Phase 2: Colour and Sound Research

Phase 2 has began and for this part of the project I will be researching into colour, emotions and the brain in more depth.


Adam’s Card Methodology



Photo of some of the cards given to us to help focus are researching.


Using Adam’s research card methodology to help me broaden out my research into areas I hadn’t consider, I selected the music card and so I will try to research into music that links with colour and emotions.


Every Song has a colour and emotion 

Initial research into colour, emotions and music.

Refer to Research Folder

What did I learn?
  • Definitely a link between colour, emotions and music – This is universal
  • Chromathesis – people who see colour when listening to music
  • Chromathesis – Had similar associations between olour, emotion and music but only for the happy emotions but not the negatives – Chromathesis have different connections of colour, emotions and music for negative emotions – Interesting – Why is this?


  • I think the idea of chromathesia is interesting as it is not something I experience myself or have heard about before, but it almost feels like some sort of super power that the brain can translate music into colour. It makes me question whether it can also be done the other way around by changing imagery of colour to music. Which could lead to a very unique game mechanic. For this reason I want to research more into it to discover exactly what someone with chromathesia would see, to increase my understanding of it.



Visualising Music through Colour – Chromasthesis

This video is a clip from the film The Soloist and visualises what a chromasthesis would see.

  • The video reminds me of music visualisers due to its abstract form moving and changing colour to the beat of the music. I suppose I’m a little disappointed as the concept sounds so interesting and magical, whereas the actual visualisation of it has been explored and used for decades, which brings nothing new and exciting to the table. However the clip does make me realise that I am more interested in the mechanic side of changing music to colour rather than the actual outcome, which is useful to know for future reference, if I do indeed explore this further.


Colour, Music and Emotion – Google Handout Talk

Having learnt that there is a clear connection between colour, emotions and music I watched a Google handout lecture on this topic, so I could understand the reasoning behind the connection on a deeper scientific level.



Notes within my sketchbook outlining what I learnt

Refer to Sketchbook 1

Key Points
  • People tend to like colours that are the same as objects they like – associate colour and the emotion to it due to their emotional feelings about objects of the same colour.
  • Faster songs are more saturated and lighter in tone that slower songs.
  • Major songs are also more saturated and lighter than minor songs
  • First you listen – Then form an emotion – Then form a colour
  • Map colour and emotions together in 3D space

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I definitely found the research fascinating because it clearly shows that there is a deep connection between colour, emotions and music, due to similar music having similar colours and thus emotions associated with them. It almost feels like music has its own colour language.

However I’m not exactly sure how or where to take this forward as I have gained the knowledge behind the connection but didn’t find many links to its application or use.

I could research more heavily into chromasthesia but having realised it is just like a music visualiser I don’t know what other information of interest I will gain, because its not an original research area and I don’t believe it will be useful for producing creative game ideas. Therefore I wouldn’t want to waste my time looking more heavily into it.

But this leaves me with a dilemma of where to go now. To solve this I feel discussing my project with others may help give me ideas or pieces of research for me to look into which will progress my project on and so I will plan to do this.