View Full Version : color and sounds

05-21-2001, 02:38 PM
Hye I'm new here and was wondering if anyone had any views on color and sound. I've looked at Kandinsky and Mcdonald-Wright, does anyone know of any other theroies?

06-18-2001, 04:11 PM
I haven't heard of any other artist theories relating color to music.
But I also wonder about the usefulness of the music/color theories. Is the idea that one could transpose the melody of a song into a range of colors, if one used a set of color/note relationships? While I find the idea intriguing, I also find it just a bit contrived. I saw the MacDonald wright show at the NC Museum of Art, and I generally liked his work. At times, however, I found his colors too sweet and wished for more modulation to convey mood.

06-26-2001, 02:55 PM
You were my first reply, thank you. I know that Mcdonald-Wright painted in "keys" like music is played in keys. He even worked out a scale. KAndinsky was more into the fact that certain colors involked certain sounds. It's usefulness to me is that I am painting "jazz" musicians and I convert black and white photos of musicians into color paintings. I have always loved music and it is a major part of my work. Thank you again for your reply.

07-18-2001, 01:57 PM

I know that Georgia O'Keeffe played an instrument (I think it was the piano ) and had some theories on the relation between Art and Music. You should check it out.


07-23-2001, 02:37 PM
Some theories speak about the realtionships between art and music, not as much as a relation between color and sounds as a relation between colors and instruments. Instruments are classed equal as colors as warm, cool and neutrals, so doing a canvas will be similar to conduct an orchestra.

08-14-2001, 10:06 PM
Hi jhdvorsky

this is a very interesting (!) question. I have experimented with line & shape a little, & bands of colour to communicate rhythm. That's as 'close' as I got to this area! :rolleyes:

In any event, I was wondering if you made any progress re: your query?

08-15-2001, 09:25 AM
Thank for the reply. I have been trying to relay sound through my paintings for sometime now. The idea that works best for me is Kandinsky's. Certain colors went with certain instruments. Red= brass, blue= strings(bass), I have added Green= woodwinds. Yellow and orange= rhythem. Violet= tempo. As soon as I am able I will scan a Photo of one of my paintings to gie you a better idea of what my ideas are.
Thanks again for you interest.


09-04-2001, 01:47 PM
Always a cool colour theory topic the relationships between sound, colour, movement sound, etc. I have been researching it lightly for some time. It turns out theres a name for it synaesthetic tose whose aesthetic perceptions synthesise. It came as an incredible suprise to me that teir are individuals who experience the sight of colour from the act of listening to music, or hear sounds when they look at colour. This condition, and that is what it is, an actual neurological condition, synthesizes their perceptual experiences. Some believe it to be a genetic predisposition. It is not 100% subjective! - isn't that cool!

heres some links you might find interesting






Recently there was an international symposium held for people who experience this phenomana - which is as natural for them as for us to smell grandmas apple pie when we see a floral print dress :0)


09-09-2001, 03:18 PM
"I see what you are saying!"

I will simply remark - First, that the existence of the colour associations with sound ...


Hi jhdvorsky,

just posted an article on Jane Mackay's 'seeing' colour, and came here to notify you of the article, & a related *website (link below).

I see ravenarts had quite a few links (!!) re: synaesthesia! I only have one! :crying: ... but there is is!

* http://www.psychiatry.cam.ac.uk/isa/frames.html

Like ravenarts, I thought you might be interested in this area.

Until next time, continued success art making! :clap:

BTW ravenarts, I drove pretty close (!!) to Collingwood over the long weekend from Sault St. Marie! :D