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bristol ozturgut


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Is there a parallel in the human reaction to color as there is in the reaction to their corresponding acoustic frequencies?

This summer I stumbled over the realization that the equal-tempered acoustic scale fits very neatly into the visual spectrum of light. ... Too neatly. I mean that, when converted from Hz into wavelength, acoustic tones have one corresponding color: (rougly) F2 - violet; E2 - edging on dark blue; D2 - baby blue; C2- Kelly-ish green; B1 - light yellow; A - orange; G - red).

Now I'm beginning to consider that perhaps the two - light and sound - may have other parallels. Based on what you know about how color affects human behavior, is there any evidence to suggest that the same affect happens with that color's corresponding acoustic note? (and vice versa)

EXAMPLE: If we now that the color red is known to make consumers hungry, does a G have a similar effect on people?

Please expand this topic.


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  • Feb 5 2013: I am naturally synaesthetic in a high degree. I have always understood that this type of cross-over is usually present in babies'. brains, but that in most people these connections are gradually lost - some retain them.
    I do have very unusual (fragile) membranes as I have a serious connective tissue disorder (Marfan Syndrome). I am highly sensitive to both sound and colour(and also scent), to the point where I have to limit my level of stimulation.

    I would like to say that the whole subject is, I feel, extremely complex. First of all there is the question of 'which blue'?, also what does one person mean by 'blue', especially 'light blue' dark blue' 'bright blue'...etc....A lot of people are not clear about the difference between hue and tonal value.
    Then there is the subjectivity involved in the translation of the aural frequencies. I have never met someone else who sees the same as I do to the same notes,or indeed who is affected in exactly the same way by a specific piece of music. Incidentally the most beautiful and the most rewarding pieces for my synaesthesia are late Beethoven, and sacred or chamber works of Mozart. But I also can see just a sequence of ordinary sounds in colours, at times.
    There is also another complexity which is to do with the scientific properties of colours and pigments. I.e. if, say,a piece of cloth is appearing red to us, it is actually mostly absorbing green light, depending on its saturation. Is it not also a 'green' vibration therefore? It's a matter of naming. For me, middle C is a dark red, and G is a clear green, like a cobalt green. 'A ' is a pure blue - in my terms! I do also play my piano, and close my eyes sometimes and play to the colours I see. It is painful if the piano is out of tune! (My father had what is known as perfect pitch, and was a pure mathematician, I don't know if that is of interest- I think being sensitive to vibration and geometric form is linked).
    I hope this is useful and of interest

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