Musical synesthesias

There are many types of synesthesia relating to music. The links lead to the pages on this site about each specific type (or subtype).

Synesthesias with a musical inducer and a VISUAL concurrent:


Tone-colour (musical note-colour)


Key signature-colour

Musical mode-colour

Timbre-colour (musical instruments)

Timbre-shape (timbre-colour and timbre-shape often occur together)

Song-colour and musical genre-colour

Voice-colour/shape (for singing voices)

Spatial sequence with musical concepts as a trigger (songs, genres or parts of songs, for example, have a consistent spatial position in your mind)

Images seen in creative/musical trance (a phenomenon that could perhaps be considered a type of musical synesthesia)

Synesthesias with a musical inducer and NON-VISUAL concurrents:


Sound-texture (in response to music)

Musical note-texture

Personification of musical sequences (tones, chords, keys, timbre, melody)

Auditory-olfactory (timbre-smell, tone-smell or musical note-smell, chord-smell, key signature-smell, song-smell, musical genre-smell)

Voice-smell (for voices heard singing; mentioned on the page on auditory-olfactory synesthesia)

Auditory-gustatory (includes timbre-taste, tone or musical note-taste, chord-taste, key signature-taste, song-taste, musical genre-taste)


Song/musical genre-taste

Voice-taste (for voices heard singing)


Auditory-motor (when sounds trigger involuntary movements; related to auditory-tactile synesthesia)

Synesthesias with DIFFERENT INDUCERS and AUDITORY CONCURRENTS (musical notes, tones or frequencies)

Colour-musical notes

Taste-musical notes (gustatory-auditory synesthesia)

Smell-musical notes (olfactory-auditory synesthesia)

Pain-musical notes (pain-sound synesthesia)


Other phenomena and types of synesthesia related to music in some way:

Dance steps-colour (see either kinetics-colour or coloured sequence synesthesia)

Music triggering figurative images, landscapes or “music videos” (not considered a type of synesthesia although it can accompany it)

This page last updated: 22 April 2023


  1. You should put musical-space

    1. Hi! That isn’t considered a type of synesthesia in its own right, even though spatial perceptions do accompany the concurrents of the music-to-visual types of synesthesias: as well as colour and/or shape, the photisms have position and often movement and direction (except for the type where music just produces the general impression of a colour in your mind).

      In theory somebody could have a type of synesthesia where different types of music have different directions but no other visual photisms at all, but I don’t think I’ve read of anybody who’s reported this.

      If musical concepts such as particular songs, genres or parts of songs have a consistent spatial position in your mind, that would fit into the “Spatial sequences of concepts” category, even though it isn’t exclusively musical, so I’ve included that.

      Thank you!