Music and Colors are spread all over the world. Especially in Indian Classical music, music concerts have their own color. Women and men arrive to listen to music in finery with their jewels and clothing shimmering. The artists sit on a stage decorated with colorful cloths, and they themselves are decorated by shiny shawls in appreciation. The mridang, tabla and veena bear colourfull velvet covers, and the cherry-brown of the sitar gleams. Flowers in pink and red and white and yellow are bestowed as gifts to gods and artists, and the yellow lights dim as the concert begins. It is not only to give a better look and feel, but also to enjoy the colorful sargam. The sargam Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni in itself represents various colors of its own.

The drone, the stable base of any music, Shadj or Sa, has a color of light pink. It is the pale pink of dawn, or of birth, or the table rose. Pink is a softer, less violent red. Pink is the sweet side of red. In some cultures, such as the US, pink is the color of little girls. It represents sugar and spice and everything nice. Both red and pink denote love but while red is hot passion, pink is romantic and charming. It is the color of the lime that artists smear on their betel leaves, which turns their mouths bright red. It is the energy of a furious, spectacular dazzling kurta, and the pale pink of their cheeks when in the humid climate they sing a particularly beautiful, lilting phrase, and the audience blushes pale pink in return.

The next Swar Ri – Rishabh, represents the life. The Color, Green. Abundant in nature, green signifies growth, renewal, health, and environment. On the flip side, green is jealousy or envy (green-eyed monster) and inexperience. Green is a restful color with some of the same calming attributes of blue. Green is the national color of Ireland and is strongly associated with that country. Green also has close associations with Islam. Because of all the green in nature the color is reminiscent of spring. With both a warming and cooling effect, the color green denotes balance, harmony, and stability. Parrot green Rishabh, ri, brings brightness to the concert scene. It is somewhat rare, but seen in a silk shawl thrown all of a sudden onto the shoulder, and in the spring earth. It is a vibrant leaf decorating the doorway, or folded and chewed. It is the parrot that mimics the music, and the fresh phrases that emerge from imagination.

Gandhar Ga represents the color that is cousin to yellow (and orange and brown) and thats is gold. While green may be the color of money (U.S. money, that is) gold is the color of riches and extravagance. The color gold shares many of the attributes of yellow. Because gold is a precious metal, the color gold is associated with wealth and prosperity. While all that glitters is not gold the color gold still suggests grandeur, and perhaps on the downside, the excesses of the rich. No concert would be complete without gold Gandhar, Ga – in the zari of saris and dhotis, in the rings and necklaces worn with pride and the dangling earrings. It is the same gold that shines from their eyes as they discover a new nuance with glee, and the gold of the gods and goddesses adorned by each composer which makes it an important part of the concert.

Madhyam Ma represents the color white. While music in itself is pure and has no boundaries lets talk more on colors and purity. The Color white is considered to be the mixture of all colors which is represented by the Swar Ma. White madhyam, ma, fills the room of the concert, as the dust rises from the bow of the sarangi. It is the clean, crisp kurta and dhotis of the male performers. White is also the color of purity of music and of the rava on the mridang head, the ivory inlaid in the veena and the sitar. White is purity, cleanliness, and innocence. In most Western countries white is the color for brides. In the East, it’s the color for mourning and funerals. White is used to signify cleanliness or purity or softness. Some cultures viewed white as the color of royalty or of dieties. Angels are typically depicted as wearing white. May it be for ending a dispute or spreading the message of love, Music and the Color white go hand in hand.

The next note is Pancham, pa which represents black. Black, is the color of the night sky, and of the faces of gods. It is the shining hair of a goddess, singing as she combs her hair. It is the dark intent eyes of the tabalchi, and the black spot on the tabla, as they dance with the rhythm of the music. It is the deep, moist earth, and the ebony fingerboard of the violin. It is the intense concentration of the artists on their music, and only their music. Considered the negation of color, black is conservative, goes well with almost any color except the very dark. It also has conflicting connotations. It can be serious and conventional. The color black can also be mysterious and sophisticated. In most Western countries black is the color of mourning. Among young people, black is often seen as a color of rebellion. Black is both positive and negative. Usage of the color black is to convey elegance, sophistication, or perhaps a touch of mystery.

Yellow the sunshine is represented by the note Dha(Dhaivat). It is a warm color that, like red, has conflicting symbolism. On the one hand it denotes happiness and joy but on the other hand yellow is the color of cowardice and deceit. For years yellow ribbons were worn as a sign of hope as women waited from their men to come marching home from war. Today, they are still used to welcome home loved ones. Its use for hazard signs creates an association between yellow and danger, although not quite as dangerous as red. If someone is yellow it means they are a coward so yellow can have a negative meaning in some cultures. Yellow makes an appearance with Dhaivat, or Dha. It is the godly color of turmeric, and of the gods that smile down upon the music. It is the sun, shining brightly and listening, and its child, a flame planted in respect. It is the mango and the laddu, offered with sincerity.

The last note of the sargam Ni or Nishad brings together all the colors – a mixed palette of every color, joining together the previous scale and the next. It depicts the rainbow, because no color can be enjoyed in isolation. After all, the word raga comes from the word for color, and there are as many ragas as there are colors in the world! Rainbows are optical and meteorological phenomena that cause a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the Sun shines onto droplets of moisture in the Earth’s atmosphere. They take the form of a multicoloured arc, with red on the outer part of the arch and violet on the inner section of the arch. A rainbow spans a continuous spectrum of colours. Traditionally, however, the sequence of colours is quantised. The most commonly cited and remembered sequence, in English, is Newton‘s sevenfold red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Often abbreviated as “VIBGYOR”.

Music, like color, if categorized in terms of melody, harmony, and rhythm, can be described in relation to other musical styles as differences in color by mapping it to a three dimensional structure based on color space. This method of categorization can be used to describe differences between music within, and between, various musical genres, in a way that enhances what is already intuitively understood by those who love and enjoy music. Color is an integral part of music and they both are inseparable. While Color is soothing eyes, Music is soothing to ears. They both give the pleasure of enjoying the work of an artist. All that we can say is – We live in a Colorful Musical world.

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