Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lite Brite and Chromethesia

How many of you remember your Lite Brite? That large box with a hot light inside, the black construction paper with little letters written on it, those little plastic pegs, turning off the light to see your creation?

I was brought back to my childhood today as Cavett pulled out his gift from his cousin, Anna Grace. It was a modern Lite Brite--dare I say a laptop Lite Brite with updated shiny black paper, still with little letters--V standing for Violet and P for Pink. We had fun. I think I might have enjoyed it as much as he did. I highly recommend finding this classic.

While we are on the subject of colors...

Have you ever thought of music in color? The scientific name is chromesthesia and is when an auditory stimuli evokes a particular visualization of color. I tend to have this on a certain level. Certain keys of music evoke a color to me. When I read music, I think in terms of color. For me it also has to do with how many flats of sharps are in the key signature.
For example...

Key of C=white

G=somewhere between spring green and kelly green



Bb=brighter purple

Dd=deep dark blue, richer than navy




Eb=royal blue

Ab=chocolate brown

F#=bright pink with hints of orange

Not everyone sees the same color for the same key, but it's really cool when you are talking with someone about a piece of music and they see the same color. My favorite was the Wikipeidia entry. "the person afflicted with chromesthesia..." Far from an affliction-- I would say gift or blessing!

Now, I don't have perfect pitch and I have never really tested it out, so when I just hear a piece of music, there might be color there, but I am unsure of whether I stick to the color that I have assigned to a particular key when I read music. Maybe this will turn into a school science experiment one day for one of the boys.


Allison said...

What a great new toy...I still have my old Lite Brite and my son loves to play with it. Ironically, he made one last weekend.

And...I LOVE your new blog design! So cute.

Elaine said...

Ok, so for a second there, I thought you were going to tell us that Lite Brites cause some dreaded disease. I guess I've read too many consumer product safety posts lately! I loved my Lite Brite, though I hadn't thought about it in awhile. I don't think I see colors when I hear music, though I do hear music when I see things sometimes -- does that make me more auditory than visual or just plain weird? It'd be a great science fair project.

Candace Chaney said...

Yay! I thought it would be fun. I have such fond memories of the Lite Brite in the nursery at church growing up.