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The twelve-tone technique —also known as dodecaphonytwelve-tone serialismand in British usage twelve-note composition —is a method of musical composition devised by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg — and associated with the ” Second Viennese School ” composers, who were the primary users of the technique in the first decades of its existence. The technique is a means of ensuring that all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are sounded as often as one another in a piece of music while preventing the emphasis of any one note [3] through the use of tone rowsorderings of the 12 pitch classes.

All 12 notes are thus given more or less equal importance, and the music avoids being in a key.

Over time, the technique increased greatly in popularity and eventually became widely influential on 20th-century composers. Many important composers who had originally not subscribed to or even actively opposed the technique, such as Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky[ clarification needed ] eventually adopted it in their music. Schoenberg himself described the system as a “Method of composing with twelve tones which are related only with one another”. Schoenberg’s countryman and contemporary Josef Matthias Hauer also developed a similar system using unordered hexachords or tropes —but with no connection to Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique.

Other composers have created systematic use of the chromatic scale, but Schoenberg’s method is considered to be historically and aesthetically most significant. Invented by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg in and first described privately to his associates in[8] the method was used during the next twenty years almost exclusively by the composers of the Second Viennese School — Alban BergAnton WebernHanns Eisler and Schoenberg himself.

The twelve tone technique was preceded by “freely” atonal pieces of — which, though “free”, often have as an “integrative element The distinction often made between Hauer and the Schoenberg school—that the former’s music is based on unordered hexachords while the latter’s is based on an ordered series—is false: The “strict ordering” of the Second Viennese school, on the other hand, “was inevitably tempered by practical considerations: Rudolph Retian early proponent, says: Schoenberg’s idea in developing the technique was for it to “replace those structural differentiations provided formerly by tonal harmonies “.

Some of these composers extended the technique to control aspects other than the pitches of notes such as duration, method of attack and so onthus producing serial music. Some even subjected all elements of music to the serial process. Charles Wuorinen claimed in a interview that while “most of the Europeans say that they have ‘gone beyond’ and ‘exhausted’ the twelve-tone system”, in America, “the twelve-tone system has been carefully studied and generalized into an edifice more impressive than any hitherto known.

Bradley had learned the concept as a student of Schoenberg. In a scene where the mouse, wearing a dog mask, runs across a yard of dogs “in disguise”, a chromatic scale represents both the mouse’s movements, and the approach of a suspicious dog, mirrored octaves lower. He went on to compose a number of twelve-tone pieces for solo guitar. The basis of the twelve-tone technique is the tone rowan ordered arrangement of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale the twelve equal tempered pitch classes.

There are four postulates or preconditions to the technique which apply to the row also called a set or serieson which a work or section is based: In Hauer’s system postulate 3 does not apply. A particular transformation prime, inversion, retrograde, retrograde-inversion together with a choice of transpositional level is referred to as a set form or row form.


Every row thus has up to 48 different row forms. Some rows have fewer due to symmetry ; see the sections on derived rows and invariance below. The inversion is the prime form with the intervals inverted so that a rising minor third becomes a falling minor third, or equivalently, a rising major sixth:.

P, R, I and RI can each be started on any of the twelve notes of the chromatic scalemeaning that 47 permutations of the initial tone row can be used, giving a maximum of 48 possible tone rows.

However, not all prime series will yield so many variations because transposed transformations may be identical to each other. This is known as invariance. A simple case is the ascending chromatic scale, the retrograde inversion of which is identical to the prime form, and the retrograde of which is identical to the inversion thus, only 24 forms of this tone row are available.

In the above example, as is typical, the retrograde inversion contains three points where the sequence of two pitches are identical to the prime row. Thus the generative power of even the most basic transformations is both unpredictable and inevitable. Motivic development can be driven by such internal consistency. Note that rules 1—4 above apply to the construction of the row itself, and not to the interpretation of the row in the composition.

Thus, for example, postulate 2 does not mean, contrary to common belief, that no note in a twelve-tone work can be repeated until all twelve have been sounded. While a row may be expressed literally on the muusical as thematic material, it need not be, and may instead govern the pitch structure of the work in more abstract ways.

trabajo técnica musical. DODECAFONISMO

Even when the technique is applied in the most mueical manner, with a piece consisting of a sequence of statements of row forms, these statements may appear consecutively, simultaneously, or may overlap, giving rise to harmony.

Needless to say, durations, dynamics and dodexafonisme aspects of music other than the pitch can be freely chosen by the composer, and there are also no general rules about which tone rows should be used at which time beyond their all being derived from the prime series, as already explained.

However, individual composers have constructed more detailed systems in which matters such as these are also governed by systematic rules see serialism. The tone row chosen as the basis of the piece is called the prime series P. Untransposed, it is notated as P 0.

Given the twelve pitch classes of the chromatic scale, there are 12 factorial [23] mmusical, [13] tone rows, although this is far higher than the number of unique tone rows after taking transformations into account. There are 9, classes of twelve-tone rows dodecaronisme to equivalence where two rows are equivalent doodecafonisme one is a transformation of the other.

The various transformations can be combined. These give rise to a set-complex of forty-eight forms of the set, 12 transpositions of the four basic forms: P, R, I, RI. The combination of the retrograde and inversion transformations is known as the retrograde inversion RI. However, there are only a few numbers by which one may multiply a row and still end up with twelve tones.

Multiplication is in any case not interval-preserving. Derivation is transforming segments of the full chromatic, fewer than 12 pitch classes, to yield a complete set, most commonly using trichords, tetrachords, and hexachords. A derived set can be generated by choosing appropriate transformations of any trichord except 0,3,6, the diminished didecafonisme.

A derived set can also be generated from any tetrachord musicsl excludes the interval class 4, a major thirdbetween any two elements. The opposite, partitioninguses methods to create segments from sets, most often through registral difference.


Combinatoriality is a side-effect of derived rows where combining different segments or sets such that the pitch class content of the result fulfills certain criteria, usually the combination of hexachords which dodecafinisme the full chromatic. Invariant formations are also the side effect of derived rows where a segment of a set remains similar or dodecafojisme same under transformation.

These may be used as “pivots” between set forms, sometimes used by Anton Webern and Arnold Schoenberg. Invariance is defined as the “properties of a set that are preserved under [any given] operation, as well as those relationships between a set and the so-operationally transformed set that inhere in the operation”, [27] a definition very close to that of mathematical invariance. George Perle describes their use as “pivots” or non-tonal ways of emphasizing certain pitches.

Alberto Ginastera y el dodecafonismo: El Concierto para violín () | Rodríguez | OPUS

Invariant rows are also combinatorial and derived. A cross partition is an often monophonic or homophonic technique which, “arranges the pitch classes of an aggregate or a row into a rectangular design”, in which the vertical columns harmonies of the rectangle are derived from the adjacent segments of the row and the horizontal columns melodies are not and thus may contain non-adjacencies.

For example, the layout of all possible ‘even’ cross partitions is as follows: One possible realization out of many for the order numbers of the 3 4 cross partition, and one variation of dodecaconisme, are: Cross partitions are used in Schoenberg’s Op.

In practice, the “rules” of twelve-tone technique have been bent and broken many times, not least by Schoenberg himself. For instance, in some pieces two or more tone rows may be heard progressing at once, or there may be parts of a composition which are written freely, without recourse to the vodecafonisme technique at all.

Offshoots or variations may produce music in which:. Also, some composers, including Stravinsky, have used cyclic permutationor rotation, where the row is taken in order but using a different starting note.

Stravinsky also preferred the inverse-retrograderather than the retrograde-inverse, dodecsfonisme the former as the compositionally predominant, “untransposed” form.

Although usually atonal, twelve tone music need not be—several pieces by Berg, for instance, have tonal elements. One of the best known twelve-note compositions is Variations for Orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg. Carmen Basiliense as an emblem of academicism. Ten features of Schoenberg’s mature twelve-tone practice are characteristic, interdependent, and interactive: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Sample of “Sehr langsam” from String Trio Op. Cartoon Composer Scott Bradley”. Music and the Hollywood Cartoon”. Univ of California Press — via Google Books. Equal temperament Modes of limited transposition Mystic chord Octatonic scale Whole tone scale. List of atonal compositions. Twelve-tone technique and Serialism.

Twelve-tone technique

Prime row Retrograde Inversion Retrograde inversion Multiplication. List of dodecaphonic and serial compositions. Retrieved from ” https: Articles with hAudio microformats Wikipedia articles needing clarification from December Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from June Pages containing links to subscription-only content Interlanguage link template link number Use dmy dates from September Views Read Edit View history.

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