How can we as harp practitioners use the knowledge we might gain about colors though such refl ections as Mary Bassano’s book? Just like the vibrations from the chakras and their corresponding musical notes are more complex than they appear to be at fi rst glances, so are the colorings of auras around people. As Bassano states, “Your responses to color may differ according to your mood, physical health, andemotional state. Your emotions and thoughts are as varied as are the shades and hues of color”. We are not color therapists nor do we need to see auras around people to play effective therapeutic music. And although we may see auras naturally or we may take training in order to see them, for our own knowledge, we should never judge people by the color of their auras, knowing that the complexity of each person’s aura is caused by a myriad of reasons, most of which we will never know and most of which we should not be privileged to know, as harp practitioners. 

However, as Bassano outlines in her book, there seem to be certain general qualities attributed to each color, and this information can be helpful in our own self-analysis. We can ask ourselves, why am I attracted to blue or orange today? What is my favorite color this month or year? Has it changed over the course of my life? What does that signify for me in my own life? Colors can also be an indication of our own mood or the mood of our patients at any given time. Consequently, asking a patient what their favorite color is, can be helpful in choosing the proper music to play for them on any given day. At times, I have asked a patient the question—“If you could paint your whole room right now and wrap yourself up in a color, what would it be right now?” Perhaps having the person close their eyes and meditate on their favorite color may have a very calming and soothing effect on them, in conjunction with our music. 

In the International Harp Therapy Program, we have a session where we explore color with painting exercises. The fun part comes when we interpret our paintings into song. Here are a few pictures showing an exercise with light and dark (modulating between Ionian and Aeolian) and then a fun exercise creating animals out of squiggles and then creating a story line on the spot with the interaction of two animals talking musically to one-another. Improvisational skills are being taught in a colorful way!

And just like our knowledge of aromatherapy can enhance our interaction with patients on a subtle level if used appropriately, so our knowledge of colors can positively infl uence our choice of appropriate music at times. Always keep in mind that such supplemental information is just that– supplemental and it should never be the basis for superfi cial and erroneous judgments, character-analyses or pre-suppositions. Every time we play therapeutic harp for patients, we embark on a mutually unpredictable journey of discovery, which is free–fl owing, agenda-less and above all, supportive.


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