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Fractal Fugues
self-similar counterpoint

(Please run this in the Chrome browser for best audio)

Music is self-similar by nature. Melodies, rhythms, and sonic impressions recur in time, with theme and variation.

Identical melodies that start at different times and pitches weave among each other to create intricate counterpoint: fugues. 


Fractal Fugues are sonic structures that have self-similarity in both the time and pitch dimensions. A motif gives birth to copies of itself that are offset in time and pitch. These copies give birth to more copies that are offset in time and pitch, in proportion. There can be up to six levels (generations of birth), resulting in notes multiplying at a high exponential rate.

John Cage looked at branching trees and swimming fish and he saw notes on a staff. To “hear” a tree is to discern trunk from branch, and to experience a thousand leaves as a texture of sound.

This animation was written in JavaScript, and uses web audio oscillators.

Created by Jeffrey Ventrella

ventrella.com


Video