Vanechkina I.L.

It have been for long time that our Kazan scientific school defended the idea about sanity and significance of synaethesia as intersensorial associations, as system manifestation of non-verbal thinking (B.Galeyev). It is in this context that we emphasize interconditionality of art and synaesthesia. But at the same time we don't exclude possibility of unique deviations of synaesthetical manifestations from norm ( this being inherent, as we know, to any human facilities). So, if it goes about synaesthesia, the unique person was a "Sh", investigated and described in the book " Little book on big memory" by neurophysiologist A.R.Luria. S.Eizenstein,who researched intently phenomenon of synaesthesia as applied to art, revealed the laboratorial incognito "Sh" to be S.Sherishevsky. It is a pity but neither Luria, nor Eisenstein do not mention "Sh's" synaesthetical reactions to music and generally about his attitude to music.

The life of other unique person-"synaethetiste",K.K.Saradgev, was connected with music. His life was described in documentary story "Legend about Moscow bell-ringer" by A.I.Tzvetayeva (Moskva magazine, 1977, N7). His story was once more presented, with changes and additions, in separate book "Master of magic chime", written A.I.Tzvetayeva in cooperation with our unique person's brother, N.K.Saradgev (M., Muzyka, 1986 and 1988). It was M.Gorki who advised A.Tzvetayeva to write the story as far back as 1927. The manuscript of that time book version had been lost due to repressions and was reconstructed by Tzvetayeva half a century later.

Saradgev's uniqueness was the result of his phenomenaly perfect pitch ("hyperstesia of hearing"). His memory was probably phenomenal too. So, he could speak, pronouncing the words back to front. According to his own words, he could, possessing "perfect pitch", to hear alledgedly 112 flats and sharps of each tone, this totalling in 1701 tonal gradations on an octave, as he calculated. Be as it may he heard all overtones of musical tones, Tzvetayeva said. Besides this, Saradgev himself wrote that for him "each thing, each living being of Earth and Universe sounds and features its own specific tone (in terms of tonality. - I.V.); though, one should bear in mind that he perceived also "Tone in capitals", which he interpreted as " not merely specific tone, but as a kind of fiery nucleus of sound" , so called "tonal harmonization"). "Each gem - he went on - has, for example, its individual tonality and has the very colour which corresponds to the given pitch". He provides detailed table of "soundings" of crystals, glass, different metals (gold is for example Fa-Re, cast iron is Sol b-Mi b, etc.). Anastasya Tzvetayeva herself sounded for Saradgev in "Mi sixteen sharps major", and her prominent sister was "Mi seventeen flats minor" for him. Besides this, he "saw" and discerned colours of all these people. So, artist A.P.Vasilyev was "orange Re sharp major".

Composeer V.Deshevov have made up the table of Saradgev's "colour- tonality" correspondances as far back as 1921. Tzvetaeva cites in her book the following version of it (Table).

We shall not waste time to analyze it. Judging to everything, it contains many private, paradoxial features (Do-major is black! And sharp tonalities are paler than flat ones!). One thing is obvious - his minor is always grayer than corresponding major (this relates even to "black" Do-major and already "grey" Do-sharp- major!). Although the principle of tonalities numeration in the table is incomprehensible, it can be seen that their coloration are repeated in tenth. The first ten contains tonalities, which names do not include accidentals. All the rest is probably determined by Saradgev attitudes to symbolizm, numerology and his psychoanalytic impulses (he assigned Mi to all pretty girls!). Let those who is interested in, nanalyze this particular case of "color hearing". It seems that this ability is always unique for all individuals with absolute pitch, because it just fixes and reveals subjective and accidental (for other people) links

More interesting is that for him "each tone has its form, color and number. The tone's form is transparent, as glass. It radiates rays of corresponding color - similar to rainbow. And it baths in its own rays". Judging to all, his abilities of absolute pitch, color-tonality association and extraordinary memory were combined with exclusive eidetism, that allowed him to create the striking simultant images of musical compositions. Here is how he recalled the process of creation of his first symphony: "I fell in a state of composing process. There was darkness around, and in front of me - the light of strong brilliance. Far away there was a huge square of red-orange color, and it was encircled with two broad ribbons: the first of red and the second of black color; the latter was broader than the first, and some light space remained between it and darkness... In this picture I saw the whole symphony, standing before me. At the same time I heard it"... Not only the phenomenon of simultant perception of developing sounding matter strikes us in the above fragment, but also the stability of synestetical correspondances ("color-tonality" in this case). The psychologist A.Bernshtein once had fixed the correspondances of Saradgev, and repeated experiment after many years. The results were precisely the same (as Tzvetaeva recalled it).

A.Tzvetaeva only fixed this wonderful phenomenon and let the other specialists to think it over, though she did not avoid reflections of her own. It's a pity that Saradgev had not become object of intent and purposeful investigation by psychologists and neurophysiologists. One point is obvious - the unique maniestations of "color hearing" are of interest rather for psychology than for art theory and practice (light-music in particular), being rather the fact of private biography, not culture. It is similar to that unique absolute pitch is not necessary and sole determinant of musical talent (otherwise the work of tuner would be counted as summit of music).


Tone male/
Num bers Tones corresponding to Numbers and Colors Colors
Optimism major Pessimism minor Major Minor
1 Do La Black Black with tints of greyish
M 2 Sol Mi Dark blue Blue; dark greyish
F 3 Mi Do Pinkis Pinkish violet violet with tints of greyish
M 4 Sol Mi Silver-white Silver-white with tints of greyish
F 5 Mi Do Bright blue Bright blue with tints of greyish
M 6 Re Si Dark claret Dark claret with tints of greyish
M 7 Si Sol Bright violet Bright violet with tints of greyish
F 8 Re Si Dark red/orange Darkre d/orange with tints
F 9 Fa Re Bright yellow Bright yellow with tints of greyish
F 10 La Fa # Bright green Bright green with tints of greyish
M 11 Do # La # Grey Grey
M 12 Sol # Mi # Light blue Light blue with tints of greyish
F 13 La # Fa x Pale green Pale green with tints of greyish
M 14 Si b Sol Bright red Bright red with tints of greyish
F 15 Mi # Do x Pale blue Pale blue with tints of greyish
M 16 Do b La b Dark crimson Dark crimson with tints of greyish
M 17 Si # Sol x Light violet Light violet with tints of greyish
M 18 Re # Si # Orange Orange with tints of greyish
F 19 Fa # Re # Pale yellow Pale yellow with tints of greyish
F 20 La b Fa Dark brown Dark brown with tints of greyish
M 21 Fa b Re b Dark olive Dark olive with tints of greyish