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This page is a collection of Notes that will become an article very soon.

The circle of fifths, superimposed over the color wheel. Harmonic relationships between color and pitch are geometrically identical. Graphic layout by Michael Garfield.
Phototransduction, neurobiology of color detection
Colors that go together best are trine or sextile each other, Complementary colors are opposite each other Source
visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum
Source

Color and Sound as Waves

As waves, both light and sound are periodic disturbances of a medium; sound is a mechanical wave that passes through the particles of a substance, and light is an electromagnetic wave that passes through fields. Whereas most scientists regard light as essentially merely “wave-like” in nature due to its paradoxical double life as a particle, sound is a wave without particulate form, one that rolls through substances without permanently displacing their parts.

Chladni figures are a means of visualizing sounds through resonance.

Chladni figures undergo phase changes with increasing pitch, a pattern emerges at a certain pitch, then during the transition to the next pitch there is a chaotic turbulence.

Philosopher Ken Wilber saw a parallel with states of consciousness in 2006. He identified a number of states that are binary, such as one cannot be both drunk and sober at the same time. As a human transitions between such binary states, there is a chaotic, turbulent period where one exhibits qualities of each state. Another example is the hypnagogic state - halfway between waking and dreaming.

Allan Combs has proposed a related model of consciousness in which increasingly sophisticated stages of development are represented by multimodal strange attractors, like the Lorenz attractor, in which elaborate chaotic basins are connected by spindles of probability – the mathematical transliteration of Wilber’s switch points (Combs, 2002).

Chakras and Sound

The Chakras are an ancient conception of the energies of our bodies. They correspond to points where major nerves enter the spinal column. They are supposed to each respond to a specific Sanskrit vowel, and release the appropriate energy or state of consciousness. These syllables are arranged according to the frequency of their overtones, starting with “ah” at the root of the spine and proceeding to “ng” at the crown. Curiously, Jenny noticed that when he created Chladni figures from these tones, the resultant patterns contained the written letters for each respective syllable (2001). He hypothesized that written Sanskrit could have been born from the patterns left in sand on the ground or the head of a drum during ritualized chanting – in other words, it may be that Sanskrit’s legacy as a sacred language may be related to its purity, its origin in direct light/sound relationships, unlike extant languages for which the spoken word is arbitrarily attached to a written signifier.

Chakras and Color

Each node in the column of chakras is associated with a specific color, arranged into the visible spectrum (red to violet) long before Western science had decoded the significance of electromagnetism and wavelength. David Lewis-Williams and Jason Godesky, presumably unaware of this, have proposed a branching spectrum of states, bifurcating at various points into paths of increasing and decreasing awareness – an uncanny, independently derived, linear version of Combs’ model (Godesky, 2006).

The wavelength of each band of color in the visible spectrum (measured in nanometers, nm) can be halved repeatedly until the rate of its vibration falls within the octaves of the audible spectrum (measured in Hertz, Hz), giving a table of musical notes that correspond to each color (see Figure 2). Contemporary standard tuning, for which A = 440 Hz, is actually about a half-step above where it has been for most of history. By restoring the original standard pitch (or “Renaissance tuning”) at around A = 415 Hz, the color spectrum aligns such that A corresponds to the color red (echoing the chakra system’s red root chakra and the syllable “ah”), and the relatively narrow bandwidths of orange and blue lines up with B and E, which lack the additional semi-tone of the other lettered notes (Perry, n.d.).

Psychoacoustics

Psychoacoustics, is the study of the relationship between sound waves and experience. Similar to associations between color and mood

Color and sound twenty-two are separated by 22 octaves and sensed by different organs (eyes or ears). While the ideas of color resonances were popular in medieval philosophy but still a fringe area in modern times, psychoacoustics has been widely embraced by academia, especially in the last few decades.

A lot of research has been done to try to adjust moods with music or sounds such as neuro-entrainment using a binaural beat generator – a device that sends a stereo signal to the listener from which each ear receives a “carrier” tone slightly offset from that received by the other ear. According to Bill Harris, the founder of Centerpointe Institute and a vanguard researcher in neuro-entrainment, the interval between the tones creates a standing wave that synchronizes brain activity at that frequency; for example, a binaural beat with carrier tones of 104 Hz and 108 Hz will produce synchronized neural activity at 4 Hz or a theta brain wave.

The binaural beat alters the neurophysiological state, and thus, their state of consciousness. This is very similar to conventional ritual methods such as fasting, dancing, drumming, meditation, and/or the ingestion of psychedelic chemicals (although, let it be noted, these are all, ultimately, wave-based technologies).

The intensity of the neuro-entrainment is adjusted by the carrier frequency - the lower the carrier wave frequency, the deeper and more vivid the experience of that state (Harris & Wilber).

  • UC Berkeley did a study using a 37-color palette
    • people paired faster-paced music in a major key with lighter, more vivid, yellow colors
    • slower-paced music in a minor key is more likely to be teamed up with darker, grayer, bluer colors.
    • Bright, vivid, warm colors were matched with upbeat music
    • dark, dull, cool colors to match the more tearful or somber pieces.
    • Upbeat music in major keys was consistently paired with happy-looking faces
    • subdued music in minor keys was paired with sad-looking faces.

Magnetic forces and the brain

See Improve your Mood for information linking Magnetic forces, another kind of waves, and the brain.

Color and Sound in Language

The color or pattern of someone’s t-shirt can be “loud,” just as the tone of an instrument can be “bright” or “dark;” a scrambled television image can be “noisy,” just as music can move through expressive “shades” (including “blue” and “black”); a group of colors can have “harmony,” and a sonata can be “radiant.” The list goes on; and what more, each of these terms also applies to a state of mind – usually one engendered by a sight or sound that is similarly described. But that is hardly the end of this symmetrical affair.

Wavelength Equivalences

The bulk of the information on this page is from Nick Anthony Fiorenza . These are amazing diagrams.

Color and Musical Notes

Nick Anthony Fiorenza

This chart correlates the conventional musical scale to colors. The frequency of sound must be raised 40 octaves to match the frequency of colors in light frequencies

The Color of Sound

This is the closest color to a sound. See more detail

Musical Note Color Audio Hz
G Red 392
A Orange 440
B Yellow Green - Lime Green 494
C Green 523
D Blue 587
E Violet 659
F Deep Purple (ultra violet) 698
Source: Nick Anthony Fiorenza

  • Formula: Wavelength (A) = frequency (hz)/ Speed of Light
    • A= Speed of light in Angstroms
    • hz = Frequency of sound in Hertz. 60 hertz is 60 waves per second
    • Speed of light on Earth's Surface 299,727,738 meters per second
    • Color hz is 40 Octaves below the frequency of light
    • Brain wave hz is 46 octaves below Frequency of light

Sound and Light Frequencies

A table of conversions of sound and light from The Sounds of Colour. These numbers need to be compared with calculations of Fiorenza, we are just collecting data a this point and will do analysis later.
A graph of the doubling of octaves
If you double the frequency of a note, you will have the same note up one octave. "Starting from the note A at 440Hz, doubling the frequency six times, you hear five different As until the sound becomes ultrasonic and inaudible. Another 36 octaves up and the frequency is the same as that of visible light, in our case from A440 you get a frequency of 484THz, which is a wavelength of 619nm, which is red." Memtropy

"The frequency spectrum of visible light is a bit less than one octave. This can actually be seen, in that on one end of the spectrum is red and the other end is moving back from blue to red, giving violet."

"Light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, higher in frequency than radio waves, but below X-rays. Wavelengths we can see are between approximately 380nm and 780nm. Curiously, the spectrum of visible light, between ultraviolet and infrared, is almost exactly an octave, with the visible edge of ultraviolet having double the frequency (and half the wavelength) of the visible edge of infrared."

Corresponding light-spectrum harmonics were computed from equal temperament musical pitches, using a reference of A440 and a half-step frequency ratio of 21/12. Given the speed of light, C = 299792458 meters/second, and λ=C/F, wavelengths were computed for each frequency. The 780.75nm “F” falls outside of the 380-780nm range but I added it for interest. Note that exactly 12 pitches fit within the range. The light spectrum “C” is 41 octaves above middle-C Eric Wagner
F 349.228231 Hz 383.980501 THz 780.749171 nm
F# 369.994423 Hz 406.813170 THz 736.929087 nm
G 391.995436 Hz 431.003540 THz 695.568436 nm
G# 415.304698 Hz 456.632344 THz 656.529179 nm
A 440.000000 Hz 483.785116 THz 619.681028 nm
Bflat 466.163762 Hz 512.552476 THz 584.901004 nm
B 493.883301 Hz 543.030432 THz 552.073033 nm
C 523.251131 Hz 575.320702 THz 521.087555 nm
C# 554.365262 Hz 609.531052 THz 491.841158 nm
D 587.329536 Hz 645.775654 THz 464.236235 nm
Eflat 622.253967 Hz 684.175473 THz 438.180657 nm
E 659.255114 Hz 724.858663 THz 413.587466 nm
F 698.456463 Hz 767.961002 THz 390.374586 nm

  • FM radio: E32-G32
  • Microwave oven, WLAN (2.45GHz): D27

Table: Color, and Sound Light

Source: Nick Anthony Fiorenza

  • Formula: Wavelength (A) = frequency (hz)/ Speed of Light
    • A= Speed of light in Angstroms
    • hz = Frequency of sound in Hertz. 60 hertz is 60 waves per second
    • Speed of light on Earth's Surface 299,727,738 meters per second

Pure Color Light wavelength in Angstroms Audio Hz Closest Note Audio hz of Note
Pure Red 6870 397 G 392
Pure Orange 6329 440 A 431
Pure Yellow 5875 464 -- --
Lime Green 5482 497 B 493
Pure Green 5132 531 C 523
Turquoise 4824 565 -- --
Pure Blue 4560 598 D 587
Indigo 4311 632 -- --
Violet 4099 665 E 659
Near Ultra Violet @3800 A -- F 698

Light Sound and Alpha Brain Waves

Nick Anthony Fiorenza

Brainwaves and audio frequencies are measured in frequency, were as light is measured by its wavelength (the inverse of frequency). The higher a frequency the shorter its wavelength. The unit of measure commonly used for light is the Angstrom (Å). One Angstrom = 10 to the minus 10th meter (a very short wavelength). The visible octave of light extends from 7000 Å (red) to 4000 Å (violet)--red having a longer wavelength than violet.

  • The mid-audio octave is six octaves up from the alpha brain wave octave, and the visible octave of light (color) is 40 octaves up from the mid-audio octave.

Brain Waves

See also: Brain Waves

  • Formula: Wavelength (A) = frequency (hz)/ Speed of Light
    • A= Speed of light in Angstroms
    • hz = Frequency of sound in Hertz. 60 hertz is 60 waves per second
    • Speed of light on Earth's Surface 299,727,738 meters per second
    • Color hz is 40 Octaves below the frequency of light
    • Brain wave hz is 46 octaves below Frequency of light

Pure Color Light wavelength in Angstroms Audio Hz Closest Note Audio hz of Note Brain Wave Name Brain Wave Name hz
Pure Red 6870 397 G 392 Theta 6.20
Pure Orange 6329 440 A 431 Theta 6.73
Pure Yellow 5875 464 -- -- Theta 7.25
Lime Green 5482 497 B 493 Theta 7.77
Pure Green 5132 531 C 523 Alpha 8.3
Turquoise 4824 565 -- -- Alpha 8.83
Pure Blue 4560 598 D 587 Alpha 9.34
Indigo 4311 632 -- -- Alpha 9.88
Violet 4099 665 E 659 Alpha 10.39
Near Ultra Violet @3800 A -- F 698 Alpha @ 10.7

Media


Related pages:


-- Mon Mar 23 00:24:33 2009:

Standing wave in stationary medium. The red dots represent the wave nodes.
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A standing wave (black) depicted as the sum of two propagating waves traveling in opposite directions (red and blue).
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Last edited May 18, 2013 (history)
 
   

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