Posts Tagged ‘music’

Colour me Blue, Don’t colour me at all

Posted: February 6, 2012 in Old stuff
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I unequivocally reject the notion of blue being the colour of sadness. It seems that this science of giving moods a colour can be off the mark at times. Today, I had the Monday greys. I don’t know who came up with the concept of Monday blues, because this morning was a grey day. The sky was grey, with heavy, mushroomed, black clouds brewing up a storm. Had the sky had been blue, that would have been a sign of a good, sunny day, right?

Anyways, being in a laid-back, go slow mood (we’ve had a long weekend every week in the month of April in South Africa), I decided to let Katie Melua accompany me on my daily drive to my daily grind (that means job for all the non-Capitalists). She is (apparently) a blues singer – once again classification according to colour. Blues music is a genre associated with sadness and heartache. Which got me thinking ‘can music have a colour?’ The answer came to me in less than a minute through Melua’s lyrics in her song,Spider’s web:

“The piano keys are black and white.

But they sound like a million colours in your mind”

She could not have put it any better. She refuses to let her music be coloured or classified. Maybe the executives at the record company call it blues, because they need to be able categorise it into a neat genre to analyse sales trends on their charts and spreadsheets. But to me, music cannot be blue, its really sounds like a million colours in my mind.

Like Katie, I reckon music cannot be coloured as it can evoke more than one emotion to both performer and listener. If I listen to blues, it will not necessarily make me feel sad. Maybe reminescent or nostalgic, maybe even regretful, but not necessarily sad. At times, the so-called blues music can tickle me silly. One of Melua’s other songs “On the road again” and Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel” are two blues songs that not only tickle my ears, but even make me dance. You see, not all blues will make you want to slit your wrists. So I assert my opinion, putting a colour to music or a mood is a futile exercise. Music has the ability to evoke more than one thought or emotion in our minds and hearts – whichever organ you use to listen to it.

So to me the argument of using colour to define a mood or genre is a weak one. So in protest, I refuse to let myself have a blue Monday or even a grey day. I refuse to listen to let my music be coloured. I will paint my music, my day and the easel of my life with whatever colour I please. If that makes the psychologists turn red, maybe they should stop trying to paint everybody with the same paintbrush.

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