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Thread: Music, Color and the Mystical Number 12

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  1. #1
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    Music, Color and the Mystical Number 12

    I debated posting this as an addition to the "Thoughts on Color" thread, but since this is going a bit more abstract with things, I thought I'd give it a solo posting.

    Everyone is familiar with the traditional 12 position color wheel, but not everyone is familiar with the the school of thought that suggests that 12 positions on a wheel is a mystical mental framework that allows us to equate things like musical notes, the hours of the day, color and the months of the year. (More on this Here)

    I cannot speak to the truth of any of the supposed mystical qualities of the number 12, but I do find it fascinating that the 12 colors on the wheel can be correlated to the 12 musical notes. I do feel musical sounds and colors are both basically vibrations within a spectrum of total light or sound. I've spent a lot of time in the past 3 years trying to represent music through painting. Here are a few observations I've put together along the way regarding the music/color relationship.
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    Last edited by alkratzer; 02-27-2010 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Minor correction

  2. #2
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    Part 2

    Continuing
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  4. #4
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    So how have I used this in actual paintings? I've experimented with taking the primary colors of a favorite chord in a song and using them as the basis for the color scheme of a painting.

    For example, the Mile Davis song "Blue in Green" has an E7 #9 chord in it that I love because an unusual melody note is played against it.

    Using the above method you would get the following
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  5. #5
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    last piece

    I have also made a few paintings of keyboards that more directly connects the colors of the spectrum with the musical notes
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  6. #6
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    Superb idea, and now how I wish I knew how to identify chords and perhaps read music!
    I use music a lot for inspiration, but I can only go by ear - it would be so nice to be able to be more specific

  7. #7
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    I went to your blog and "Delta Blues" is such a great painting -- I feel it's strongly connected to the music and to the feelings someone experiment when playing (I'm a musician myself too). Thanks for sharing it!

    The content of the post is very very interesting -- I have a saxophonist friend who would go crazy about such topics

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