Tune and Rhyme: Translation Symmetry at Work

Alice Major
Proceedings of Bridges 2012: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2012)
Pages 489–492 Short Papers


This paper outlines some thoughts on translation symmetry as a common denominator underlying our vague sense that music and poetry are similar. Melody and rhyme are both clusters of sound translated in time, and the human mind registers such clusters easily and with pleasure. A working poet considers some aspects of this translation symmetry and asks some questions that mathematics and science may eventually address.