Famous People with Synesthesia

From Cyborg Anthropology
Jump to: navigation, search


Synesthesia is a neurological condition where stimulation of one sense involuntarily triggers another sensory experience. People with synesthesia may see colors when hearing music, taste words, or experience other cross-sensory perceptions. Several prominent artists, musicians, and authors throughout history are believed to have had synesthesia.


  • Leonard Bernstein - The American composer and conductor associated music with color.
  • Billy Joel - The piano man connects music keys with colors like orange, green and purple.
  • Stevie Wonder - The pop legend's synesthesia helps him visualize music.
  • Pharrell Williams - The hit producer feels colors when he hears music and sounds with flavors.


  • Vladimir Nabokov - The Russian-American author of Lolita had chromesthesia, seeing letters in colors.
  • Arthur Rimbaud - The French poet wrote of "colored vowels."
  • Charles Baudelaire - Another French poet who blended senses like scent and sound in his verses.
  • Duke Ellington - Ellington interpreted notes as colors, influencing his jazz compositions.

Other Notable Examples

  • Marilyn Monroe - The actress reportedly saw music as colors during a traumatic childhood.
  • Nikola Tesla - The inventor of AC electricity may have had highly precise synesthesia involving visualization.
  • Itzhak Perlman - The famous violinist perceives specific violin strings as different colors.

Understanding synesthesia provides insight into creativity and the human mind. Many influential artists with synesthesia used it as an aid or inspiration.