Rigidity matrices for multi-layered media are derived for isotropic and orthotropic layers by a simple direct procedure which brings to light their fundamental mathematical structure. The method was introduced many years ago by the author in the more general context of dynamics and stability of multi-layers under initial stress. Other earlier results are also briefly recalled such as the derivation of three-dimensional solutions from plane strain modes, the effect of initial stresses, gravity, and couple stresses for thinly laminated layers. The extension of the same mathematical structure and symmetry to viscoelastic media is valid as a consequence of fundamental principles in linear irreversible thermodynamics.

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