Music through Colour – Artificial Synesthesia

Hack Details: Synesthesia is a neurological condition where by the senses are somewhat mixed up and stimulating one sense results in an automatic stimulation of another sense. One example of this is the ability to see colours when listening to music. Some famous musicians have claimed to possess this ability such as Stevie Wonder, Mozart and Jimi Hendrix. I want to recreate this condition artificially using a piano and Matlab. I aim to assign each musical note or a selection of notes with a specific colour and create a program that will display these colours as the keys are pressed on a piano. This could be used to help people with disabilities to learn a new instrument through a more interactive environment using colour.
What you need to make it happen? I can supply the piano and tuner as well as the software to write the code but i need designers, artists and musicians to assist with the concept development, i.e. what colours should go with what note etc. Also I may need some hardware help.
Your name: Alan Armstrong

3 comments on “Music through Colour – Artificial Synesthesia
  1. Ailish says:

    Hello, I’m very interested in neurological conditions…….from a personal point of view! I guess you know that the 7 major notes are each associated with a colour based on our chakras, google anything on chakras and you’ll easily find where each note and colour is associated with a specific chakra. I use this quite alot in healing. I’m very interested in being involved in your project but am a beginner in hacking. Let me know if you can use a complete novice! Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Alan Armstrong says:

      Hey Ailish,

      thanks for the comment I appreciate any help. Honestly I have no musical background at all so I didn’t know that the 7 main notes were based on our chakras.

      I’ll look into it and if you’re around on they day I would definitely need your help!



  2. Suzanne Mahon says:

    Alan, I just discovered your post while searching for info on synesthesia. Did you make it happen in the end?I realise it was almost a year ago now…

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