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Bach to the blues

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Abstract

Schloss, Lawler and Palmer (2008) studied the relation between colors and music. We repeated this experiment with forty-nine Mexican participants. The experimental stimuli were thirty-seven colors and eighteen brief samples of classical orchestral music that varied in mode and tempo. Music that was faster and in a major key was associated with brighter, more saturated, warmer colors and was judged to be happier and stronger, whereas music that was slower and in a minor key was associated with darker, less saturated, cooler colors and judged to be sadder, weaker and calmer. We observed high correlations between the emotional associations of music and the emotional associations of the colors, being highest for happy / sad (r = .97) and lowest for angry / calm (r =.68). These results are very similar to the pattern found in North America.

References

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