimulation,
researchers said on Wednesday.

When E.S. hears tone intervals, the difference in pitch between two tones,
she not only can see the musical notes as different colors but can taste the

"This is a special case of a musician who, when she hears tone intervals,
she has a perception of a taste of a tone," said psychologist Michaela
Esslen, of the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

"She doesn't imagine the taste, she really tastes it."

The case of E.S. reported in Nature is exceptional because seeing letters or
digits in a certain color is more common in synaesthesia.  It may also
involve seeing a musical tone as a color.

But E.S. sees the colors and depending on the tone intervals a symphony
could be bittersweet, salty, sour or creamy.

"Whenever she hears a specific musical interval, she automatically
experiences a taste on her tongue that is consistently linked to that
particular interval," the scientists said in the journal.

They tested E.S.'s ability by applying solutions tasting sour, bitter, salty
or sweet to her tongue and asking her to identify the tone intervals, a
difficult task that requires musical training.

When the applied tastes corresponded with the intervals she was able to
identify them quicker than other musicians.

"We found that E.S.'s tone-interval identification was perfect," the
researchers said.

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