Synesthesia!! The music colours

By Laura Segura and Belen Caiza

Synesthesia is the ability of some people to perceive many ways the same stimulus . For example, a synesthetic colours can hear, touch, taste or see sounds among others. It is believed to be due to a mutation on chromosome X, which would explain why there are more women than men synesthetic . In any case, synesthesia is not a disease but a great skill that has one in every hundred people.

In the art world there have been synesthetic that have based their work on this strange ability. Kandinsky, Baudelaire or Nabokov had this ability and the three most important composers synesthetes were Scriabin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Messiaen.

This capability influenced composers when composing and that his intention was that the listener could perceive sensations equal to theirs. But not equal synesthesia occurs in all people , other people with the ability to see sounds , do not see the same color.

For Scriabin , the colors of the 12 keys are ordered according the circle of fifths ( 5th Scale with separation fair ) .

In this orchestral work, the Russian composer added a piano, a choir and a "Clavier to lumère " . The latter instrument , invented by Scriabin, was a keyboard which each note would produce a beam with corresponding color to own chromatic scale.

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