music translated into color

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Announcement    All artwork created by Philadelphia artist Melinda Steffy. For more information, visit


Last updated on Dec 12, 2018

All artwork created by Philadelphia artist Melinda Steffy. For more information, visit



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Melinda Steffy

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Melinda Steffy


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About BachProject

Sales 47
On Etsy since 2013

Re-interpreting music as color patterns

The maxim “the score is not the music” suggests that music notation printed on a page is a poor substitute for the sound of the music itself. Printed notes are sterile, a blueprint that allows a musician to produce the right pitches but which itself is not music. If music notation—a visual tool—requires human action and interpretation to convey meaning and become music, in what other way might music be visually conveyed to capture its essence?

For the past five years, I have explored this question, fusing visual art and music into “information paintings.” I have developed varied translation/interpretation systems that match notes with colors and plot rhythms using grids, pie charts and quilt patterns. Music, usually time-based and heard in sequence, becomes spatial, static, seen all at once. Unexpected patterns emerge, revealing inherent complexity that might not otherwise be heard. In the way that live performance has richness that recorded or electronic sound does not — with variations of tone, dynamics and energy — I work with careful, often tedious hand processes. The resulting imperfections capture the feeling that the artwork is music, rather than merely a printed score.

Shop members

  • Melinda Steffy

    Owner, Maker

    Melinda is a Philadelphia-based visual artist, singer and nonprofit arts manager. She's been exploring the music of J.S. Bach through visual patterns since 2012 and making artwork her entire life.

Shop policies

Last updated on August 22, 2019
Thanks for browsing Bach Project! All work has been created by hand by Philadelphia artist Melinda Steffy.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @melindasteffy for more artwork!

Accepted payment methods

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Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns and exchanges
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 30 days of delivery
I don't accept cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
Returns and exchange details
If you need to return or exchange an item, you may do so within 14 days of delivery. Item must be in its original condition. Customer pays for shipping on returns and exchanges. Please contact me to let me know why you are returning/exchanging, when I should expect the item(s) to arrive, and if there's anything I can do to make things better. For returns, I will refund payment after I verify the item is in its original condition.

Custom orders are not returnable or exchangeable.
Payment in full must be made when you place the order. Orders will only be shipped when payment has cleared.

If you have a coupon code, please enter it in the "Coupon Code" box at checkout for the discount to be deducted. Coupon codes are valid for up to one year from the month of issue (unless otherwise specified) and may only be used once per customer. Regular shipping applies. Online orders only. Excludes custom orders. Please only use one sale or coupon code at a time.
All artwork is made and ready to go. If a listing includes a note that the artwork is currently in an exhibition, I will not be able to ship your purchase until the exhibition is over; please refer to the listing for details (if applicable). Otherwise, please allow up to 3 business days for me to get your order out the door,

Items valued at $200 or more will ship with a tracking number and insurance.

Customers are responsible for any duty/customs fees. If you have questions about shipping rates to your country, feel free to contact me prior to placing an order.

In the event that actual shipping & handling costs end up being less than the amount you paid, I will round shipping costs up to the nearest dollar and send a refund for the over-payment.
Additional policies and FAQs
My home and studio are smoke-free and pet-free. If you have any questions about how I make something, send me a message!