Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Color of Music

I have a mild form of synesthesia. Synesthesia is a condition where sounds have colors, days of the week have tastes, and numbers smell (Here is the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia)

Mine is not really that extreme, and I was not really aware that there was a name for what I was experiencing until I googled “the color of music” a few years ago. You can do the same; it’s rather fascinating stuff. My synesthesia seems to be limited to music, a few voices, and other random stuff (The word “Tuesday” is lime green).

Have you ever watched music on the Windows Media Player? That’s something like what’s going on in my brain when music is playing. It manages to be more complex because it manages to incorporate motions and feeling and curlicues and occasionally detailed pictures all into one nice sensory bundle.

Something I found noteworthy is that different genres of music have different background colors. All songs usually vary to some degree but they usually have a background to match their category.

Country music has a warm brown background. Classic rock is black-gray (don’t ask me to explain that), alternative rock tends to be blue-green over black, hard metal is black with sharpness, mariachi is old-banana yellow, Celtic is blue-green hills, and Native American is purplish canyons.

Usually a mix of two genres results in a mixed background (Eagles are a brown-blackish-gray), but there seem to be exceptions. Celtic rock, for example, seems to be more of a black-rose-red then blue-green-black as you would expect. And by black-rose-red I mean that there are the colors of black and red, combined with the petal shape and texture of a rose.

Sometimes I wish that I could either create a movie showing what I see during a song, or barring that, I wish for the ability to directly implant it into another person’s head so they can see what I’m seeing.

I usually don’t like hiphop/rap, possibly because it typically has an absence of color. There is a motion of concentric ripples, but not really color. And nails grinding on chalkboard. I have to be in an unusual mood to actually be able to enjoy rap.

And now you know I’m even crazier than you first thought.


  1. You think you're crazy??! If I wrote a blog I might not have any more friends! haha! (:P)

  2. if you wrote a blog I would not only totally read it, I would still be your friend...