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Thread: Does anyone see music in colors?

  1. #1
    Commander, Assistant Conductor
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    Does anyone see music in colors?

    I'm watching a documentary about the Phila orchestra. What is it called when you can sort of see colors in each note? I've had this since I was a kid. When I was a kid and told my mom that one day, she must have thought it was weird....I learned how to read music that way. I found out by watching this DVD that it has a name, I forget what it is. LOL

    Jan

  2. #2
    Rear Admiral Appassionata Muza's Avatar
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    I think its called synesthesia, a basic meaning of which is "union sensations" (when one sensation evokes/triggers another sensation)

    here is an article on wiki on that. hope that helps
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia
    Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass? ~Michael Torke

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Mat's Avatar
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    I've been wondering... If one can match colors with particular notes and for example G sharp matches green then how it works when one does not have a perfect pitch and doesn't know what's the note (s)he's actually listenig to? (Forgive me if I didn't make myself clear, it wasn't that easy...)
    Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.
    -- Victor Hugo


  4. #4
    Captain of Water Music C5Says's Avatar
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    If music pieces are presented in colors that would be expensive as you cannot photocopy and read the notes right. Or if one is color blind, same problem.
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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Oh yes, I do definitely see colors when hearing music - especially when I close my eyes, WOW!!!
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Commodore con Forza musicalis's Avatar
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    Hi Corno !

    I think (I remember) that Daquin gave the name of a colour to some key signature. I am wrong ?
    Friendly yours. Jean-Paul

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    Rear Admiral Appassionata Muza's Avatar
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    Mat, thats a very interesting question, which perhaps I would not be able to answer - the best I can do is to recommend to read up on some neurological research publishings, etc.
    But I think (without any degree of certainty) that the color is actually matched with correct notes, which is why these people would be the best in terms of perfect pitch. if a note is not played correctly, they will not see the color that they are supposed to see.

    Its not always necessarily notes, some people see colors for letters of alphabet, for numbers, etc. Its really quite intersting. I studied things like this a little bit in college. Its a shame I didnt end up doing neurology

    P.S. Usually this phenomenon is observed in younger age, but then kind of dissappears little by little, but not in all cases. Sometimes its for life. I think somebody famous (some musician or composer) had that.
    Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass? ~Michael Torke

  8. #8
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Nope - Not for me.

    Now - I'm wondering. If you learned to read music using colours from an early age, and the colour was always related to a particular sound, then from a very early age your Brain would have been tought that the colour say orange has a particular distinctive sound. Over time, neural pathways would have been created for each of those colours and their respective sounds.

    So could it actually be the reverse situation where rather than hearing in colour, colours have an associated sound and by extension when you hear the sound you associate back to the root colour?

  9. #9
    Rear Admiral Appassionata Muza's Avatar
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    Yes, it could be possible i think.. Wow, so many interesting questions. I think Im gonna go and do some research on that now, lol. I will report back when I have more info
    Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass? ~Michael Torke

  10. #10
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi J.P.

    To be honest, I don't recall if Daquin gave the name of a colour to some key signature. If my memory serves me correctly, Messiaen spoke about a color for each tonal key. I maybe out fishing in murky waters about what Messiaen said so please do take it with a grain of salt.

    Apropos colours: Online resources mention that there are 16,777,216 distinguishable colors, of which the human eye, on average, can distinguish around 10,000,000 colors.

    Now my mind is reeling about major/minor chords, augmented and diminished and color values for each - oh brother...I better stop now

    Cheers,

    CD
    Last edited by Corno Dolce; Jan-26-2008 at 23:37.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  11. #11
    Rear Admiral Appassionata Muza's Avatar
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    guys, here is a link of some faqs. in the end, they also recommend some books if you like to find out more:

    http://www.bu.edu/neuropsychology/synvc.html#q2

    by the way, that was a good idea to highlight the word "color" in a different color -last time I was in this thread, it wasnt like this - I kind of freaked out there for a second
    Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass? ~Michael Torke

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    I don't see colors for individual notes, but rather for phrases in music ... depending on the mood of the music, different colors are imagined ... greens, blues, tans, yellows and reds and lots of variations between, of course.
    Kh ~~.
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  13. #13
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hello Muza,

    Thanx for that link - now I'll show my friends that synesthetics like me are not freaks, just aware of more sensory dimensions.

    Очен Хорошо,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  14. #14
    Rear Admiral Appassionata Muza's Avatar
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    Im glad my work has paid off, Corno

    Spasibo

    Krummhorn, Im not sure, but I think yours is an association, rather than a synethetic occurence! But I cant know for sure.
    Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass? ~Michael Torke

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muza View Post
    I think its called synesthesia, a basic meaning of which is "union sensations" (when one sensation evokes/triggers another sensation)

    here is an article on wiki on that. hope that helps
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia
    That's it! I could not look it up because I did not know how it was spelled. LOL I'll look up this link.
    thanks,
    Jan

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