Color Hearing

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Related to Color Hearing: color vision, Color balance, color taste
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Color Hearing


(also called synopsy), a sensation of certain colors or of other subjective spatial and graphic associations arising during the perception of certain sounds, harmonies, and tonalities; a form of synesthesia.

There are two types of associations involved in color hearing: generally meaningful natural synesthesias, which are based on natural conditioned reflexes, and voluntary, subjective synesthesias, in which chance relationships between vision and hearing become fixed. Many musicians, artists, and writers have been endowed with vivid color hearing, for example, A. N. Scriabin, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, B. V. Asaf’ev, W. Kandinsky, and F. García Lorca. Such associative concepts as brilliant or dull sounds, shrill whistles, and loud colors are also related to color hearing. Interest in color hearing has been greatly stimulated by recent attempts to synthesize music and color.


Galeev, B. M. “Problema sinestezii v iskusstve.” In Iskusstvo svetiashchikhsia zvukov: Sb. statei. Kazan, 1973.
Vanechkina, I. L. “O ‘tsvetnom slukhe’” A. N. Skriabina.” In the collection Materialy Vsesoiuznoi shkoly molodykh uchenykh po probleme “Svet i muzyka” (Tret’ia konferentsiia). Kazan, 1975.
Wellek, A. Musikpsychologie und Musikästhetik. Frankfurt am Main, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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