and C Major is red, G major is yellow, B major is brown, E major blue, D major is a light brown. These are my personal associations; other people’s colors will certainly vary. These associations are known as chromesthesia – the association of color and sound. It is a form of synesthesia - a neurological condition in which stimulation from one sense leads to involuntary experience in a secondary sense. Basically, chromesthesia is pitch/color association.
Today is the beginning of the Blogging A to Z challenge, and the theme of this blog for the month of April will focus on music and its instruments, as well as other interesting phenomenon. The challenge is to blog a letter of the alphabet every day to the end of the month. (There are three Sundays off.)
A Major is so green to me that the letter A could not be anything else. I always thought it would be interesting to find a composer who could write a score for me in color rather than in black and white notes. Even in college I found the phenomenon interesting and looked for someone to work with, but to no avail.
The list of noted composers who had chromesthesia includes Scriabin, Messiaen, Mozart, Sibelius, Liszt, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Gyorgy Ligeti. Wikipedia reports that Mozart referred to the key of D Major as “a warm orangey sound...while B-flat minor was blackish.” Mozart found A major a rainbow of colors.
I can’t say that having chromesthesia has been beneficial or useful in any particular way. Rather, it is an oddity that I enjoy, that fascinates me, and that I share with some pretty notable musicians.