Voice tasting

This time the tasting will be of a very special kind of music (or “music”), namely voices speaking.

Speech is usually not considered music, unless we mean choral speech, but then it is usually rhythmically notated.

The voices I present for your tasting are not making music. However, they can still be tasted. Let us think of them as wine or perfume, something to be savored.

Hear me, taste me.
Hear me, taste me.

First, the voice of a musician talking about music. Here there’s also some background music, plus the different voice of the radio presenter.

Then an author reading from her book.

Then two samples from audiobooks. Please try to ignore what is being said; just listen and note the voice, what it does to the words, to the meaning, to you. Try to listen to you while listening to the voice…

Sample 1.

Sample 2.

As usual the aim is not to rate, like or dislike, but just to taste. Unavoidably we like certain voices better than others, but here that is only a side effect. Liking is not important; experiencing is.

I will again quote that cigarette taster who put it so well:

“That cinnamon cigarette, I didn´t really like it but it was a great experience.”

Specimen 1

Here is the first tasting specimen (below).


This is wholly optional, but after having experimented a lot with music tasting, have developed a specific format for it, I would say that it helps to take notes. These are my suggestions:

Listen to the piece more than once.

After the first listen you can involve your mind as well. Not to make this a cerebral exercise (enough of that) but to broaden and open up the experience.

In music tasting we avoid the usual musical questions, such as “Who do you think wrote this?”, “What style is it?”, “When do you think it was written?” etc. Even though it may be hard and unaccustomed I suggest that you put aside all such guessing, such “trying to figure it out”.

This is blind tasting or blind listening, the kind of “blind” that opens up new vistas. Close your eyes, open up everything else.  

But other questions, totally different, can help.

I will soon post my full music tasting chart, but let´s begin with a few simple questions, a bit similar to questions on a wine tasting chart.

  • What color/ colors does this music evoke in you?
  • What scent?
  • Any moving images?
  • A taste in your mouth?

And remember, this is not a question of like or not like. Tasting goes beyond black and white, binary choices.

Specimen 1