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DigiMark

Seeing Music

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Music is for listening.

I know, after reading that, you're all like "what an insightful observation Digi", but hear me out.

I was listening to music the other day with my eyes closed. It was a Bach CD. I wasn't really thinking about it, but as I listened, the pieces would create images within my head. I would see the organist playing, or the orchestra. Even as I drifted toward sleep, I had more abstract visions with the various parts taking on shapes and colors.

I didn't end up sleeping (it was the middle of the day) but woke myself up, and took to thinking. It was then that I realized that even though music, in itself, is simply something to be heard I was creating images that could be seen to accompany the music.

Then I tried something. I attempted to listen without having an image in my head, just simply listening. I found it impossible. Whether it was musical notes, or a person that the piece reminded me of, or an image of the soloist, etc, etc, I couldn't do it.

Is it posiible to simply listen without an image, or must the other senses take part in music as well?

Also, what do all of you see when you listen to music??

DM

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Digi,

I think that there will always be images floating through your mind when you hear music, whether it be related to the music or not. Alot of the time, when I listen to music I can see people dancing to it or I can see the whole orchestra playing in unison. JN

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When I listen to music, fiddle music of course, I see the hills and mountains where the tunes came from, I see all those old timers playing on their porches, I see people dancing, Civil War soldiers sitting around in camp, My Grandma and Grandpa. I tend to see different things each time I listen to the tunes, and it's great!! I never get tired of listening to them, even the same ones over, and over, and over, and...well you get the idea. Music is more than sound, it's more than sight, the right kind of music can be a totally sensory experience, It can make you feel things from childhood, remind you of certain smells, or even tastes. I think that's why music moves so many people, it is universal, even if musical styles are not.

Pole

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When I listen to music, or play music, or even read music, I see colors that go with the sound. Is that wierd? Its kind of hard to explain, but the colors aren't in any particular shape, but they're always flowing with the music. I find that the kind of music I like best makes me see dark, rich, bold colors (which are my favorite colors).

I always thought it was really wierd, but its cool, too. I don't need drugs, just give me a CD! cool.giflaugh.gif

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Usually if I am listening to music that I love, I see myself performing it, whether it be the violin or piano, or singing Puccini or some rock song, complete with the appropriate audience and atmosphere smile.gif

I lived in an expansive fantasy world when I was growing up and I guess I still do at times. Music brings me away from my current life and takes me to a place in my imagination where I can be completely free and wild.

August

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Actually, I never thought about this before, so I guess I either haven't been "seeing music" or I have been but wasn't aware of what I was thinking. But when I do listen to music, whether it be classical or not, instead of seeing I'm more the kind of person to feel the music. Kind of hard to explain but you all probably know what I mean.

After pondering over your question today, I started listening to music while digging into my mind instead of just enjoying it like I usually do. (Why aren't I seeing things like everyone else?) I discovered that when I listened to music with lyrics, I was picturing what the singers were singing, and when I listened to classical I did indeed crazy.gif picture a vague image of a symphony or orchestra playing on a stage.

So, maybe I do take drugs like the rest of you guys - smile.gif just kidding - actually, I was wondering if it might be the rosin dust you may breathe in whenever you practice...

[This message has been edited by 454 (edited 08-12-2000).]

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Hi all!

I too see colors when hearing music and they are usually in sweeping movements with the music. I also see colors in people, sometimes singular colors or combinations.

My background is as a painter (fine art). Since I'm not able to do that lately, I turned to music and am finding great parallels with painting and the violin, similar thoughts going through my head.

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Originally posted by 454:

But when I do listen to music, whether it be classical or not, instead of seeing I'm more the kind of person to feel the music. Kind of hard to explain but you all probably know what I mean.

glad you said that, I agree smile.gif

[This message has been edited by River (edited 08-13-2000).]

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I learned about this while doing my English Literature degree; it is called "synaesthesia" (sin-ess-thee-zee-a) and it's exactly what you've described: associating colours etc. with other stimuli like sounds. Also associating colours, sounds, or positions in space with things like numbers, words, days of the week or months of the year. What colour is 5 for you? This is highly individual; you might insist that 5 is blue where another person says it's definitely red. Any other examples anyone can give?

(5 is colourless, by the way, but 2, 3 and 4 are red, yellow and green.) laugh.gif

Thanks

Laurel

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Dear Hkv,

That was very interesting.

I'm just going to pretend I didn't read that image of Bach..don't want to pollute my mind and ruin my admiration towards one of my favorites!

AND I don't remember the thread or even the person who said this, but I STILL cannot rid the wretched image of a violin playing hula girl dashboard car accessory..you know who you are.

Just a little trivia:

In art school, we described a painting that we felt to be overly "busy" and "meaningless"

as "visual noise".

[This message has been edited by River (edited 08-13-2000).]

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I see the era in which composers played in.

When I play Bach, I think of this boisterous guy with a white Afro bouncing around and acting as a DJ.

When I play Mozart, I think of this drunk guy with a sense of humor which is calculated to mock the hoity-toity.

When I play Paganini, I think of this shabbily dressed and spooky looking guy who has a soft tender side that few knew about.

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