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for jacky : Color and Music Bibliography

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  • Pitchcolor@aol.com
    Funny that I should check back to the tuning list for the first time in months to see this question posted. The topic of pitch and color is kind of an
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 6, 2001
      Funny that I should check back to the tuning list for the first time in
      months to see this question posted. The topic of pitch and color is kind of
      an obsession for me. I have my own ideas about it which I apply to writing
      music in pure intonation, and I've invented an electronic wind instrument
      based on these ideas. As I've been working on a book about it for a while
      now, I can give you a partial bibliography of interesting sources. Pitch -
      color associations are mostly idiosyncratic and arbitrary. Of course, many
      well known composers have had personal synesthetic experiences; Prokofiev,
      Skriabin, etc. Many color theorists and artists have stated their ideas on
      this (e.g. Goethe). There are several ways to make a pseudo-scientific
      correlation, resulting in C = green or C = red and other relations (see Lucy
      Tuning on the web for one take on this). Contrary to somewhat popular lore
      (see Barbara Hero's lambdoma webpages), Pythagorean sources contain zero
      references to color and music. Aristotle said something to the effect that
      there is a color code in everything, but that's about the extent of Greek
      color-music theory before Xenakis. A whole slew of metaphysical (and
      religious) lore surrounds this topic, making it often seem like
      pseudoscientific bunk to academics, and honestly you need to do a lot of
      sifting to find sources which are interesting. Out of about 40 books on the
      topic which I got on interlibrary loan from all over the country, maybe 10
      had anything I felt was really worthwhile in them. Countless people have
      "discovered" a "new" way to write music with colors which amounts to
      redundant coding for 12 equal tempered pitches. The majority of published
      "discoveries" have absolutely nothing to do with tuning. There are also many
      U.S. Patents on color-pitch associations, mostly for teaching purposes.
      Obviously it's been a topic of interest for generations. Here are some
      sources you might find interesting. They're in no particular order, and
      some are just color theory books or color/pitch percption or psychophysics


      OPTICKS, or A Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and
      Colors of Light, by Sir Isaac Newton, fourth edition 1730, available from
      Dover Publications, New York, 1952
      (established ROYGBIV and an analogy between the diatonic scale and the
      rainbow, the most pervasive idea associated with the topic, later dismissed
      by Helmholtz and others)

      Coloured Light: An Art Medium, being the third edition enlarged of
      “Colour-Music,” by Adrian Bernard Klen, M.B.E., A.R.P.S., Technical Press
      Ltd., 1937.
      (possibly the best introduction to and synopsis of the subject, summarizes a
      large number of other sources)

      The Elements of Color, A treatise on the color system of Johannes Itten based
      on his book “The Art of Color”, by Johannes Itten, translated by Ernst van
      Hagen, edited by Faber Birren, published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1970.
      (refers to Newton, equates color with pitch, Itten’s RYB credo at bauhaus,
      1919, also influenced Klee, Kandinsky and others)

      Colour-Music, the art of Mobile Color, by Wallace Rimington, Hutchinson and
      Co., 1912.
      (the color organ)

      Musicolour, by Ronald Senator, Musicolor Ltd., 1977.
      (12 tone colors)

      Farb-Musik: Leitfaden für eine kombinierte Farben- und Musiklehre, by Fritz
      Dobretzberger and Johannes Paul, 1993, Simon and Leutner Verlag, Berlin.
      12 tone, 12 colors, (figures), also planets

      Der Akkord- und Quintenzirkel in Farben und Tönen, Ein einfaches Gesetz der
      Farbenharmonie, von Hans Bartolo Brand, J. Lindauersche
      Universitäts-Buchhandlung (Schöpping), München 1914.
      (pure intonation based on 3/2, ends up w/ 12 tone colors)

      Color and Sound Interrelated, by Louise A. Beattie, Department of Art and
      Design of San Jose State University, Masters’ thesis, 1998.

      The Fine Art of Light Color Playing, by Mary Hallock Greenewalt, Westbrook
      Publishing Co., 1946.

      A Method of Associating Color with Music, by Thomas H. Goodpastor, University
      of Notre Dame, Masters’ thesis, 1950.

      The Influence of Visual Color Upon Selected Examples of Twentieth-Century
      Music, by Susan Bayla Rosenfield Geffen, University of Texas at Dallas,
      Masters’ thesis, 1991.
      (contains a useful bibliography)

      The Musical Interval as Applied to Color, by H. A. Froom, printed by Edwin R.
      Gardner, 1936.
      (uses just intonation ratios)

      Common Sense: Relationships Between Color Vision and Audition, Central
      Michigan University, Masters’ thesis, 1985.
      (explores RYB light correlated responses to pitch stimulus)

      Musical Colour, by Danton Adams, Douglas & Gilson (1922) LTD., first edition,

      SOUND & COLOUR, Their Relations, Analogies, and Harmonies
      John Denis Macdonald, M.D., F.R.S., staff surgeon, R.N.
      Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer: London; Groves, High Street: Gosport, 1869.

      The Correlation of Sound and Color: Three Major Metaphysical Sources, by John
      Floyd Gay, University of Missouri at Kansas City, D.M.A diss. (microfilm
      only), 1972.

      Rainbow-Music; or The Philosophy of Harmony in Colour-Grouping, by Lady
      Archibald Campbell, Bernard Quaritch, London, 1886.

      Short Talks to Art Students on Color From an Artists Standpoint, Also Dealing
      with the Relation of Color to the Musical Scale, by Maud M. Miles, 1914.

      Die Zalengrundlagen der Musik im Wandel der Zeiten, 2. Aufl. - Stuttgart:
      Verlag Freies Geistesleben, 1985, by Ernst Bindel
      Though the rest of this book has to do with number relations and harmonic
      proportion, these sections deal with twelve tone major keys with are equated
      with colors. p. 288 - 303

      COLOR-MUSIC, by Theodore F. Karwoski and Henry S. Odbert, Dartmouth College,
      from Psychological Monographs, Vol. 50, No. 2 Whole No. 222, 1938, edited by
      John F. Dashiell, University of North Carolina, published for the American
      Psychological Association by THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVIEW COMPANY, the Ohio State
      Univeristy, Ohio.
      Concerned with synesthesia. “A preliminary survey of 274 college students
      revealed 165, or 60%, who showed some tendency to associate color with short
      musical selections.” p. 57

      Musik und Alchemie, by Franz Liessem, 1969 Hans Schneider, Tutzing Satz und
      Druck: Ernst Vögel, München 22, Kanalstrasse 10
      largely concerned with music and planets, but also involves colors.

      Pythagoras musicus, by Barbara Münxelhaus, Verlag für systematische
      Musikwissenschaft GmbH Bonn-Bad Godesberg 1976, Band 19 der
      Orpheus-Schriftenreihe zu Grundfragen der Musik herausgegeben von Martin
      Tone and number, Music and arithmetic, Music and Geometry, the Quadrivium, no

      Color: basic principles and new directions, by Patricia Sloane, 1968 Studio
      Vista: London, Reinhold Book Corporation: New York, A subsidary of
      Chapman-Reinhold Inc.
      Classical Japanese painting colors. 5 parent colors - Red (seki) Yellow (au)
      Blue (sei) black (koku) and white (byaku). There are also 10 mixtures of the
      parent colors, which by the rule of “Iro no kubari” cannot be placed
      contiguous to a parent color in a painting. p. 10
      10 color Munsell system, p. 20
      Kandinsky boxes value scale, p. 27
      Thomas Young (1773-1829) primary color theories. First suggested red,
      yellow, blue, but revised this to red, green, purple. p. 29
      Neon (red) Helium (yellow) Xenon (light blue) Krypton (white) and Argon
      (blue-violet) are all inert gasses used in incandescent lights. Mercury
      vapor also produces white light with high ultra violet content. p. 34

      Naming the Rainbow, 1998 by Don Dedrick, Dept of Philosophy, University of
      Victoria, Canada, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
      “there are more than 11 basic color terms.” p. 73
      Color naming experiments with adults establish the fact that given a
      continuum of spectral color, for example the term “blue” is applied to a
      range of stimuli, and as the so-called “hue border” is approached, teh
      composite term “blue-green” will be used, and “green” will be used as the
      boundary region is exited. p. 65
      (useful bibliography)

      The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, compiled and translated by Kenneth
      Sylvan Guthrie, edited by David R. Fideler, 1987 Phanes Press, Grand Rapids,
      Michigan, USA.
      writings on number, the cosmos, and harmony. references to music of the
      spheres and musical intervals. No mention of color.

      Writings on Contemporary Music Notations, an Annotated Bibliography, by
      Gerald Warfield, Associate Director, Index of New American Notation. Music
      Library Association, 1976. Ann Arbor, Michigan.
      452 entries on notation related articles published between 1950 and 1975. 4
      on color:

      Epperson, John W. “Color in Contemporary Music Notation” Bandwagon 74
      (november 1974) pp. 14-18, exx.
      contains a brief history of the use of color in notation, although most
      discussion is of contemporary usage. Color score examples from 1958-69. One
      work from 1910 by Felix Weingartner.

      The New Music, by Boris Lang, Scarsdale New York: the author, 1967
      (Library of Congress) 12 pp., exx.

      “Catching Sight of the Music” by Kenneth Payne, composer (London) 29
      (1968) pp. 16-18
      describes pedagogical color charts for music.

      “Musikalische Graphic,” by Hans Sündermann, Antaios 8, no. 5
      suggested correspondence between color and emotion in musical passages.
      Attacked by Dahlhaus in Neua Zeitschrift für Musik, vol. 128, no. 10 (Oct.
      11, 1967), p. 505

      Die Dasia-Notation, by Barbara Hebborn, Orpheus - Verlag GmbH, Verlag für
      systematische Musikwissenschaft, Bonn 1995, Band 79 der
      Orpheus-Schriftenreihe zu Grundfragen der Musik herausgegeben von Martin
      Greek origins, number origins, early notation, based on Greek sources. (fig)

      Basic Color Terms, Their Universality and Evolution, by Brent Berlin and Paul
      Kay, 1969, 1999 CSLI Publications, Center for the Study of Language and
      Information, Leland Stanford Junior University.
      diagram, p. 9
      20 dissimilar spoken languages, additional written sources = 98 total
      languages surveyed. 11 basic terms.

      Fundamentals of Sensation and Perception, 3rd edition, Levine and Shefner,
      Michael W. Levine, 2000, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at
      Chicago, Oxford University Press
      Chapter 14, Color Vision, pp. 297-331. p. 323-325, cellular evidence for
      color opponency

      Color Perception: philosophical, psychological, artistic and computational
      perspectives, edited by Steven Davis, 2000, New York, Oxford University Press

      Simultaneous Contrast and Color Constancy: Signatures of Human image
      Processing, by John J. McCann, p. 88-101

      Theories of Visual Perception, by Ian E. Gordon, 1989 John Wiley and Sons,

      Perspectives on Notation and Performance, Edited by Benjamin Boretz and
      Edward T. Cone, W. W. Norton Company, New York, 1976

      Note Values, by John MacIvor Perkins, p. 63-73
      logarithmic rhythmic notation based on integer ratios.

      Ist C = Rot? Eine Kultur- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte zum Problem der
      wechselseitigen Beziehung zwischen Ton und Farbe, Von Aristotle bis Goethe,
      by Jörg Jewanski, Berliner Musik Studien 17, Schriftenreihe zur
      Musikwissenschaft an den Berliner Hochschulen und Universitäten,
      Herausgegeben von Rainer Cadenbach, Hermann Danuser, Albrecht Riethmüller und
      Christian Martin Schmidt, 1999
      p. 182, Isaac Beekman, in 1623 adopted PU=white, P5=yellow, P4=red, P3=blue,
      and dissonances are black.
      p. 222, Cureau de la Chambre, 1650, also equated intervals with colors white,
      yellow, red, green blue, purple, and black
      Newton, Marain, Helmholtz, Morley, Campion,Krüger (1742) after Bach wtc(1722)
      and Werkmeister (1686). Naturlehre 1740. p. 249
      Castel, Goethe, etc.

      Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors and their Applications to the
      Arts, by M. E. Chevruel, 1st english edition, 1854, translated from the 1st
      french edition 1839, Reinhold publishing company, a subsidary of
      Chapman-Reinhold, Inc. New York, Amsterdam, London
      p. 62, equations of simultaneous contrast of hue and tone (page)

      Source Book of Proposed Music Notation Reforms, by Gardner Read, Music
      Reference Collection, Number 11, Greenwood Press, New York, Westport
      Connecticut, London, 1987.
      90 proposals for staff reforms, none of which have to do with tuning.

      Johannes Itten, Meine Symbole, meine Mythologien werden die Formen und Farben
      sein, Museum moderner Kunst, Wein Kunsthaus Zürich Museum Folkwang, Essen,
      1988, Herausgegeben von Dieter Bogner und Eva Badura-Triska
      p. 74

      20th Century Microtonal Notation, by Garnder Read, Greenwood Press, New York,
      1990, Contributions to the Study of Music and Dance, No. 18
      over a hundred varieties of notation, and only 1, Erv Wilson’s, use anthing
      other than a 5 line staff. p.144

      The Notation of Western Music, an introduction, by Richard Rastall, St,
      Martin’s Press, New York, 1982, J.M. Dent and Sons, Ltd.
      p. 6 why staff notation has held its sway. pp. 1-7, requirements of
      instruments and voices

      Perceptual Constancy: Why Things Look as They Do, edited by Vincent Walsh and
      Janusz Kulikowski, Cambridge University Press, 1998

      “Color constancy and color vision during infancy: Methodological and
      empirical issues,” by James L. Dannemiller, pp. 229-261
      p. 241 trichromacy by 3 months

      “Physiological substrates of Color Constancy,” by Hidehiko Komatsu, pp.
      p, 358 neurons tuned to the color purple (macaque monkeys) in area V1
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