Document Type



Summer 2022

Academic Department

Fine and Performing Arts

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. E. Douglas Bomberger


Amy Marcy Cheney (1867-1944) showed clear signs of musical prowess before she could even walk. When Cheney reached the age of four, it was discovered that she had absolute pitch as well as synesthesia. Cheney had what is now described as grapheme-color synesthesia; she associated certain colors with pitch classes or keys. Amy Marcy Cheney was a brilliant pianist, and she gave her first public debut at age sixteen. She was married to Henry Harris Aubrey Beach in 1885, and upon his request, Beach began to limit her public performances despite her musical skill. Instead, she began to take up composition under her married name, Mrs. H. H. A. Beach. Beach would later become one of the first major female composers in the United States. This project seeks to examine relationships between Amy Beach’s synesthesia and her compositional practices. The varying moods of Beach’s compositions will be examined through the lens of color psychology.


Scholarship, Creative Arts, and Research Project (SCARP)

Included in

Music Commons



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