Yeah, but which colors?

how to see soundSo, it seems like color might help us see music patterns. But before we check it out, we should answer a couple of questions. I mean, we don’t want to waste our time if this isn’t going to work. The first question is, “Why haven’t we seen this before?” If color is really that obvious, then ColorMusic should be more common … right? And the second question is, “Even if we did use color, what colors should we use?” Music has a lot of notes—and there are a ton of colors—so it can’t be that simple.

These are both good questions, so let’s start with the first. “Why haven’t we seen color music before?” Well, in a way, you probably have. If you walk into any toy store, you’ll find stuff like this:

Toy companies are always coming up with bright, colorful instruments for kids. They’re all about rainbows, and sunshine, and birdies, and lollipops. But I think we can agree this is not what we mean. We are serious musicians. We want to see sound. And, really, we just want to make music … not eat ice cream and play patty-cakes. So toys like these might be nice for the kids, but we need something real.

Of course, other serious musicians have tried to combine color and music. And some pretty smart people (like Aristotle and Newton). But no matter how hard these guys tried, they always failed. Why?

Well, that brings us to our second question: “Even if we did use color, what colors should we use?” The reason color isn’t common in music is because no one had figured out how to do it. After all, you can’t just throw a bucket of paint on sound and expect to see something. Color and music both follow the same exact patterns. (Newton and Aristotle were right.) Only the link between these patterns has a little twist. And for some strange reason, nobody noticed it … until now.

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