“Do-Re-Mi” is used in this project because its the most fundamental set of notes that dates back to 550 BC where it was first created by the Pythagorans
Around the year 550 B.C., the Pythagorans offered mathematical equations for the musical scales, showing that musical notes could be seen as relationships between numbers. A musical scale, for example, could be divided into eight notes, an “octave” scale, which repeats its sequence as the musical notes proceeded higher or lower. To use a basic example, this could be the C-Major scale on the piano, consisting of just the white keys: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. This is also the basic “do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do”.
Around 350 B.C., Aristotle wrote to maintain that the harmony of colors were like the harmony of sounds. This set the stage for a later equating of specific light and sound frequencies, as Aristotle’s works were translated and incorporated into European sciences.
Aristotle, in his On Sense and the Sensible (350 B.C.), also established a correspondence between flavors and colors, as follows (see also Riccò 1999: 29; Jewanski 1999: 84):
At about this same time, Archytas of Tarentus (c. 428 – 350 B.C.) introduced the “chromatic” scale to Greece. This was seen as a compliment to the two main scales: the diatonic (a whole-note or full-tone scale); and the enharmonic (quarter-tones).
In the latter half of the eleventh century, Rudolph of St Trond “sought to introduce a notational system which represented the modes (tropoi) of plainsong – which he mistakenly identified with the ancient Greek modes – by colours; thus the Dorian was to be written in red, the Phrygian in green, the Lydian in yellow and the Mixolydian in purple. This system, which was designed simply for clarity, found little echo even in the manuscripts of Rudolph’s own work” (Gage 1993: 228).
In 1704, Sir Isaac Newton’s treatise Optics was first published, which dealt, among other things, with the parallel between colors of the spectrum and notes of the musical scale. Newton mathematically but quite arbitrarily divided the visible light spectrum into seven colors. He then noted that the mathematical relationships of these seven colors was similar to those of the musical scale, with the following concordances:
The French Jesuit monk Louis Bertrand Castel, the well-known mathematician and physicist, was a firm advocate of there being direct solid relationships between the seven colors and the seven units of the scale, as per Newton’s Optics. Around 1742, Castel proposed the construction of a clavecin oculaire, a light-organ, as a new musical instrument which would simultaneously produce both sound and the “correct” associated color for each note.