music-colour synaesthesia revisited

My post on music-colour synaesthesia has been the most visited item on my blog, and has also become the most interesting area of synaesthesia to me recently.

I have been, for a while, fairly convinced that I have grapheme-colour synaesthesia (I see words, numbers, names as colours) and nothing else. But since taking a synesthesia quiz which involved a section on music, where I scored quite highly for syn in some of the musical areas, I have started to think more and more about music-colour synaesthesia.

I have come to believe that in certain circumstances I DO actually experience synaesthetic perceptions in music, but that I had never really noticed before. But since I only see colours in my mind’s eye rather than actually SEEING them in front of my eyes, it is difficult to determine what causes the occasional synaesthesia responses.

A lot of the time, it is just the name of the song or artist that provides the overall colour of the song, which would still make it grapheme-colour synaesthesia. For example, the song ‘Peach, Plum, Pear’ by Joanna Newsom is a deep purply colour and I can only assume I am seeing a plum colour (although I am still unaware as to why plum would stand out more than peach or pear). But while listening to Anxiety Attack by Jeffrey Lewis I started to see flashing black and pink spots in the intro to the song.

I thought it was quite interesting, but I am still not sure what to make of it. It just seems, as usual, to be a useless quirk that doesn’t really mean anything. I still like it though.

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9 Responses to music-colour synaesthesia revisited

  1. lifecreativitycoach says:

    WOW! I like your “quirk” and I have read about other people who have it. COOL!

    terri

  2. Delighted to have found your blog! I’ve just created a syndicated LiveJournal feed for it so I can track it through my friends list — I hope you’ll continue to update it on a semi-regular basis. I’m not a synaesthete myself, but I’m currently writing a paranormal suspense novel about a girl with an unusually potent form of synaesthesia, and I want to make that aspect of her character as real and plausible as I can.

  3. Sarah says:

    I have music synathesia and I love to experiment with it. I probably drive my flute teacher crazy becasue I always want to change the song that I’m playing to see how the colors change.

  4. sydney taylor says:

    Hello! I really do think I have synesthesia and one of the reasons why I play the clarinet is to see the off-white and shiny mahogany swirl around. It’s odd, because I don’t normally see the colors, but I get a wierd sensation in the front part of my skull when listening or playing music. I also have a pacemaker, and I wonder if the electrical impulses from that have anything to do with my colors.

  5. girlonarock says:

    exciting to hear someone elses experience on synesthesia, especially relating to music! i have synesthesia, and i believe it helped me to learn different instruments. my exoerience is each musical note i see is a colour i feel, but also each hand position for each different note is also a colour, so if i’m playing the sax and playing G its like i think green for the finger positioning, and also while filling out questionaires re synesthesia, i then realised each musical note had a personality too?..oh and all my colours are in my ‘minds’ eye.

  6. llama says:

    cool, I have syneasthesia too. I see names, letters and numbers in colors, also days of the week. finally, someone i can relate it too! so what are the different colors you see?

  7. Paige says:

    I see letters, names, numbers, and shapes in color. A is orange for me and he’s a guy. I could go on and on forever, but I won’t!

  8. Paige says:

    I see letters, numbers, numbers, and shapes in color. A is orange and he’s a guy. I could go on and on forever but I won’t!

  9. hello,
    ive read your blog and find your thught processes,..intriguing if anything.
    im an art student at coventry university in englanD. My most recent work is exploring the cross over between music and the visualisations i receive while listening to music, If i am honest i have never until a few days ago heard of synesthesia. certainly not the separate types either.
    i find myself listening to music and creating images from the sound, which are often colours or certain marks, even certain phrases often captivate my work. i also from a dance background instantly see choreography from these drawings and sounds.
    your blog hs enlightened me.
    thankyou for posting such an interesting look at things

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