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Synesthesia


Composer283
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How many people here have the condition synesthesia? It's when you associate numbers, letters and especially (among us) musical keys.

I have it in those three categories.

Numbers:

1- colorless

2- red

3- yellow

4- green

5- magenta

6- purplish

7- yellow

8- black

9- varies

10- orange-yellow

Letters (first 10)

A- blue

B- varies

C- white

D- orange

E- yellow

F- orange

G- light orange

H- light green

I- white

J- magenta

Keys-

C major- white

A minor- blue

G major- orange

E minor- yellow

D major- pastoral green

B minor- blackish brown

A major- blue

F sharp minor- red-orange

E major (my favorite!) - yellow

C sharp minor- black or white

B major- colorless

G sharp minor- reddish orange

G flat major- light orange

E flat minor- luminous yellow

D flat major- brown

B flat minor- sometimes grey, sometimes colorless

A flat major- blue

F minor- orange

E flat major- dandelion

C minor- black, or white or colorless

B flat major- grey

G minor- orange

F major- orange

D minor- brown

Kind of interesting hmm....

I find it fascinating to know what colors other people associate with those (especially musically)

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I have my own variation of it. I understand it that true synesthesia means that people actually see colors that go along with sounds.

I don't actually see colors with sounds, but I associate colors with pitches and keys, as well as numbers and letters. This works for and against me. I think in colors when I compose and play music. I also think in colors when I listen to music. But they don't always line up.

For example, a minor to me is red. But, when I listen to the second movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony, I see green, but green to me is d minor, not a minor. Another example, F major is blue, but when I listen to Bach's Italian Concerto, I see the whole thing as yellow. But, if I know I am playing in F major, I see blue again.

So, I don't use my color instinct to try to pretend I have perfect pitch because it doesn't work. But, when I compose and play, I can't help but to think of colors. It's part of the process to me.

Numbers:

1 - Clear/Transparent

2 - Bright, bright green

3 - Bright yellow

4 - Bright blue with a gray filter; sometimes purple at random

5 - Red

6 - Reddish-yellow

7 - Much darker green than 2

8 - Much darker blue than 4

9 - Brownish-rusty-red

0 - Black

Keys:

CM - Light, light Yellow

Cm - Golden

C#M - White with black outlines in my field of vision

C#m - Black

DbM - Green

Dbm - Hmm, no association

DM - Bright green

Dm - Olive green

D#M/D#m - no accociation

EM - White/Clear

Em - White with a hint of yellow filter

F - Blue

Fm - Purple

F#M - Blue

F#m - Very dark purple

GM - Brown

Gm - Brown/yellow combo

G#M/G#m - BabyPoop brown

AM - Red

Am - Dark red

A#M/A#m - Dark red

BM - Yellow

Bm - Slighy darker yellow than BM

Letters:

A-G: same as notes/keys

H - yellow

I - white

J - green

K - blue

L - tan

M - dark blue

N - dark brown

O - black

P - green

Q - blue

R - red

S - red

T - yellow

U - yellow

V - green

W - white-ish blue

X - black

Y - yellow

Z - brown

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I have none of this, ... and it doesn't really interest me that much. Honestly, I wouldn't like if I couldn't just attach colors arbitrarily to sounds or any of this and it would be instead decided by some weird mutation/??? that just told me "LOL BLUE IS D MAJOR." Ugh.

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I associate most (but not all) keys with colors. And depending on the piece, I sometimes can even actually see color(s). But it's only with specific pieces. Debussy's music is usually pretty consistent in making me visualize color. Clair de Lune is probably a good example. It always gives the feeling of a hazy blue with splashes of light here and there. It's hard to describe but it's sort of like an abstract painting in motion.

Anyway, I'll name the keys that I do associate with colors.

C Major - Yellow

G Major - Green

A Major - Red

D Major - Red

Db Major - A mellow blue

Eb Major - A different shade of yellow that I really can't describe

E Major - Golden brown

A Minor - Red also

C# Minor - A dark shade of blue

C Minor - A dark shade of yellow

There was also a key that I associated with purple once but I can't seem to remember what it is now.

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Be careful not to confuse actual synesthesia with conscious/subconscious superficial associations of colours to other things. It's different saying "oh, when I think of Tuesday I think of yellow!" than what Messiaen and Skryabin had (and others). This is a very nice short text explaining what synesthesia is without getting too much into detail.

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For me, I see orchestrations as colors, not keys as colors. So when anyone talks of the orchestral palette, I think of it literally. I don't exactly know how this came about, but I only see these colors in romantic music and classical music. Baroque music is a constant red or green no matter what I'm listening to and modern music doesn't really have any color to me.

So,

String based orchestration is red

Oboe/Bassoon based orch. is green

Clarinet/Flute based orch. is blue

Horn/Tromb based orch. is gold

Trumpet based orchestration is black

Those are just the basics, so for example, Schubert's "Symphony No. 9 in C major - I" is Gold to me while his second movement is Red, the subsequent movements are Gold too. Beethoven's "Symphony No. 3 in Eb major - I" Changes colors constantly from Gold to Red to Blue to Green, while movement II is a DEEP Green color and movement IV is Black. Beethoven's "Symphony No. 8 in F major", though, is extremely blue in color (all movements). Symphonies 2 & 6 are Red, 1 & 9 are White, 3 & 7 are Green, 5 is Gold, 4 & 8 are Blue.

With Mendelssohn, though, each of his 5 symphonies contain different colors. 1 - Blue, 2 - Red, 3 - Green, 4 - Magenta, 5 - Gold. This probably explains why I like his writing so much.

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I have none of this, ... and it doesn't really interest me that much. Honestly, I wouldn't like if I couldn't just attach colors arbitrarily to sounds or any of this and it would be instead decided by some weird mutation/??? that just told me "LOL BLUE IS D MAJOR." Ugh.

Jesus SSC. "I do not have this sensation, so I shall ridicule anyone who wants to discuss it." You can't accept that something could be a topic of interest even if you aren't affected by it?

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I don't have synesthesia, but I get a sense of a lot of things being either one gender or the other (and this is not based on the articles they are assigned in other languages - usually, those articles are wrong!)

I find that most people who find that things seem to be one gender or other agree on the gender of these things a majority of the time, which is pretty crazy. Some of these things are:

letters: A is female, D is male, T is male, S is female, P is female, V is female, and so on.

states: Colorado is male, Maine is female, Vermont is female, Michigan is male, and so on.

numbers: 1 is male, 8 and 9 are female, and so on

elements: Hydrogen and Helium are female, but Lithium and Silver are male. And so on.

Anyone else feel like certain things are just of one gender or the other?

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I definitely do NOT have synesthesia, and although I sometimes associate some pieces with certain colors, I don't associate keys or numbers with colors.

Like Dan, I associate a lot of things with genders, expecially numbers, letters, and colors. A is female, C is male, G is male, H is female but still rather masculine, L in female, N is male. I can do this for basically any letter.

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Jesus SSC. "I do not have this sensation, so I shall ridicule anyone who wants to discuss it." You can't accept that something could be a topic of interest even if you aren't affected by it?

... Uh? I simply don't care for the topic and I would personally consider it a disease if I had it.

What's your problem?

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Pretty much every guitarist I know associates A Minor with red; even if they don't associate any other keys with colors. I always found that somewhat interesting. :hmmm:

really? I've never met any guitarist that associated A minor with red :p

I associate it with this bluish smoke image in my head

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NO U.

(If that was directed at me.)

Furthermore, I don't see why I suddenly can't hold opinions, I guess it offends them speshul people. :<

its not that you cant express your opinions, its just that you're acting a tad bit like a douche

its not an illness if you have Synthesia, its just a way some people's brain works

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its not that you cant express your opinions, its just that you're acting a tad bit like a douche

its not an illness if you have Synthesia, its just a way some people's brain works

I said I would consider it a disease if I had it, considering what it is, because I like to keep the assosiations at a subjective level rather than have it be dictated by something. There are already many things which we have no control over, I don't want any more of those. :x

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I said I would consider it a disease if I had it, considering what it is, because I like to keep the associations at a subjective level rather than have it be dictated by something. There are already many things which we have no control over, I don't want any more of those. :x

Not to add fuel to the fire, but I think the assumption you're making here is that these associations of colors are arbitrary or dictated by some outside factor (like a painting or movie). I'm all for free expression, but not when you use it as a justification for ignoring what otherwise could be considered a condition that inspires creativity.

Green, red, orange, yellow, blah blah... seems too broad to dictate anything anyway. When I think of color, I think in terms of tone and pitch in relation to other tones and pitches. Harmony is harmony. But, for example, if you harmonize a Bm9 chord with French Horns, Oboe, and Harp, you might have a completely different "coloring" of the harmony if you put the m9 extension in the Oboe as opposed to one of the Horns or the Harp. Each will create a different "colorful" effect in relation to the pitches and tones of the other instruments.

There's no real way to explain it other than to consider the relationship between a pallet of warm and cool colors from the "color wheel" you learn about in elementary art classes. Clarinets create a very cool kind of tone in the lower register, yet have a very warm tone in the upper register. Horns have a very cool timbre compared to trumpets, depending on how we subjectively apply the element of "color." The point being, if this is the rationale behind why someone chooses to orchestrate a pitch with a certain effect in mind, there are ways it can be done.

Synesthesia is simply the intuition of some composers to associate sound with color, which in and of itself is not a "disease" or a condition. Rather, it's a descriptive term for someone who's intuitive rationale is derived from this association between color and sound.

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Eh, I'm kind of with SSC and flint here, just not as harshly.

I think that a) you can cultivate this understanding and self-reinforce it.

and b) kids (and adults), especially artistic types, like sounding cool like they understand their art better than anyone based on some special gift. I'm not saying that gift isn't there, but that it's nice marketing nonetheless. Why do some jazz cats talk so mystic?

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Derision is a useful tool, one worthy of this thread :). I'm also tired of the OP continually posting repeats of threads we've already talked about due to his complete lack of searching. I'm sure enthusiasm is a good thing, but damn, show some restraint!

I mean, seriously... type in "synesthesia" in the search box and 8 threads come up (including this one).

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