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Friday, March 29, 2013

Sounds, Colors, Mixed Senses and the Background of this Blog

Every glasses-wearer knows that one hears better WITH than without the glasses. Funny, no? Glasses are worn for better vision, and ears transmit sound, right? Well, not exactly.   (I have worn glasses since about age 7, which is about the age that I started studying piano, then violin.) 

Actually, much of hearing is lip-reading. And when the source of the sound can't be seen by the listener, one needs to figure out another way of decoding. An example of  using multiple senses......

I have what is called synesthesia, from the ancient Greek σύν (syn), "together," and αἴσθησις (aisthēsis), "sensation," is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. (Wikipedia)

Another combination that I have always had (or think so at least) is color synesthesia, or chromesthesia. For as long as I can remember, the tones of the C major scale have been primary colors to me (C is royal blue)  while the flats are represented by mixed colors (E-flat will forever be chartreuse for me.) Sharps are represented by strong combined colors, such as magenta, purple etc.

Is is hereditary? Hard to tell. My parents sang the Ode to Joy of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony  in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus when my mom was pregnant with me;  I LOVE and play classical music. But I  had epileptic-like seizures when I was 11 years old, and these are known to play havoc with neural activity too.

Synesthesia is not listed as a medical condition by DSM classification because it doesn't interfere with daily functioning. In my case, it enhances it. In fact, the reason I chose this background for the the blog is that it really combines the name of the blog (Margie's Melodies) with changing colors.

Here is a piece of music  presented visually (this is what I mean). This is how I have always thought about music. (I think Beethoven was a synesthete too.)

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