Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the
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We present a top-down approach to the study of the dynamics of icosahedral virus capsids, in which each protein is approximated by a point mass. Although this represents a rather crude coarse-graining, we argue that it highlights several generic features of vibrational spectra which have been overlooked so far. We furthermore discuss the consequences of approximate inversion symmetry as well as the role played by viral tiling theory in the study of virus capsid vibrations.