I imagine you’ve read about synesthesia. Someone with synesthesia might find a particular color has texture or taste—some atypical crisscrossing between the senses. I find music (especially considering those who can’t understand music) can be well modeled as a near-universal form of synesthesia, a linking between the emotional parts of the brain and those that process auditory information. Now this analogy is not perfect, as synesthetes almost never achieve consensus; the taste and/or texture of any particular color varies wildly between synesthets. This isn’t true about music, as it doesn’t vary that much in structure; and there seems to be some consensuses on the “sadness” or “energy” of particular songs.

But still, this might be a good, non-confusing way for you to think about music. When someone describes the beauty of a song, treat their statement as you would a synesthete saying, “Wow, that sunset tastes like a cheese burger.”

More "Stupid" Questions

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read31st Jul 2013498 comments

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This is a thread where people can ask questions that they would ordinarily feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to. The previous "stupid" questions thread went to over 800 comments in two and a half weeks, so I think it's time for a new one.