Colour of Music continued….

Sound and light share the fundamental nature of vibration. The sounds we can hear have a much lower frequency than light that is visible to us, however, there is a range of sound frequencies that have corresponding consonant colours.


Colour of Music explores a specific relationship between sound and colour: a direct relationship between the continuous spectrum of frequencies of electromagnetic energy in the band of visible light and the pitches of sound in a continuous frequency spectrum of sound that are 40 octaves (a factor of 240 = 1,099,511,627,776) below the frequencies of visible light.


The resonant colour of light that is 40 octaves above an F#4 at standard pitch A4=440 has a frequency of 406.81 THz. This colour has a wavelength of 736.93 nm. The equivalent RGB colours that approximate this colour of light are #750000, based on a modified version of Dan Bruton’s colour approximation algorithm. I have developed my own colour palette based on this algorithm.

The frequency of an F#4 at standard pitch A4=440 is 369.99 Hz.

At a temperature of 72°F (22.22°C), the speed of sound is 345.31 m/sec (1132.91 ft/sec). Under these conditions, an F#4 at standard pitch A4=440 has a wavelength of 93.33 cm (36.74 inches).


Sound is based on vibrations of air molecules as a moving compression wave, and light (and hence colour) is based on an electromagnetic wave. While “frequency” is a measure commonly used for both compression and electromagnetic waves, the two types of waves are quite different, therefore, Colour of Music is not an exact science, it is a creative project based on, and inspired by the research and experimentation of Dan Bruton, and countless other thinkers and artists who have explored this field: Sir Issac Newton, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Brian Eno….the list goes on.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *