The Library of Babel contains everything that was, is or could ever be written, and there is a number that describes just how many possible combinations of a text (with 3200 characters) there is.

I guess we could say there is a finite amount of things we can write. The same goes not only for music, but for everything we ever heard, hear now, or could possibly hear during an interval of 5 minutes.


Let’s look at this from a digital perspective.

A computer works on the basis of a binary numeral system. In other words, it ‘s based on the combination of two digits – 0 an 1. Humans, for example, use the decimal numeral system, which means the digits we use are 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9.

Anything we store on our computer is stored in bits, and bits are based on the numbers 0 and 1. If we were to take an audio recording  5 minutes long, it would take up 211,000,000 bits. Since every bit can be either 0 or 1, the number of possible combinations of these bits is: 2211,000,000

The given number contains every possible combination of a 5-minute-long song, but even contains every 5-minute-long conversation ever spoken on every language possible. Imagine – everything we could ever hear – described in a number 63-digits-long. It is larger than the human mind can comprehend. This number is larger than the number of atoms that build our entire planet.

To answer the inital question, no there is not an infinite amount of music we can make. But we can make an insane amount of it.

Napisala: Mateja Napravnik