Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

At the risk of going a bit 1960s on everybody I thought I would ask if anybody else gets anything similar to this:
I visualise Bm as Bright Red, G as Brown, Am as Pale Green….

No idea why (and I am entirely sober 🙂 )

Does anybody else have anything similar - or understand it?

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

It is called synaesthesia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

You seem to be in one box with Duke Ellington, Vassiliy Kandinsky and Billy Joel. Not a bad company 🙂

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

Olver Sack’s Musicophilia ( about music and the brain) has a chapter on the subject. The book is just great in any case !

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

@Edgar - I am afraid though that your colours are all wrong. Sorry.

🙂

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

No

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

"Yellow is the colour of my true love’s "A",
In the evening, when we rise,
In the evening, when we rise.
That’s the tune, that’s the tune,
I love the best.

Blue’s the colour of the shakey egg,
In the evening, when they "jam",
In the morning, when they "jam".
That’s the time, that’s the time,
To take a rest.

Green’s the colour of the newbee’s fiddle,
In the evening, when s(s)he scrapes,
In the morning, when (s)he scrapes.
That’s the time, that’s the time,
I get a drink.

Mellow is the feeling that I get,
When I’m drinking a single malt,
When I’m drinking a single malt,
That’s the time, that’s the time,
I love the best.

Mixylodian is a word I rarely use,
Without thinking, m-hmm,
Without thinking, oh yeah.
Of the time, of the time,
I was a rabbit."

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

All minor keys are blue - hence the expression: "the blues" 😉

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

It is all green to me.

Emerald green.

But red is more durable.

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Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

OK, Rimbaud, here we go. I’ll try but I don’t think keys have colors because G major, B major have all the same note relations, ‘intervals?’ So it’s all the same just different pitches. Bm the same intervals as Gm… Modes, however, would have different colors. And the colors would be mixed and nuanced. Dorian is grey green like the ocean on an overcast day. Mixolydian is gotta be very complex like the different hues of cigarette smoke swirling in a crowded pub- blue, grey white but it’s also got some brightness there too so I don’t know.Maybe they are all mixes of all the colors in verying degrees.

Genres have different colors. Folk music is all shades of grey. You might get a little bit of tinting (around the edges only) on certain parts of certain tunes (this tinting is what the individual brings to age old tunes or songs) but clearly it is all shades of grey. It’s subtle. Pop music is loud and bright and garish with lots of clashing colors, punk rock is still neon and day glo. Old country music is brown, green, earthy. New country music has no color because it’s not even music. Blues are well…shades of blue. Classical music is black and white because it is very mechanicle and lifeless.

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

I’m going to Whitby in a couple of weeks and last year it occurred to me that you could have sessions in the beach huts coded by colour, the way I see it:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3032/2916060892_2767072efa.jpg

A is green, D is yellow, G is reddish brown (the Whitby huts are too bright) and C is blue.

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

D = brown
D dorian = brown with a subtle yellow/red dapple in the top left (the C natural causes this)

Em = Purple

C = red

G major = bright yellow (a tad more saturated than the colour under this writing)

Am - beigeish

Bm - dark blue

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Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

Looks as if I may be colour blind as well as tone deaf then Alistair 🙂

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

Not colors / colours / colores, but odors / odours / odorifionios:

• D major is a burning tire / tyre
• G major is a frying licorice boot
• E minor is an elephant seal colony (E major is the same, but at low tide)
• C major is the cheap roll-on deodorant / deodouranteenio I used at age thirteen
• A major ranks higher than a captain
• B minor is a fragile mountain blossom, trembling beside an alpine lake

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

I see them as shapes and personalities. Different type of synesthesia.

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

I would presume you have to have perfect pitch to have this type of synaesthesia? And waht happens to the colours when the 440 A is so sharp that its nearly a Bflat. At what stage does the colour shift or is there a series of blended colours that make the transition - just curious.
That book Musicophilia is well worth a read though a bit heavy in places.

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

The evidence from phonology shows that speakers of languages have much better recognition of pitch than we believe we do, or perhaps better than we have access to. We use very subtle distinctions in pitch to distinguish difference phonemes, and to distinguish different accents pronounchng the same phonemes. It may be that this recognition is encapsulated and packaged away in our brains, it happens but we’re unable to access it on demand. This would be reasonable from a design perspective - imagine if you spent all of your time thinking about the pitch of the car alarm going off in the parking lot or the chime of the cash register or every other sound that you heard every day.
It would not be a useful adaptation - but language requires that we have incredibly fine distinction of pitch (and rhythm). So we have the facility, but most of us can’t access it, for good reasons.
I’ve heard "perfect pitch" described as a pathological condition, and I can believe it - this synesthesia might be, on its face, a variant form of this pathology, which you can maybe turn to your advantage.

(question - what happens if you hear a tune like Hardiman the Fiddler, which is ambiguously in Am or Dmix? Do you get one or the other? Do you ever disagree with the color vision, for example hearing Earl’s Chair in G when the colors tell you it’s Bm or vice versa?)

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

I haven’t heard a key signatures having a color, more so specific keys(notes). But if i remember correctly, they say that different colors of light vibrate at different frequencies, so those frequencies would match sound frequencies or something intense like that. I haven’t read the other posts, i’m sure it’s up there somewhere.

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

yeah, i did an art piece on synesthesia. and i have a degree in french literature, lived on "les voyelles" at one point. isn’t it nauseating? anyway, i do experience notes as colors. keys, de temps en temps.

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

Bb, the key….pale robin’s-egg blue. amin….shimmering crimson. c#, the note….also a wine-ish crimson…..D, the note, shimmering tawny cold….e-flat…..rose. like picasso’s rose-period rose……

Re: Does anybody else "see" keys as colours?

Yes. it’s now believed that everybody has different degrees of synaesthesia. Keys, as well as different notes can have colours associated with them. I also see letters and numbers in colours - this caused me a lot of grief in primary school, as I couldn’t see (can’t see) the number 1 on a white background properly. Teachers thought I was taking the mick..