Seven Colors of Music

Red is Aliveness

Newly created, the entity is unaware,
Existing in a state of unknowing and vulnerability.
The entity knows not itself;
It does not comprehend its surroundings.

It is alive with wonder and curiosity.
In its desire to know its new existence,
In its infinite alertness,
It feels exhilaration and joy,
Pain and disappointment,
As it finds its way in the unknown.


It is at the beginning stage that the experience of life is at its most dramatic. The sense of ‘aliveness’ is at its highest. Your job is to survive and to establish your individual identity. Your challenge is to transform your raw fear into power and strength; to overcome whatever obstacles are in your path. You don't have time for subtlety; you must battle the onslaughts that would send you back. Survival is your focus.

In the U.S. on the 4th of July we use the explosive energy of fireworks to symbolize the separation of colonial America from England and the beginning of a new nation. We also use red energy martial music, such as the Souza marches.

So red is often associated with war and conflict, but we also see it in the context of opportunity---to overcome impediments, to succeed in the face of daunting conditions, to make the unknown known. We also see red simply in the expression of aliveness---dancing to fast rock music for example.

Red music is forceful and stark. It is often, but not always, fast-paced. It always radiates raw power. Most hard rock music has red energy. March music is often red. In the classical world, red energy appears in some of the highly dramatic operas, including those of Wagner, and in tone pieces by Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and others of Russian or other Slavic origin.

Wagner’s Ring cycle reflects all the primeval drama of Norse legend with its rivalries, conflicts in heaven and earth, and survival struggles. Naturally red music plays a prominent part.

Probably the greatest genius of the red genre in modern times was Igor Stravinsky. The Firebird and Rite of Spring are the very personification of primal ritual and passion. The bold and stark quality of Russian folk music finds its way into his works. In addition one gets the feeling that Stravinsky wanted to break with musical tradition in as dramatic a way as possible. The shock value of his primal music achieves that result.

Chakra: Muladhara (base of spine)

Red Examples

BizetCarmen / Overture
Bach Christmas Oratorio / Jauchzet frolochet (red and orange)
Elgar Opus 39 Military Marches
Opus 66 (“Crown of India”)
Handel Messiah / Trumpet Shall Sound
Music for Royal Fireworks
Holst The Planets / Mars
Khachaturian Sabre Dance
Mussorgsky Pictures At An Exhibition / The Great Gate of Kiev
Night On Bald Mountain
Sousa Marches (parts)
Stravinski The Firebird / Infernal Dance
Rite of Spring / Sacrificial Dance, Games of the rival tribes
Schubert Marche Militaire
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture
Nutcracker / Russian Dance (Trepak)
Verdi Il Trovatore / Soldiers’ Chorus, Anvil Chorus
Wagner Ride of the Valkyries
Lohengrin / Overture to Act III (except middle part)
Twilight of the Gods / Siegfried Funeral March (sections); Finale (sections)

Next:  Orange