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Serialism (1/3)4 May 2010

Today we continue our journey into the world of Schoenberg and his disciples with serial music. The term “serial music” is often misused as a synonym for “Twelve-tone music “or” atonal music “. In fact this term appeared with Schoenberg, Berg and Webern in the descriptions of works composed after 1920 which were making use of twelve-tone rows, but it was mostly used after the Second World War.

The twelve-tone technique6 March 2010

We had a general view on atonal music in a previous post. This week let’s get to the heart of the matter by focusing on the twelve-tone technique. Unavoidable revolution of the twentieth century, the technique known as twelve-tone was imaginated by Schoenberg. Yes, him again, and it makes sense as we learnt he tried to get as far away as possible from tonality. And what is the most basic characteristic of a key? The hierarchy of sounds, I mean that certain notes of the scale are more important than others, they have what is called a “function”, and these fonction are polarizing our ears.

Atonal Music28 January 2010

clustersThis week, let us focus on the break-up of tonality, initiated in the late nineteenth century and clearly confirmed during the early twentieth century. With several articles about atonal, dodecaphonic music and serial music I want to make a few preliminary remarks before discovering the universe of a key figure in the postwar music world: Pierre Boulez.

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