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assosiating tones with different colors

cannonballer

Member
Messages
38
Do any of you assosiate different tones or even modes with different colors? I looked this up on the internet and didn't find a lot of information about it but I did find that some guy named Alexander Scriabin had the same ideas that I have been having. Although I don't really associate colors with individual notes, I can definitely associate colors with the different modes of the major scale.
For instance, when i hear a Dorian scale I see blue
When i hear a Lydian i see gold

What do you guys think about this? Does anyone have any information on this? Or does anyone else make the same connection between colors and modes? If so what colors do you see with what modes? Let me know! Im fascinated by this. Here is the link to Scriabin and his theory on colors and tones.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Scriabin#Influence_of_colour
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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21,947
Sorry, meant to look it up last night. No time, maybe later. There was a thread which covered this recently. It's a known and documented concept, have forgotten the name. Leonard Bernstein was one who heard music in colours, if I remember correctly. If only I could remember the name....
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Strangely to me, Saint Louis Blues is blue, Beale Street Blues are blue, Blue Monk is blue but the Bonzo's Can the Blue Man sing the Whites, is white.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
Strangely to me, Saint Louis Blues is blue, Beale Street Blues are blue, Blue Monk is blue but the Bonzo's Can the Blue Man sing the Whites, is white.
What about

Red Sails in the Sunset
Purple Haze
Behind the Green Door
Gold
I'm a Pink Toothbrush, You're a Blue Toothbrush (tricky one, this)
 

Adrian63

Senior Member
Messages
1,335
Hi. Check out Jerry Bergonzi; his site, " Rico" blogs. He deals with "Zen" playing. It is in my opinion; essential reading.
 

Adrian63

Senior Member
Messages
1,335
Hi Stefan. You say you do not. If i may, how would you describe your approach? If i asked you to describe your tone?
 

stefank

Member
Messages
366
Hi Stefan. You say you do not. If i may, how would you describe your approach? If i asked you to describe your tone?
It's all abstract - for me music doesn't have visual associations, and I suspect that (compared to the general population) I don't think much in pictures. When asked what I what I'm "seeing" when listening to a piece of music, my answer is nothing - music doesn't induce me to have visions. Similarly I don't get colour associations with particular keys, although I know people who do. Interestingly they do not all agree about which colours go with which keys!

It's interesting to compare this with the idea that different keys had specific "character" - I have read that E flat major was considered a "noble" key. Plato also has a deal to say about the characters of various modes in The Republic.

If I am describing my (or anyone else's) tone I will most probably use words that relate to textures or the tactile sense, such as rough, smooth, warm, dry, soft, piercing etc.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
BBC 4 last night showed Newton's ring. Simmer down now.

The presenter showed Isaac's drawing from "Opticks" showing the seven colours split from sunlight by a prism in a circle and annotated A to G, which he demonstrated on a trumpet, actually playing C to C 8va. He claimed that Newton was looking for a connection between music, colour and the week amongst other things. Maybe he could have just been using letter rather than numeric labelling.

Apologies for being serious.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Newton's rings are interference pattens created when light passses though glass, reflects off the underlying surface and the incoming and outgoing light interacts.

This is a new one on me...
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
People only say there are seven colours in the rainbow because we like the number seven for some reason. There are infinitely many frequencies in the visible range of the spectrum and they're all different colours. When I was at school they made us memorise the names of "the" seven colours. "Richard Of York..." blah, blah, blah. WHY?????
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
People only say there are seven colours in the rainbow because we like the number seven for some reason. There are infinitely many frequencies in the visible range of the spectrum and they're all different colours. When I was at school they made us memorise the names of "the" seven colours. "Richard Of York..." blah, blah, blah. WHY?????
You've just told us and the same could be said of the audible spectrum, simplicity.

Apologies for being serious.
 

jayx124

Member
Messages
30
interesting thread.

As a guitar player I think visually (in shapes)
when I played the sax I didn't
 

seerskater

New Member
Messages
3
only when im high as a kite do i associate tones with actual colors. normally, i will sometimes see shapes and patterns. chick corea playing with miles especially does it for me. ill see rectangular spirals, anything. oh i think i know what it is! if i imagine a line going horizontally at a uniform speed, and then leaping to the up/down intervals that chick plays, thats the pattern i see. apart from patterns i will associate tones with things like "warm" "pointed" "austere" "fluffy" or "prickly"
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
LSD is notoriously associated with synesthesia...good stuff for experimenting a bit.
Strangely, I visualize a lot if I listen to some music but usually I don't think graphically when playing the sax (nor guitar or piano).

Here's an app which associates certain colours with notes for anyone interested (the association might be totally casual):
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.symbolic.pitchlab&feature=search_result
C is green, E blue, violet for G, yellow with B and so on....then, what happen when listening to a C7? A blend made of those 4 colours? (near white) :D
Not sure about any connection between modes/scales/chords and colours...on an experimental level maybe, but in real music there are not many songs which can be defined by a single mode/scale.
 
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