What Color is Your Music?
Have you ever associated music with color?
Scientists have, and they’ve found some interesting discoveries!
In 2013, researchers from Berkeley in California published a study showing that we as humans attach certain colors with specific music.
According to a study headed by scientist Stephen Palmer, we are hardwired to associate anything from Mozart to Mumford & Sons with a particular hue from the color spectrum. Whether it’s a classical composition or an indie pop ballad, we automatically make music-color connections based on how the various melodies make us feel.
Their study showed that people from different cultures ended up matching the same colors with the same pieces; establishing what these researchers call a "common emotional palette".
“The results were remarkably strong and consistent across individuals and cultures and clearly pointed to the powerful role that emotions play in how the human brain maps from hearing music to seeing colors,” said UC Berkeley vision scientist Stephen Palmer, lead author of a paper published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
These studies allowed the researchers to predict within 95% accuracy, what colors people would pair with sad music, or happy and joyful music.
They used 37 different colors for the matching process, and played a variety of music that was upbeat and some that was slow and sad.
Music that was in a major key, (which tends to be happier sounding than minor keys) was paired with brighter yellow colors, and minor music was paired with grey-blue colors.
Interestingly, if the participants were asked to describe a color of the music they were listening to, researchers could tell whether it was happy or sad music according to what color was given, even thought the researchers couldn't hear the music at the time.
Ever heard the statement - "feeling blue"?
Now we know that it's actually true! And it's probably not that famous Carolina Blue either...we're talking more of a grey-blue.
Can you change your mood by listening to upbeat music?
Absolutely! Music Therapists do exactly this! They use music to help people heal from a variety of physical and mental illnesses.
More than that, there are even Color Therapists that practice Chromotherpay, which uses color to help balance out the energy blocks in our bodies that cause illness.
Both forms of therapy involve using music and color, and the association of specific colors and sounds to stimulate chemical responses in our bodies that create joy and energy.
Think of it this way...
if you decide to go out for a run, and you want to listen to some music, are you going to play a slow movement from a symphony, or are you going to put on something that is fast and the same relative tempo that you're going to be running at? You're going to pick the upbeat music for sure.
The same applies if you're feeling stressed. This is a time you just might want to put on some slower, more soothing music, rather than some heavy metal or rap music.
Feeling sad? Try listening to some Strauss, or Michael Franti!
It's all up to you, but know this: music and color, help to create your mood, and can even change the mood you're in.
You can actually rewire your brain mapping with music...but we'll talk about that in another blog.
Isn't Music Fabulous?!
Stay tuned to LessonsOnTheWeb to learn much more!
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