Branch Event: Music and Colour: Where the Senses Meet

Ref: C3747160

This course should appeal to anyone who is interested in knowing 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', etc., it will consider such diverse topics as synaesthesia (music heard as colour); the golden mean; colour theory; moods and colours of nature, etc. Some critically important musical and artistic friendships and collaborations will also be covered. Turner's 'pictures of nothing' inspired European composers of a later generation (especially Debussy and Liszt). 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.

Course aim

To explore what happens when hearing and seeing merge in artistic creation. For instance: Why do some composers perceive chords as colours? Or, how can we explain the surprising structural similarities between a Poussin painting and a Chopin etude?

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

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

  • Appreciate some of the numerous mutual interactions between music and art, and how these have led to so much shared terminology
  • Recognise that the creativity of some painters and musicians is profoundly affected by 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)
  • Understand the enormous influence of painters such as Turner in unleashing the forces of European musical Romanticism, especially in France

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?


Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Branch Event: Music and Colour: Where the Senses Meet


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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