2009.1.7 Music genre → color synesthesia
This is the first of many posts I have planned for a subseries called Mental What that will explore some of the weird things my mind does. This first one has to do with a kind of synesthesia that I have from music genres* to colors. I also have grapheme → color synesthesia, which I've been aware of since early childhood (unlike this, which I've only become aware of over the past few years), and I intend to explain that in due time. This one will be quicker to explicate, though, so I'm going ahead with it now. Some genres have less consistent coloration than others; I'm only going to list the really pretty consistent ones, with the text colored by the genre's associated color. I may well edit this as I think of more genres that are consistently colored. The listing is in order around the color wheel.
- Drum and bass
- Deep house
- Space disco
- Acid house
- Hardcore punk
- Noise pop
- Jangle pop
The pattern that emerges is that genres with more prominent or consistent high frequency sounds, particularly due to distortion — such as punk and electro — tend to have warmer coloration, while less distorted genres such as drum and bass, dub, and house have cooler colors. The bass-heaviest genres have the darkest colors. The overall connection between low frequencies and dark tones, and high frequencies and light tones, seems particularly intuitive to me and appears to be a more universal perception than just among synesthetes. Techno and house are both in the blue range, but since house has a "warmer" vibe, it has some red added. I'm interested to hear from anyone else who has this kind of synesthesia — email for now, maybe in comments later if I ever set the POIB up for them.
*Note: the colors assigned to the text in the genre-name generator are randomly generated themselves and have no connection to my synesthetic perception.