Cheese: wired for sound?

If music certainly has the power to move us what effect could Led Zeppelin, A Tribe Called Quest and Mozart have on nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental?

The proverbial saying ‘one man's meat is another man's poison' certainly rings true when it comes to music. After all, while the dulcet tones of Barry Gibb on Stayin’ Alive are uplifting and make most want to get up and give it their best John Travolta, Steven Patrick Morrissey in full flow with ‘How soon is now?’ may leave others feeling cold, recalling sad moments and times of loneliness.

Humans and the chemical response to music

Whatever your poison, music certainly has the power to move us and for years scientists and psychologists have been attempting to discover our brains and bodies chemical response to it – separating the facts from the theories. According to the experts, it’s loud and rhythmic to increase adrenaline levels on long drives and relaxing music when you want to drop off to sleep by the way.

But why stop there? Why not put nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese in a cellar and bombard them with Led Zeppelin, A Tribe Called Quest and Mozart for 24 hours a day just to test the ‘bio-acoustic impact of sound waves [on the] metabolic processes in cheese…’

Sound frequency and cheese

Well, that’s exactly what a team of researchers from the Bern University of the Arts did for a period of six months, using a mini-transducer to feed the sound waves directly into the cheese wheels as they studied the affect of different frequencies on the maturing process.

As Jason Daley notes in the Smithsonian, ‘the creation of good cheese involves a complex dance between milk and bacteria. In a quite literal sense, playing the right tune while this dance unfolds changes the final product’s taste’.

The winner? Hip-hop of course!