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.

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.