Intellectual Property & Creative Research

Fractal Music

Common Errors

Google the term "fractal music" and you will find a vast array of misconceptions concerning the subject.  There are three common errors:

Finally, there is a less common mistake that occurs when one attempts to obtain a box-counting dimension based on dissimilar units of measurement such as pitch and time. While the graphs of such plots may suggest the roughness of mountains or noise-like structure, the relative scale of the axes is entirely arbitrary. Changing the relative scale would change the dimension obtained. Box-counting only works when the units of measurement are identical.

Clearly, iterative algorithms can generate interesting and, in the hands of a talented musician, pleasing compositions and musical textures. However, the burden of demonstrating specific fractal characteristics falls to those making the claim.