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A Mapping Between Musical Notes and Colours

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

The use of colours to represent notes is very popular in the classroom and teaching studio.

  • What colour does your day feel like?

  • What key are your favourite pieces today?

  • Do they match?

I have a particular set of colours I use for keys.

C is red, D is orange, E is yellow, F is green, G is blue, A is purple and B is pink. These colours are used throughout the Triquetrae Music Programmes.

I found this set of major and minor key colours on Facebook, what do you think? Do these colours fit the combined keys of a scale?


Musical Key Colours and Characteristics.

C Major - The key of childhood. Innocently happy and as pure as an angel. It's colour is azure.

A Minor - A gentle, soothing key full of sadness. Looking out the window on a rainy day. It's colour is turquoise.

G Major - Gentle, warm, lyrical, tender, and calm. Friendship, family, and happily ever after. The key of peace. It's colour is green.

E Minor - A mysterious, nocturnal sort of key. Moonlight through the pines on a cool night. It's colour is dark, pine green.

D Major - The key of celebration. It is a happy key full of sunshine and optimism. It's colour is yellow.

B Minor - The key of patience. Calm acceptance of fate without complaint, contemplative and even a little sad. It's color is dark yellow.

A Major - The key of youth and innocent young love. It is a bright and cheery key full of energy. It's colour is orange.

F# Minor - A desperate key. Full of anxiety and worry. Thinking about the future. Its colour is purple.

E Major - A warm, energetic key full of life and strength. Its colour is orange.

C# Minor - Serious, solemn, mystical and contemplative. A moonlit night in October. Its colour is dark orange

B Major - A strong key full of passion. Can express a variety of emotions. It's colour is purple.

G# Minor - A serious, solemn, and sober key. Accepting the bitter truth. Its colour is dark brown.

Gb Major - The key of love. Pink skies, purple clouds, Valentine's Day. Its colour is pink.

D# Minor - A key full of sadness, betrayal, tears of agony, and a capacity for rage. Its colour is light brown.

Db Major - A warm and comforting key, but also very sad and sorrowful. Recovering over a great loss. Its colour is vermilion red.

Bb Minor - The key of the grave. Funereal, sorrowful, and depressing. It's colour is black.

Ab Major - Like Db Major, it is a very sad key, but also very warm. It's colour is crimson red.

F Minor - The key of mystery. A noir film in black and white or a misty city by night. Its colour is maroon.

Eb Major - The key of masculinity. Strong, dependable, and loyal. Its colour is ultramarine blue.

C Minor - An innocently sad key. A grey, cloudy afternoon in November. It's colour is gray.

Bb Major - The key of national pride. A hopeful and optimistic key. It's colour is green.

G Minor - A calm but very sad key. A cold, windy day at the seaside. It's colour is light blue.

F Major - The key of nature and femininity. Calm, sweet and childlike. Its colour is scarlet red.

D Minor - An autumnal key. Gloomy and depressing. A misty morning in October. It's colour is mauve.

What do you think?.

Shared from the group Pianists and Piano Lovers, posted by Adorjan Tomlinson on Facebook,


The following videos and worksheets are from the Triquetrae MusiKIDS programme, but they are relevant to anyone interested in colours and music. Just presented in a child like way.

Colour is an element of art. Pitch is an element of music. Art is visual music and music is melodic art. Each note is represented as a colour.

Orange is between

red and yellow.

D is between C and E.

Download PDF • 513KB

​Purple is between

red and blue.

A/ B is between C and G.

Download PDF • 528KB

Green is between

yellow and blue.

F is between E and G.

Download PDF • 552KB


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Chris Caton-Greasley LLCM(TD) MA (Mus)(Open)

Ethnographic Musicologist, Teacher, Researcher

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