Serialism And Twelve Tone Research Essay

1055 words - 4 pages

When exactly did Modern music start? Many people will most likely point to Impressionism as the roots of "Modern period" music. However, it is only at the end of World War I that is considered the real start of the Modern period. The society was depicted by rebellion and distress. As a result, music of the time became increasingly divided as composers went their own separate ways in creating music. Much of the music from 1910 to 1930 was called "the new music", and the major development of this period was focused on the concept of atonality. There was a general movement to bridge the gap between the so-called "old" and "new" music, thus the establishment of the 'Neo-Classical movement' came as a result, with a longing to relate to previous tradition. Generally speaking, the 20th century music period was filled with "isms", such as the Atonalism, Serialism, Minimalism, etc. This essay will focus on Serialism and one of its subgroups, the Twelve-tone Technique.The term "serialism" is often mistakenly known as "twelve tone music". However, the 12-tone technique is only one of several kinds of serialism. Arnold Schoenberg came up with the 12 tone technique, and from then on, many composers followed the logic, and many of the musical elements such as note length, silence, texture, volume, and so on were serialized. The reasoning behind total serialism was simply organizing notes and other elements according to numerical patterns. This was clamed to be done through "logical" harmonic progressions, melodic lines, and a sense of pulse or rhythm. However, it is only "mathematically" logical, as the listeners are usually unaware of some repeating or even predictable musical "events". The notes and tone rows dissolve into the song, while interweaving among the melodies, in a seemingly random arrangement. The end result will usually sound bad for normal people, but there are people to learn to appreciate and understand this style of atonal music, with every single detail in control.The 12-tone method, a subgroup, yet the leading group of serialism, was created by Arnold Schoenberg during the span from 1920 to 1923. This brand new idea at first was not widely accepted, but as the logic came clear, it further developed in many forms. The twelve-tone technique created music that is almost completely detached from "traditional" music, in terms of melody, and with other Serialism, harmony and even rhythm are unique. The objective of atonal music was so that no melody or underlying theme can be deciphered, which meant they had to sound dissonant, and that is exactly what the twelve-tone method does.The twelve-tone method (or also known as dodecaphony). The notes using the twelve-tone technique were arranged to make sure that every note was heard with no repetition until one tone row (12 notes cycle) is fully completed. This method enables the tones to be interpreted in terms of their relation to other notes, instead of basing it on a key. Schoenberg originally had...

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