When You Hear a Song, Do You See a Color?

The venerable Encyclopedia Brittanica describes synesthesia as “a neuropsychological trait in which the stimulation of one sense causes the automatic experience of another sense.” The encyclopedia describes synesthesia as a genetically linked trait estimated to affect from two to five percent of the general population.

In other words, if you see a color when you hear a song, you might have synesthesia.

Many people, including myself, believe that Prince had the gift of synesthesia. (Yes, I consider synesthesia a gift). Learning about synesthesia connected a lot of dots for me. Synesthesia doesn’t only involve sounds and colors. It can mean that letters or numbers are linked to colors too. For example, my name starts with “L.” My favorite color has been yellow since I was a little girl. Now I recognize that the letter “L” is yellow. It makes tons of sense that yellow became my favorite color.

During my Year of Living Like a Prince, I am actively working to develop my synesthesia skills, specifically, color hearing, in which musical notes and sounds are connected to color visualization. Color hearing is relatively frequent, according to Encyclopedia Brittanica. A lot of us can do this and here’s the thing: You can’t do it wrong.

Since I’m a yellow lover, let’s take Prince’s yellow period as an example. If you’re wondering, what the heck is Prince’s yellow period, give yourself a moment. What album feels the most yellow to you?

For me, it’s Diamonds and Pearls, closely followed by the Love Symbol album, which is where Prince began to transition from yellow to gold. Of course, the yellow/gold period culminated in The Gold Experience.

Isn’t this fun? Synesthesia is exhilarating once you learn to tell your mind to TAKE A BACK SEAT and let ideas come into your field without interfering.

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