University professor claims that certain artists can enhance your meals
Flynn Massey

09:49 9th December 2015

Listening to some genres of music when eating certain meals can make your food even tastier, an Oxford University study says.

Research carried out by Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford, has concluded that artists such as Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran might make that Chinese takeaway you got taste a whole lot more.

The study, which involved over 700 volunteers who ordered several different takeaways and listened to 6 genres of music. Spence, who runs the University of Oxford's Crossmodal Research Laboratory, recently spoke to The Times about the findings of the study.

The professor states that rock music from the likes of The Who enhances the flavour of spicy foods, such as Indian meals, while classical compositions by artists such as Handel and Mozart go best alongside Italian dishes.

"Nobody has looked at spiciness and music before," Spence said to The Times. "We found that if there is music that is more alerting, more arousing, then people appreciate spicier food more."

The Oxfordian academic added: "Nobody has looked at spiciness and music before. We found that if there is music that is more alerting, more arousing, then people appreciate spicier food more."

"How soundscapes and music come together with taste to make the whole experience more stimulating, more enjoyable and possibly even more memorable. It is a kind of digital seasoning."

Listen To Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood' below

  • October 2006: Sixteen year old country singer Taylor Swift releases her self-titled debut album. Though it was mostly written during her freshman year of high school, 'The Outside' was written when she was twelve. Swift and her mother help "stuff the CD singles into envelopes to send to radio."

  • May 2008: A year and a half after it was included on her debut album, 'Should've Said No' reaches No.1 on the Billboard Country chart, making her the youngest person in history to single-handedly write and peform a No.1 song on that chart.

  • November 2008: Now eighteen, Swift releases her second studio album, Fearless. The lead single, 'Love Story', catapults Swift to mainstream success, becoming the best-selling country song of all time.

  • September 2009: While Swift is giving her acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West storms onto the stage, takes the microphone from her hand and tells the crowd that Beyonce had the best video "of all time". When he gives Swift the microphone back, she stands silently. The incident goes viral, prompting responses from the likes of Barack Obama, who calls West "a jackass." It is subsequently credited with turning Swift into "a bona-fide mainstream celebrity."

  • January 2010: Swift performs Fleetwood Mac's 'Rhiannon' alongside Stevie Nicks at the Grammys. Her "off-key" performance sparks a media backlash, and music critic Bob Lefsetz predicts that her career will end "overnight." Nicks publicly defends Swift, saying, "It's women like her who are going to save the music business."

  • November 2010: Swift's third album, Speak Now, tops the US Billboard chart, selling more than a million copies in less than a week and becoming the sixteenth album in history to do so.

  • October 2012: Asked by The Daily Beast if she considers herself a feminist, Swift answered, "I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life."

  • October 2012: Swift's fourth album, Red, marks the beginning of the end of her affinity to country music. As well as outperforming her previous three albums in the US, it becomes her first ever chart topper in the UK. It goes on to sell over 6 million copies worldwide.

  • 2013: Swift's romantic life, and the frequency with which she sings about break-ups, begins to become a source of both criticism and mockery from the media, other celebrities and, to an extent, the general public. Gawker remarks that she has dated "every man in the universe", Tina Fey jokes about her reputation at the Golden Globes, and Abercrombie & Fitch creates a t-shirt that reads, "More boyfriends than T.S." Later on, Swift publicly criticises the "sexist" backlash to her dating life, saying, "No-one says that about Ed Sheeran, no-one says that about Bruno Mars."

  • August 2014: Swift reveals she's had a "feminist awakening" since rejecting the term two years earlier, crediting her friendship with Lena Dunham for changing her stance. She also distances herself from some of her past songs, including 2010's 'Better Than Revenge', saying, "I was 18 when I wrote that. That’s the age you are when you think someone can actually take your boyfriend. Then you grow up and realise no one take someone from you if they don’t want to leave."

  • September 2014: Swift's unprecedented use of social media continues, as she tracks down her biggest fans by "lurking" on their Twitter and Instagram accounts, and invites a selection of them to her house to listen to her new album.

  • October 2014: Swift's fifth album, 1989, abandons her country roots entirely. She describes it as her "first documented official pop album." Despite being released near to the end of 2014, with singles including 'Shake It Off' and 'Blank Space', it became the biggest selling album of the year.

  • November 2014: Swift removes her entire back-catalogue from Spotify. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, she says, "Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free." The company publicly express their hopes that she will change her mind.

  • December 2014: Swift is named the most powerful musician in the UK's media by The Guardian - the only woman in a power list that most comprises businessmen. She is said to be worth $64 million. The paper credits her actions over Spotify as partly responsible for her poisition on the list.

  • May 2015: Swift further demonstrates her feminist inclinations, telling Maxim, "Misogyny is ingrained in people from the time they are born, So to me, feminism is probably the most important movement that you could embrace, because it’s just basically another word for equality. A man writing about his feelings from a vulnerable place is brave; a woman writing about her feelings from a vulnerable place is oversharing or whining."

  • June 2015: Swift single-handedly forces Apple to back down over their policy of not paying artists during the three-month free trial for their new streaming service. The company respond to an open letter from Swift, in which she writes, "I find it to be shocking, disappointing and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company", by reversing the policy overnight.

Photo: Wenn