Would you say that Jazz music tends to go with the smell of coffee? How about Blues with leather, or Bach with peppermint? Rather than, say, fish*? If so, you’re very much attuned with the findings of a new study published in CogSci 2015 Proceedings, entitled ‘The Smell of Jazz: Crossmodal Correspondences Between Music, Odor, and Emotion’
“The present study investigates the emotion mediation hypothesis for correspondences between odor and music, testing whether the strength of odor-music matches for particular odors and musical selections can be predicted by the similarity of the emotional associations with the odors and music. We found that perceived matches were higher when the emotional responses were similar and that a model including emotional dimensions captured a significant amount of the variance of match scores . These results provide new evidence that crossmodal correspondences are mediated by emotions.”
*Note: Fishy was comprehensively unpopular, except with the category Heavy Metal, where it was first on the list.
Also see: Tastes like Trombones
Illustration: Albert Gleizes, 1915, Composition pour Jazz, oil on cardboard, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.