Describing music

Share it like your embrace

Tonight’s Goodnight Tango has only a guitar and a bandoneon… two instruments… nothing more! The sound is not like what you hear in typical milonga hits but it triggered one really strange observation that I’d like to share.

When we describe things that we experience with our senses (vision, taste, hear, smell or touch) there are specific adjectives for them… like… you can say a picture is very bright or dark, some food is sweet or salty or sour or whatever else. But… it’s not always so straightforward. One could say for example that this song (a sound) is warm… or sweet… or dark… all of which are adjectives to describe other senses. As far as I understand this is the same in all languages.

So, how is it that we intervene descriptions of sounds with smells, pictures with taste, etc… and still make sense… in so many languages? What is the connecting tissue? I would dare to say feelings and emotions… but you can give your own explanations… feel free!

So… how would you describe this song if it was a piece of food, a smell you feel in the air, an object you touch, or a painting you see?


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