Music & chemistry

II have been interested in the possible links between music and chemistry for years. After reading (quite a lot), listening to music (much less than I would like to), I decided to share some sources of information. Over time many of the links are no longer active and, at the moment, I don't have the time to include new information.

Songs with 'chemical' lyrics

The first thing one encounters when looking for links between music and chemistry is the use of songs as teaching aids. I don't know if they are really useful for teaching chemistry. I have my doubts, but that may be because they are alien to what I would call the "European mentality". For me, the song session at the end of many Gordon Conferences and the use of songs to teach chemistry have a lot in common, and they are "very American". I can imagine the reaction of my students if I ask them to sign a song...... These songs are almost always based on lyrics, which have some kind of relationship to chemistry, to be sung to the music of a well-known song. There are many available on the web. The quality of the singers and texts varies.

While they may not be useful for teaching, at least most of the songs are fun. Most of the links I included when I first wrote this page no longer exist. Thus I deleted them. Another example of digital obsolescence. Only the ones below are still active. It's probably time to look for new links...

  • Cory C. Pay Songs, C.C. Pay, Chemistry and song: A novel way to educate and entertain, J. Chem. Educ., 81, 507-508 (2004)
  • Nanovidz: "... a great science grade thru music"
  • Science Song Music, by Greg Crowther, University of Washington, Seattle, US

Sometimes you have to pay for songs. I am not going to advertise them here. You can easily find them on the web. Alternatively, you can find some of them as well as other interesting information at the site of the Science Songwriters's Association.

Music in multi-sensory analysis

Have a look at: C.C. Sweeley, J.F. Holland, D.S. Towson and B.A. Chamberlain, Interactive and multi-sensory analysis of complex mixtures by an automated gas chromatography system. J. Chromat., 399, 173-181 (1987). I can send you a copy if interested.

Interested in chemist composers?

A document that you might find interesting is Chemist-Composers bibliography about chemist composers prepared by late Prof. Leopold May.

When proteins and genes compose music

Start with It contains links to many interesting sites.