Day School: Music and Colour: Where The Senses Meet

Ref: C3744585

This course will appeal to anyone who is interested in understanding more about the many and varied links between music and colour. In addition to exploring the shared terminology of music and art (e.g. 'tone', 'composition', 'rhythm'), the course will consider such diverse topics as synaesthesia (music heard as colour); colour theory; the moods and colours of nature, etc. We will discuss some critically important musical and artistic friendships and collaborations. Turner's 'pictures of nothing', inspired European composers of a later generation (especially Debussy and Liszt), whilst Mozart, Chopin, Bartók and others were all intrigued by number theory. Even the obscure associations of heraldic colours have played a part in shaping musical works. Also, somewhat surprisingly, the freedom of the eighteenth-century English 'picturesque' movement had remarkable parallels in the magnificent keyboard fantasias of Classical Austro-German composers like C.P.E. Bach, Haydn and Beethoven.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Education Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

To explore the relationship between the visual and aural in artistic creation. E.g. we will examine why some composers perceive sound as colour; and seek to explain the surprising structural similarities between a Poussin painting and a Chopin etude.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • describe some of the numerous mutual interactions between music and art, and how these have led to so much shared terminology;
  • explain the way in which the remarkable psychological condition known as synaesthesia (in which any one of the five senses may be experienced in terms of one or more of the other four - e.g. someone might hear a sequence of musical sounds and simultaneously perceive them in terms of colour, shape or texture as well as simply pure sound) has contributed to the creativity of particular painters and musicians;
  • explain the enormous influence of painters such as Turner in unleashing the forces of European musical Romanticism, especially in France.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • At the end of each session, the tutor will make suggestions for further listening.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Day School: Music and Colour: Where The Senses Meet

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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