Music as a Carbon Language

A Mathematical Analogy and its Interpretation in Biomusicology

Carbon dynamics influence human physiology, culture and social patterns. Along centuries, linguists had been sufficiently discussed how breathing and cardiovascular performance set preconditions for word segmentation, phrasing, repetition, iteration, variation and expressiveness. Less attention had been paid to this influence as reflected in music, due to the belief that music can be "purely instrumental", and therefore far away from speech. However music, dance, respiration and verbal language share common evolutionary grounds, as well as important physiological features and constraints related to the organic properties of carbon and to its role in biological evolution. In this context, this contribution interprets chemical proportions in bioorganic compounds as analogies of their musical parallels, with consequences to music theory. Mathematical evidence is suggested for sketching a carbon hypothesis of music. From this perspective, music is more a feature and a consequence of chemical and biological constraints (not exclusive of humans), than a product "purely social" or "uniquely cultural"

Journal MusMat
Year 2016
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 25-43

Pareyon, Gabriel (2016) Music as a Carbon Language: A Mathematical Analogy and its Interpretation in Biomusicology. In: MusMat: Brazilian Journal of Music and Mathematics, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 25-43. Available at



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