This is where you will find some inspiring information, suggestions and knowledge modules intended to help you to better understand the symbolic world of sound - sound is life.

We also eat with our ears

authors: Martin Hablesreiter, Sonja Stummerer (

When you chew a piece of rusk then this first produces a sound that can be described as very crunchy, loud, striking. If you crush the rusk, the sound becomes warmer, softer, more pleasant and finally, when you notice that the sound is fading, you can swallow the food. That is to say, the acoustic signal is also a way to check the progress of a chewing process. And then the cycle starts again." Friedrich Blutner.

"Chewing consists of 30 to 40 sound patterns that can be clearly differentiated. The more differentiated they are, the more interesting and the better the taste is for us." Friedrich Blutner

Our ears, too, decide whether we find something tasty or not. Cornflakes or potato chips taste particularly qood if they have a loud crunch when you bite into them. We immediately reject a "soft" potato chip. If the sound does not match our instinctive or acquired expectations, we spit out what we just bit into. It could be spoiled. Our ear checks the food to see if it is fresh or it determines that something sounds queasy or moldy and should thus be avoided.

To be sure, not everyone hears the same way. We can make ag
eneral distinction between two types of acoustic individuals. People who love active, powerful and light sound backdrops and people who prefer sonorous, dark and soft tones - very simplified, those who hear overtones and those who hear key tones. The sound pattern of successful food must function for both groups and offer as  much harmony as possible between light, dark and sonorous tones. The German sound designer Friedrich Blutner describes this as a combination of the sounds of Ferrari and Händel on the one hand, and Porsche and Brahms notes on the other.

Chewing and Speaking, Listening and Swallowing | Each person has his/her own chewing rhythm. For trained ears this resembles the rhythm of a piece of music, a sort of symphony of eating. "Chewology", a subrealm of linguistic acoustics, even goes so far as to claim that the origins of language are to be found in the sound of chewing. In a study by Viennese phonetics professor Felix Trojan (published in 1975) ten subjects were asked to chew a bite of harn sandwich with open lips and to s

mack to their heart's content. The resulting sounds were taped and then evaluated with the finding being that the sound of chewing corresponds to the first sounds developed in language.”

Quotation: Sonja Stummerer / Martin Hablesreiter: Food Design XL, Springer Wien/NewYork 2010 

The sound of beer

Did you know that warm and cold beer can be distinguished by their noise, that lager sounds remarkably different from a dark beer or that, after some appropriate training, you will be able to distinguish between more than 100 brands of beer alone by their noises?

Walking noises: Immeasurable variety

The capability of the ear to distinguish and differentiate is so extraordinary that even experts are surprised again and again. More often than not, banal facts impart to us astonishing insights into our natural perceptive abilities: For instance the walking and running sounds in an immeasurable variety of some ten thousand typical patterns.

Foto: Petra Bork /

The sound of mountain apples

Or the noises produced by the intake of food. Did you know that more than 200 sorts of apples can be distinguished alone by the noise when biting into them? "Mountain apples" have a very special and tart sound, sweet apples sound different compared to sour ones.

Psycho-acoustical training will improve your hearing

Or experience the richness of the human voice and the immeasurable potential of ways to modulate the sound in its expression and nuances. Only excellent master violins reach a similar high level of differentiation. Did you know that - after some systematic training, based on up-to-date psycho-acoustic techniques - the human hearing is able to distinguish between some hundred thousand noise facets? The latest computer simulations are the result of our investigations; by way of sound charts they give us some first objective insights into this rich world of acoustical experience.