The atonal form of classical music developed by him, includes the twelve-tone system
, which abolishes the key signatures that form the basis of Western music.
Ingenious as it is, Schoenberg's twelve-tone system
today seems like the musical equivalent of the Georges Perec novel written without using the letter "e"; you marvel at the execution and accomplishment, while wondering why so much ingenuity was put at the expense of such an awkward and self-defeating exercise.
Novak wrote his dozen Inventions in the twelve-tone system
in 1960 for the Brno harpsichord player Hana Slapetova--with explanatory and also almost onomatopoeic and witty subtitles in Latin (the composer was famous for being an ardent Latinist).
(Nor has the general public been entertained by any literature concerning Schoenberg comparable to the many volumes about Igor Stravinsky written by the composer with Robert Craft.) Arnold Schoenberg's Journey does not dwell on the procedures of the twelve-tone system
, although it provides a clear explanation of how it came about in Schoenberg's development and how it works.
A twelve-tone system
incorporating a theory of hexachordal combinatoriality would move it closer to the middle of the spectrum, since the constraints im posed by hexachordal combinatoriality would limit the sequential and polyphonic organization of the twelve-tone rows on a composition's musical surface.
Thus they are "inverred-retrograde"--a term that, as it happens, also refers to a technique used in Schonberg's twelve-tone system
, a structure that can be manipulated (inverted, reversed, or both) to enable a variety of sounds.
He focuses all his energy on his conception of the new, important, and revolutionary: the twelve-tone system
, at the expense of everything else.
I want to consider seriously the possibility that the twelve-tone system
does not have a very direct or powerful influence on twelve-tone compositions, and the possibility that this may be not a failure of it, but a very interesting characteristic.
I would have tried to explain to him that my adherence to the twelve-tone system
did not represent a substantial change of aesthetic position nor of musical ideology and that I continued being one of his most faithful servants.
The article, "Twelve-Tone Rhythmic Structure and the Electronic Medium," appeared in the very first issue of Perspectives of New Music and introduced the "time-point system," Babbitt's consistent and musically pertinent solution to the problem of the temporal interpretation of the twelve-tone system
. In addition, the article contains some of Babbitt's thoughts on musical perception and its psychoacoustic invariants, particularly in regard to electronically synthesized sounds.
That Berg adapted the order aspect of the twelve-tone system
so thoroughly in a dramatic as well as a musical way to his language in Lulu is remarkable, but as Perle has shown, it is possible to find similar relationships - although not embedded in twelve-tone rows - based around multicyclic materials such as the "basic cells" of the opera as early as the opus 2 songs.
2 (1990): 175-245, and Andrew Mead, "Some Implications of the Pitch-Class/Order-Number Isomorphism Inherent in the Twelve-Tone System
, Part 2: The Mallalieu Complex, Its Extensions, and Related Rows," Perspectives of New Music 27, no.
All this is well-known in the twelve-tone system
, but in N-fold systems with higher N the Balzano diagram is very useful in figuring out the chordal progressions which tell us, for example, which mode should be considered major and which natural minor.
(See Walter and Alexander Goehr, "Arnold Schoenberg's Development Towards the Twelve-Tone System
," in European Music in the Twentieth Century, ed.
See Andrew Mead, "Some Implications of the Pitch Class/Order Number Isomorphism Inherent in the Twelve-Tone System
: Part I," Perspectives of New Music 26, no.