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People have been expressing emotion with different art forms throughout history. Emotion has always been something that is hard for us to explain with words, so we have turned to painting, drawing, dancing, and music to add a visual or auditory explanation to what we feel. Depending on the chords or colors that are used, music and art can evoke specific emotions. There are many similarities between art and music, especially in the terms used to describe it. Both artists and musicians refer to their work as “compositions” and “pieces.” The musical term “timbre” means tone color and refers to the color provided by different instrument voices that make up an orchestration. Both art and music use motifs, themes, texture, and harmony. A common way that composers and directors will describe how they want a band to sound is by using the world “color.” Then the question becomes, “what color?” Of course, it is just an expression and a word to describe tone quality, but some artists have taken what they hear musically and they have translated it into an expression of color and shapes.


South Dakota State University


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