Supporting article

In “Visual Color Notation for Musical Expression” it backs up our research on what we were looking for on how music and colors do influence each other.
Color/Music Combination

At the University of Dayton, Ohio, 135 undergraduate students participated
in a study on preferences of color and music. They were shown different colored
lights while listening to different piano pieces. The objective of the study was to
assess whether combinations of color and music can affect a person’s experience.
Previously known is that people report imagining colors while listening to
music, and that these colors are associated with attributes of the music. Alexander
Scriabin even included a part for “light organ” in his symphony “Prometheus.”
When a note was played on this device, instead of hearing a tone, the audience
would see a particular hue. Pitches were linked to hues according to a scheme
devised by the composer. The organ projected colored lights on a screen while the symphony was being played and the intensity of the lights changed to reflect
melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic aspects in the music.
The 135 participants’ task was to rank the lights according to how well they
“matched” the music. Their preferences differed depending on whether the music
was in a major or minor key. The participants’ links are what might be expected:
sounds that are loud and high in pitch tend to correlate with bright colors and
sound that are soft and have a low pitch tend to correlate with darker colors.
Results from the study indicated that for major-key pieces, yellow and
green were preferred over red and blue; and for minor-key pieces, green was
preferred over all the other colors. Differences from this study to prior studies may
be due to differences in the methodology of the experiments.

Poast, Michael (2000) Color Music: Visual Color Notation for Musical Expression.
Leonardo, 33, 215-221


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