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  • Writer's pictureChristopher McHale

Using color to compose music.

I once had a composition teacher who asked for a score of colors.

We all brought in scores with streaks of colors across the staff lines. Mine began with silver, then into dark blue, then lavender, then bright yellow.

Can you hear it? Pretty cool.

When I’m commissioned to produce a film score I like to talk to the art director, production designer, cinematographer. The color saturation of the story helps me choose the colors of the music. Color is mood, the abstract language of emotion. Music is a more refined expression of emotion, but the emotional roots of color and music are similar.

Next time you find yourself briefing musicians, use colors. It’s a great communication short cut, gets the creative into the right part of the ball park from the git go.


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