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#2197268 - 12/13/13 10:23 PM Seeing music as colors
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Hi everyone.
This topic will surely ruffle a few feathers unfortunately because I hate forum drama but I cannot help but to start this topic to express my views.

In another thread I replied on, I briefly discussed someone who sees color in music. But without wanting to get too out of topic, I didn't expand.


So here is the deal.

I don't see color in music at all, and I think it's bologna. (bolonee?)
I once played for a pianist and they liked my playing and said "Noam, you must see music in colors!!!" I replied - "what in the world are you talking about????"

I see music as dissonance and resolution. Each chord led by another, led into another creates dissonance and resolution depending on the chord progression. Within a particular chord, the melody and the way it interacts with that chord also creates micro dissonance and resolution within it. Not to confuse, chords do not have to be played together like in a guitar. Like chopin's nocturne no1 op9, the first "chord" when both hands come together is a B flat minor. This dissonance and resolution for me feels more like as a rubber band which stretches on dissonance and contracts on resolution. The rubber band can stretch and contract in all directions in a 3 dimensional axis.


So what's the deal with colors? Who started all this?
Was it Ravel or Debussy? I read a little about Liszt? How come there aren't accounts from 500 years ago of people seeing colors when hearing music or individual notes? It's a strange thing, you'd think it would be quote the "topic".

The more I think about this subject the more I tend to think that people who claim to see in colors are full of it. Yeah - the smelly stuff!

I can't find a good example besides religion, but since I'm jewish and most of the readers here are probably new testament driven, I'll use the jewish religion for not wanting to offend anyone.

So - Jewish religion - bologna!!! So one high priest 2200 years ago says he talks to God. Then everybody wants to seem like they are special and God speaks to them too. "Yeah, I hear God talking to me blah blah blah..." (Again, I'm talking about Jewish religion with the Israeli God, not Jesus. I have no opinion as to whether Jesus talks to people).

It's so easy for Rabbi A to "claim" that God spoke to him, that now Rabbi B is under great pressure to be a righteous as Rabbi A. So Rabbi B next morning wakes up and says "God spoke to me last night".

Do you get what I am trying to portray?

So I was watching this fantastic documentary about Helene Grimaud the other day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z3n3XcYa58

At one point, someone asks her "do you see colors in music?" She is now like Rabbi B. I mean, what kind of protegee can you be if you are not seeing colors.
So she says "yes". Now I'm not picking on her. I really like her playing and I think she's kind of hot for her age so...
Then the guy asks her "Well do you see color in each note? Each chord? Or an entire peice?" I think they were talking about Schumann concerto.
So she thinks about it and goes "ummmm, entire peice" then the guys asks - what color and she goes "ummmmm - Blue?"

B O L O G N A!!!!!!!!!


First of all, color seeing music people can't decide on whether individual keys have individual colors associated with them, or if it's certain chords, or relationships between chords, or an entire piece!

Second of all, the ones that agree that each key on the keyboard has a specific color, they can't agree on what color is the A above the middle C? How about the B 2 octives above the middle C? Oibviously human tendancy would yield to lower notes having darker shades if one was FORCED to pick. It's the way our brains work, but it doesn't mean we actually see colors.
Do these people have a short circuit in their brain where the neural connections got crossed up between ears and eye inputs? If you grew up near Chernobyl, maybe! MAYBE!!!


Also, when Helene heard the Schumann concerto for the first time, and if she only heard the Cadenza, maybe she would pick RED? Then if she heard the opening without ever hearing the other parts, maybe she'd say blue.
So even if seeing colors in music was true, it would DEFINITELY not have 1 color for an entire concerto. That is - for a lack of a better word - STUPID!


On a slightly different note, this time, green: I used to take piano lessons when I was in highschool from a famous pianist that France made him a citizen just by how many times he performed with their symphony in Paris. He was pretty legit, now he's dead, which I'm very sad about frown
Anyway - he didn't talked about colors but I did ask him once why all the passionate pieces are written in Cm or Fm.

He said because Cm and Fm (maybe a few others, can't remember) have a passionate voice to them. Maybe he meant color?

BOLOGNA!
I read this article on wikipedia about concert tunning, and in the time of Chopin and especially Beethoven nobody could agree on the standard tune. So the Patetique Sonata by Beethoven which starts with our innately passionate Cm, could have in fact been in B minor!
So... bologna!

To some up, the whole thing is smells like a facade.

Anyone care to agree?

PS - if I am mistaken about the whole color thing, which is always a possibility, it would clearly explain why I can't listen to modern music. All I hear is noise. If I saw colors maybe I would like it. But since I hear music as dissonance and resolution, in modern music like the stuff composed in the past 80 years, all I hear is dissonance. Dissonance is useless without resolution so as I said - all I hear is noise. If anyone wants to teach me how to see colors when hearing music, please teach me. But I thought it's something that your born with if you are particularly musically gifted.




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#2197269 - 12/13/13 10:28 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7438
Loc: Rochester MN
Well, we certainly understand your viewpoint. However, you might try doing some research on Synesthesia.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2197271 - 12/13/13 10:30 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Well, we certainly understand your viewpoint. However, you might try doing some research on Synesthesia.


Thank you marty for not biting my head off. I was particularly worried that you will be angry with my post.
I did do a bit, where I discovered that Liszt and Rimski couldn't agree on the colors. I almost peed my pants laughing so hard - what a joke!!

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#2197273 - 12/13/13 10:38 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7438
Loc: Rochester MN
You might do some study of the subject from a medical and neurological standpoint, rather than as music history/musicology.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2197280 - 12/13/13 10:56 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1775
There are a lot of articles on the subject, if you google it, including some that test whether the claim to see colors in music is real or not. (They conclude that it is.)

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#2197281 - 12/13/13 10:58 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
michaelha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 837
Yes I remember hearing a talk about this. Something about artists, poets, musicians have more connections between the different parts of the brain. So they see colors in music, colors with words, music with images, etc.

I also read recently that women have more of these interconnections where men have more connections within each section.
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2012 Kawai RX-5 BLAK

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#2197284 - 12/13/13 11:06 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
There are a lot of articles on the subject, if you google it, including some that test whether the claim to see colors in music is real or not. (They conclude that it is.)


Like I said, I may be wrong. I believe in a world of possibilities, and its always possible that I'm wrong.

Share those links? My Google searching technique is not at a high level.

Until I see those links and read them, I stand by my opinion 100%

I want to see a well done study, playing various notes to a few separate listeners and having them all pick the same color. If there is no consensus, then its garbage.

Besides even if someone had this "condition", and I am using that word because by definition of synthesis, its a condition, what advantage would it have for a pianist or even a listening appreciators of music?

If someone told me that when they hear a musical composition they would visualize a story, like in the movie about Beethoven immortal beloved he's running through the forest during the 9th symphony. That I get! I commonly imagine visual "scenes" of piano pieces I play. I sometimes imagine a lonely child, or someone kicking the crap out of someone in a battle hahaha. I'm being simplistic but you get the meaning.

But an involuntary hallucinations of random colors? Yeah, maybe someone have this short circuit condition but I can't see how it would be a benefit, rather a distraction. Like I said in my original post, I think most pianist and composers that claim to have this condition have the rabbi A and rabbi B symptom. A Fašade.


Send those links brethren!


Edited by noambenhamou (12/13/13 11:09 PM)

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#2197293 - 12/13/13 11:32 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
so I'm doing more research on this and I find this site called www.synesthesiatest.org

I took the test to see if I'm special smile
Just reading the questions I can tell how stupid it is.
Do you play musical instruments?

From what I gather this condition is quite rare, and playing musical instrument is most certainly NOT! So the answer to such question would be irrelevant.


This questionnaire / test seemed to gravitate towards the artist = synethesia
really?

And the best part, the result! I obviously failed. But look how they present it:

Your test results
Thanks for taking the test! Your results are...
Hm. The test results say non-synesthete


Am I the only noticing that it's like a new-age BS hippie thing to have this condition and everyone wants to claim they have it?

Look at this! I read it as: "Hmmmm, sorry to inform you, unfortunately you are not Synesthesic. Maybe in another life."

There is alot of pressure obviously to have this condition or else, you might not be taken seriously as an artist. And I think there are many individuals including reputable pianists that are caving in and saying - I see colors!
After all, I respect a great pianist with such emotion, technique, and dedication. But does concert pianist or composer always equal strong moral character? They curcum to peer pressure just as easily as we all do.

Hippies are taking over the world!

PS - I see the stock market ups and downs in color, so if anyone wants to through a couple of mils my way, I pretty sure I can double it because I've been seeing Green around me alot!!!

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#2197310 - 12/14/13 12:53 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Voltara Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 126
Your search engine seems to have led you to the weird part of the Internet. The synesthesia test blog was created by an undergrad math major, not a neuroscientist. Using that quiz as a basis from which to form opinions on the topic seems a bit daft.

The question of whether or not synesthesia is "real" has been answered already - the research has moved on to more interesting questions. As for the veracity of (some) individuals who claim to have the condition, that's another matter altogether.

Here's a study (http://ist.ksc.kwansei.ac.jp/~nagata/nag...A_takahashi.pdf) where two colored-hearing synesthetes (and a control group of 11 non-colored-hearing subjects) had fMRI scans taken while listening to music. The synesthetes showed activity (which was absent in the control group) in the color perception regions of the brain.

Does colored hearing confer advantages to a musician? Does left handedness confer an advantage in baseball? Does it matter?

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#2197311 - 12/14/13 01:02 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Retsacnal Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015


Registered: 10/11/12
Posts: 548
Loc: Northern Virgina
Noambenhamou, which airline do you fly for?
_________________________
1950 Baldwin M

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#2197314 - 12/14/13 01:08 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Retsacnal]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: Retsacnal
Noambenhamou, which airline do you fly for?


Huh? I don't. I own a software company (and I'm having problems searching google hahaha)

10 years ago, in my early 20's I studied to be a pilot, but after 9/11 they were laying off pilots left and right so I didn't see much future. I would have had to get stuck being a flight instructor flying Cessna's for like 5 years. Not interested haha smile

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#2197316 - 12/14/13 01:28 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Voltara]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: Voltara

Does colored hearing confer advantages to a musician? Does left handedness confer an advantage in baseball? Does it matter?


Yes, it matters because I think there is alot of pressure for musicians to claim they see colors because it's "cool" now. And for some reason, in Noam's little world that irritates me. So, collectively, in the grand scheme, it doesn't matter, but this is just a nice forum with 99% of the topics that don't really matter either smile hahaha

I guess I'm sort of ticked that I don't see colors because if it's real, maybe I'll enjoy music on a whole new level? Assuming that this neural short circuit (which it seems to be) doesn't just pop random slurs of colors in the musician's mind without any actual correlation to the music heard. That's probably what it is. I heard of these special mushrooms? hmmmm...

Anyway, I keep reading that they "hear" colors. Some article use the word "hear" instead of "see".

So lets reverse it for argument's sake. What if you could "see" sound?
OK, a step further, what if I could see soundwaves... Would that be a benefit or a distraction? Visually, sound is impractical. I'd like to see someone studying a sound wave on a laptop and saying - ohhh, ahhh, that was moving!!!

I think Franz Liszt was full of it regarding seeing colors, just a hunch. He knew how to advertise very well, and this one was way - oh, how mystical. It's not! If I had this, I'd go to ancestry.com and make sure my family tree does not intersect in places it shouldn't hahaha.

Does anyone here like to laugh? or am I shooting blanks?

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#2197332 - 12/14/13 02:57 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
michaelha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 837
I can't remember where I heard about this, if it was on TV, TED conference, or what. But I did find a research paper that talks about it.

http://ww2.psy.cuhk.edu.hk/~mael/papers/RamachandranHubbard_Synaesthesia.pdf

I read a few paragraphs and it's coming back to me. These "hyperconnections" between areas of the brain is actually a mutation, so it's genetic, so you either have it or you don't. If I recall, and it's probably in that PDF somewhere, it was something like 8% of the population has this and some survey they did revealed that many of these 8% were poets, artists or musicians. For some reason I remember poets being talked about more.

This might be loosely related, something I read a few days ago:
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archiv...erently/281962/
_________________________
Casio CDP-100
2012 Kawai RX-5 BLAK

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#2197340 - 12/14/13 03:58 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
leel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/07/13
Posts: 56
Loc: Lacey WA
Synesthesia is not confined to musio; it's also associated with letters and numbers. See this article: http://extra.heraldtribune.com/2013/11/17/rylie-vanorsdol-her-life-in-colors/

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#2197341 - 12/14/13 04:05 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
leel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/07/13
Posts: 56
Loc: Lacey WA
Sorry; I also meant to include a very current article from a peer-reviewed medical journal. As with many things, if one does not experience them, it doesn't mean they don't exist.

1. Front Psychol. 2013 Oct 22;4:763.

Synesthesia: a colorful word with a touching sound?

Mylopoulos MI, Ro T.

Philosophy Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York , NY, USA.

Synesthesia is a fairly common condition in which individuals experience atypical responses (such as color experiences) in association with certain types of stimuli (such as non-colored letters). Although synesthesia has been described for centuries, only very recently has there been an explosive growth of systematic scientific examinations of this condition. In this article, we review
and critically evaluate current methods for both assessing synesthesia and examining its psychological basis, including the "test-retest" procedure, online battery assessments, and behavioral experiments. We highlight the limitations of these methods for understanding the nature of this complex condition and propose potential solutions to address some of these limitations. We also provide a set of markers that aid in distinguishing synesthesia from other closely related
psychological phenomena.

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#2197358 - 12/14/13 05:55 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9232
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Noam,


I have a former staff piano tuner who has synesthesia. He is also blind and became unsighted at the age of 13 or so.

He only discovered that he had synesthesia after he lost his sight. He does nothing because it is cool. He does nothing to appear more talented or knowledgable and frankly, he does not need to.

Here is a video of a local news spot on him:

Maurice Dinkins


I think this is related. I was explaining piano design to an engineer who designed structures to buildings. He followed me very easily even though he had no experience with sound or musical instruments. In his words, "A wave is a wave. They all behave the same. We just perceive them differently. Some we feel, others we see or hear."

Since all of these waves are technically vibrations it makes sense to me that some people perceive them differently than others.

My 2 cents,
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#2197359 - 12/14/13 05:57 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
de cajon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 182
Loc: London, UK
I'm pretty sure synesthesia exists. And if it is a mis-wiring, there's no reason why two people who experience it should agree on what the pattern is or what the colour is.

I don't experience it at all when playing. I do experience it when I'm nodding off. The brain does all kind of stuff when you're nodding off - hypnagogic sensations - and as far as I know, everyone experiences this. With me, one of them is that noises causes flashes of colour and/or pattern. So it's easy for me to believe that some folks have a more pronounced spillover of aural processing into visual (and vice-versa).
_________________________
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#2197390 - 12/14/13 09:00 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3538
Originally Posted By: noambenhamou
It's the way our brains work, but it doesn't mean we actually see colors.
Do these people have a short circuit in their brain where the neural connections got crossed up between ears and eye inputs? If you grew up near Chernobyl, maybe! MAYBE!!!


What does it mean to "see colors"?

Brain neural connections are not only created in Chernobyl.

Also, it seems you think these are wrong connections.

BTW I agree that these connections to colors seem not consistent.

Also I'm sure there are other forms, like having a feeling or smelling something with specific chords or resonances.
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#2197415 - 12/14/13 10:02 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: wouter79]
Karl Watson Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 333
Friends:

Like so many other pianists born with perfect pitch, I've had a very distinct colour system for the keys which predates my knowing their names. I think that I must have learned the names of the colours just a little bit earlier than learning the names of the keys. Before that, I recall hearing my mother playing in the key of G-Major and thinking immediately that it was the key of my toy dump-truck which was painted a very green colour.

To this day, G-Major has always been green to me, just as E-Flat Major is dark blue, C-Major white, c-minor black and on and on.

Hope this doesn't sound too mental to the members here. I suppose it is an infantile mind-set. I can assure all that it has its pros and cons. Whereas at the conservatory I received top marks in solfege, I had to struggle to keep up in theory and counterpoint, so mired was I, even at 17, in this infantile world of colours.

Karl Watson
Staten Island, NY

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#2197438 - 12/14/13 11:14 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 605
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: noambenhamou
Hi everyone.
This topic will surely ruffle a few feathers unfortunately because I hate forum drama but I cannot help but to start this topic to express my views.

In another thread I replied on, I briefly discussed someone who sees color in music. But without wanting to get too out of topic, I didn't expand.


So here is the deal.

I don't see color in music at all, and I think it's bologna. (bolonee?)
I once played for a pianist and they liked my playing and said "Noam, you must see music in colors!!!" I replied - "what in the world are you talking about????"

I see music as dissonance and resolution. Each chord led by another, led into another creates dissonance and resolution depending on the chord progression. Within a particular chord, the melody and the way it interacts with that chord also creates micro dissonance and resolution within it. Not to confuse, chords do not have to be played together like in a guitar. Like chopin's nocturne no1 op9, the first "chord" when both hands come together is a B flat minor. This dissonance and resolution for me feels more like as a rubber band which stretches on dissonance and contracts on resolution. The rubber band can stretch and contract in all directions in a 3 dimensional axis.


So what's the deal with colors? Who started all this?
Was it Ravel or Debussy? I read a little about Liszt? How come there aren't accounts from 500 years ago of people seeing colors when hearing music or individual notes? It's a strange thing, you'd think it would be quote the "topic".

The more I think about this subject the more I tend to think that people who claim to see in colors are full of it. Yeah - the smelly stuff!

I can't find a good example besides religion, but since I'm jewish and most of the readers here are probably new testament driven, I'll use the jewish religion for not wanting to offend anyone.

So - Jewish religion - bologna!!! So one high priest 2200 years ago says he talks to God. Then everybody wants to seem like they are special and God speaks to them too. "Yeah, I hear God talking to me blah blah blah..." (Again, I'm talking about Jewish religion with the Israeli God, not Jesus. I have no opinion as to whether Jesus talks to people).

It's so easy for Rabbi A to "claim" that God spoke to him, that now Rabbi B is under great pressure to be a righteous as Rabbi A. So Rabbi B next morning wakes up and says "God spoke to me last night".

Do you get what I am trying to portray?

So I was watching this fantastic documentary about Helene Grimaud the other day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z3n3XcYa58

At one point, someone asks her "do you see colors in music?" She is now like Rabbi B. I mean, what kind of protegee can you be if you are not seeing colors.
So she says "yes". Now I'm not picking on her. I really like her playing and I think she's kind of hot for her age so...
Then the guy asks her "Well do you see color in each note? Each chord? Or an entire peice?" I think they were talking about Schumann concerto.
So she thinks about it and goes "ummmm, entire peice" then the guys asks - what color and she goes "ummmmm - Blue?"

B O L O G N A!!!!!!!!!


First of all, color seeing music people can't decide on whether individual keys have individual colors associated with them, or if it's certain chords, or relationships between chords, or an entire piece!

Second of all, the ones that agree that each key on the keyboard has a specific color, they can't agree on what color is the A above the middle C? How about the B 2 octives above the middle C? Oibviously human tendancy would yield to lower notes having darker shades if one was FORCED to pick. It's the way our brains work, but it doesn't mean we actually see colors.
Do these people have a short circuit in their brain where the neural connections got crossed up between ears and eye inputs? If you grew up near Chernobyl, maybe! MAYBE!!!


Also, when Helene heard the Schumann concerto for the first time, and if she only heard the Cadenza, maybe she would pick RED? Then if she heard the opening without ever hearing the other parts, maybe she'd say blue.
So even if seeing colors in music was true, it would DEFINITELY not have 1 color for an entire concerto. That is - for a lack of a better word - STUPID!


On a slightly different note, this time, green: I used to take piano lessons when I was in highschool from a famous pianist that France made him a citizen just by how many times he performed with their symphony in Paris. He was pretty legit, now he's dead, which I'm very sad about frown
Anyway - he didn't talked about colors but I did ask him once why all the passionate pieces are written in Cm or Fm.

He said because Cm and Fm (maybe a few others, can't remember) have a passionate voice to them. Maybe he meant color?

BOLOGNA!
I read this article on wikipedia about concert tunning, and in the time of Chopin and especially Beethoven nobody could agree on the standard tune. So the Patetique Sonata by Beethoven which starts with our innately passionate Cm, could have in fact been in B minor!
So... bologna!

To some up, the whole thing is smells like a facade.

Anyone care to agree?


I spell it baloney in this context. thumb

It could have something to do with religion. I'm Methodist. When I hear someone ring a triangle I get hungry ... but when my wife's nose whistles at night I want to get up and go play the piano.
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2197451 - 12/14/13 11:39 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 316
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
Hate to tell you but I've seen colors with music my whole life. I'm playing Debussy's reverie (excuse spelling) again and I see certain colors everytime I come to a group of chords. Actually, the brass on the piano lock reflects theses colors when I play! Ok, feel free to roll your eyes and commment on the fact I'm from California!

I just don't think it's bull.....can't spell baloney!
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#2197457 - 12/14/13 11:53 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Carbonblob]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 605
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: Carbonblob
Hate to tell you but I've seen colors with music my whole life. I'm playing Debussy's reverie (excuse spelling) again and I see certain colors everytime I come to a group of chords. Actually, the brass on the piano lock reflects theses colors when I play! Ok, feel free to roll your eyes and commment on the fact I'm from California!

I just don't think it's bull.....can't spell baloney!



Hey CB, I don't see them myself but knew a gal who did and she could play circles around me. Everyone's wired differently thank goodness.
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Rerun

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#2197460 - 12/14/13 11:57 AM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2085
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Most of the people who have synesthesia report it from such an early age that they would also qualify as prodigies in prevarication for them to be making it up. I think some people are born with it. Not me.
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In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2197515 - 12/14/13 01:17 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Karl Watson]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: Karl Watson
Friends:

Like so many other pianists born with perfect pitch, I've had a very distinct colour system for the keys which predates my knowing their names. I think that I must have learned the names of the colours just a little bit earlier than learning the names of the keys. Before that, I recall hearing my mother playing in the key of G-Major and thinking immediately that it was the key of my toy dump-truck which was painted a very green colour.

To this day, G-Major has always been green to me, just as E-Flat Major is dark blue, C-Major white, c-minor black and on and on.

Hope this doesn't sound too mental to the members here. I suppose it is an infantile mind-set. I can assure all that it has its pros and cons. Whereas at the conservatory I received top marks in solfege, I had to struggle to keep up in theory and counterpoint, so mired was I, even at 17, in this infantile world of colours.

Karl Watson
Staten Island, NY


Ok. I have no reason to believe you are making this up. You are not a famous composer or pianist that has peer pressure to have this disorder.



Since I'm pretty scientific, and I have quite an open mind, and I must take this opportunity to ask a few questions because I'm extremely curious!

Also, maybe people misunderstand my original post. This condition is rare, the post is regarding the peer pressure of what I think is a large percentage of people faking this condition to appear as if they have a superhuman innate relationship with sounds and music. That's the balagne!

I'm being sincere, not condescending:

So g major has a very specific "very green" color. I understand that there are enough variations of shades of color to cover every chord imaginable.

My question is this. If your piano was tuned sharp, so a g major was tuned 1/4 step high, would it still be green? Brighter?
Is there a progressional relationship?

Is the next major chord g sharp major still some shade of green or can it get to red all the sudden?

Do minor chords have their own separate colors? G minor some shade of green or is it a completely different color??

Is it always consistent? Do you ever hear a g major and see a different color?

Does it take time for the color to appear? If I played quick major chords in a chromatic scaled, g, g sharp, a, a sharp would the colors appear that quickly and disappear?

Do the colors appear more beautiful when beautiful music is played?
If you could somehow not hear the sound, but only see the colors, would you be able to distinct one piece from another? Would a melodic piece display better color progression than random bashing on a piano by a 5 year old?

Do you feel that seeing colors is an advantage?

When you hear a composer who wrote in "colors" due to them having the same condition, does their music stand out as "speaking to you" in ways that non color composition can't like Chopin, or Beethoven, or Schubert?

Sorry for all the questions.


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#2197517 - 12/14/13 01:21 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2085
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Sounds like you need to organize a testing synesthesia protocol Noambenhamou. They are good questions. To answer them scientifically would take a solid amount of work.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2197532 - 12/14/13 02:00 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3538
Can I add a few questions

* Suppose we have a a standard repeating cadence C-F-G-C. Are you then seeing flashing colors white-orange-green-white repeating? Sounds pretty tiring to me smile
* If a string orchestra plays C chord, do you also see that as white? organ?
* What if we have a glissando on the violin?
* Does the whole environment color that way, like you are looking through colored glasses?
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#2197533 - 12/14/13 02:01 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3538
noambenhamou

he already wrote that C major is white, C minor black. guess that answers one of your questions
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#2197544 - 12/14/13 02:26 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: wouter79]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: wouter79
noambenhamou

he already wrote that C major is white, C minor black. guess that answers one of your questions


Sorry. Missed that.

Good addition to questions though.

One more. Do the colors disrupt your actual seeing? Like wouter79 mentioned. If I'm playing the piano and my white cat walks by, and I look at him while playing g major, will he turn green like looking through a green glass?
I imagine it would be maybe spots of green in the pariferal vision like when you get dizzy you see stars.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't think anyone is asking in a condescending manner. We are just curious.

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#2197547 - 12/14/13 02:32 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
Retsacnal Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015


Registered: 10/11/12
Posts: 548
Loc: Northern Virgina
Originally Posted By: noambenhamou
Originally Posted By: Retsacnal
Noambenhamou, which airline do you fly for?


Huh? I don't. I own a software company (and I'm having problems searching google hahaha)

10 years ago, in my early 20's I studied to be a pilot, but after 9/11 they were laying off pilots left and right so I didn't see much future. I would have had to get stuck being a flight instructor flying Cessna's for like 5 years. Not interested haha smile


I was guessing you didn't fly for an airline, but was curious since your linked website says you wrote this about ten years ago:
  • Currently studying to be a commercial pilot. I hold a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating. Big news! I just received my Commercial Pilot / Multi-engine rating!!!!!!!!

The guy who wrote the above was clearly excited about the prospect of being a commercial pilot. So I was just curious if you were successful--ten years would certainly have been enough time.

My dad and grandfather were both Navy pilots. My brother and I didn't have the requisite 20/20 vision to follow in their footsteps. My brother spent years and lots of resources trying to accumulate all the ratings necessary to be a commercial pilot, and did, but no one ever paid him to fly. Fortunately, he had a solid education and good jobs anyway, and the flying thing ended up being just an expensive hobby. The reality is that the aviation industry is not kind to those who pursue training on their own. Why should they be, when they can get expert pilots, with thousands of hours of jet-engine flight time and millions of dollars of training (at tax payer expense) from the military? This dynamic has been in play since long before 9/11.

Anyway, sounds like the ROI on your computer training was greater than on your aviation training.
_________________________
1950 Baldwin M

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#2197552 - 12/14/13 02:37 PM Re: Seeing music as colors [Re: Hamburg-D]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 793
Loc: Darlington, UK
I watched a documentary about synasthesia a few years ago. Fascinating stuff and definitely not bologna!
One person would taste words. The word money conjured up the taste of bacon for example.
Another person would see musical notes as coloured bars in front of her!
The brain is a wonderful and largely unexplored organ!
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Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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