Treble clef, musical notes and sharp symbol on two horizontal lines on a background divided into purple, yellow and white portions.
Visual music explores the tension between art and music. Artists interpret music figuratively or literally through artistic composition with or without sound. They create their expressions through color, painting, film, light, performance, animation, and computer graphics. Visual music continues to be prominent in contemporary art, mostly applying digital techniques
Visual music spans several centuries in various manifestations. Isaac Newton created the color wheel in 1704 by matching pitches to color, which inspired Lumia projections and chromatic music, where instruments translated notes through colorful lights. In the 20th century, Wassily Kandinsky was a famous painter with synesthesia, a neurological condition where multiple senses occur simultaneously. He created abstract art by associating colors with musical instruments and sounds and expressing this with geometric shapes and lines. Many influential modern and contemporary artists with synesthesia transform the art world through their works.
Synchronism, a 20th century art movement coined by Morgan Russell, analyzed the intersection between color (based on the color wheel) and sound in abstract paintings like composing a symphony with color. Similarly, composers like John Cage and Cornelius Cardew created graphic scores or graphic notation, compositions replacing musical notation with visual art including diagrams, color, and geometric shapes.
A brief history of visual music. (2020, April 7). Farside Studio. https://farsidestudio.com/what-is-visual-music/
Kennedy, S. L. (2007). Painting music: Rhythm and music in art. Sheldon Museum of Art Catalogues and Publications. 56. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/sheldonpubs/56
Mc Donnell, M. (2020). Finding visual music in its twentieth century history [Doctoral thesis abstract, Trinity College Dublin]. Trinity's Access to Research Archive.
Visual music. (2021, March 22). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Visual_music&oldid=1013654868