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(twelve-tone music), a type of musical composition that evolved during the development of atonalism. Dodecaphony was an important contribution to the modern musical avant-garde. The Austrian composer J. Hauer first attempted to create works by the principle of dodecaphony between 1910 and 1920. Another Austrian composer, A. Schonberg developed the method fully and applied it in his work (Five Piano Pieces, Opus 23, 1923).

The melodic and harmonic basis of a dodecaphonic composition is known as a note-series (row; in German, die Reihe) and consists of a chosen succession of 12 tones of different pitch. A series includes each tone of the chromatic scale; however, no one tone may be repeated in the series. Within a composition a series represents a selected set of intervals that comprises the intonational foundation. The note-series may also be used in various forms (modi); in addition to its original form, it may be used in its inversion, in a retrograde form, and in a retrograde inversion. Each of these four modi can be transposed to any of the 12 degrees of the chromatic scale; thus, the series becomes available in as many as 48 tonal versions. Using this technique a composer selects a group of tones in the various modi of a series for the melody, contrapuntal voices, and harmony. The introduction of tonal combinations not produced from the series is not permitted in dodecaphony. Some composers, who recognize tonality as the basis of music, have employed the method of dodecaphony in individual sections of their works.


Til’man, I. “O dodekafonnom metode kompositsii.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1958, no. 11.
Denisov, E. “Dodekafoniia i problemy sovremennoi kompozitorskoi tekhniki.” Muzyka i sovremennost’, issue 6. Moscow, 1969.
Hauer, J. Vom Wesen des Musikalischen. Ein Lehrbuch der Zwölftonmusik. Vienna, 1920.
Schönberg, A. Style and Idea. New York, 1950.
Kfenek, E. Zwolftonkontrapunkt-Studien. Mainz, 1952.
Jelinek, H. Anleitung zur Zwölftonkomposition, vols. 1-2. Vienna, 1952-58.
Perle, G. Serial Composition and Atonality, 2nd ed. Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1968.


References in periodicals archive ?
Nevertheless, given the responses to Arnold Schoenberg's freely atonal and dodecaphonic compositions, the possible responses to Webern's rigorously conceived work, transcending the borders of dodecaphony in the direction of a totally organised musical structure, could have been anticipated.
Nonetheless, as Denisov's example suggests, the compulsion young Soviet composers felt to master dodecaphony as part of their unofficial schooling in the 1960s demonstrates the high prestige, and the ideological baggage, the technique then carried worldwide.
Dodecaphony was acclaimed as the music of the avant-garde.
In terms of tonal organization, this group of Nigerian composers was tutored in the Western theoretical principles of the early twentieth century such as the twelve-tone-row method, atonality, dodecaphony, dissonance, pandiatonicism, serialism, octatonic scales, and so forth.
In a less theoretical manner, Doris Lanz examines Veress's changing relationship with dodecaphony, a technique he categorically rejected in a note dated July 1951, but nevertheless adopted in a work completed as early as August 1952.
The sixties, in which every composer came to terms in his or her way with the dodecaphony and serialism, were followed by a seventies dominated alas by political and cultural repression.
These are the first inklings, repeated often throughout the later essays in this book, of Lutoslawski's deep-seated suspicions regarding the long-term viability of dodecaphony and serialism.
You are a pioneer of dodecaphony among Czech composers.
Expressionistic effects are achieved by means of tense and spasmodic dodecaphony, while the abstract quality is secured by a careful avoidance of emotional phraseology.
He used dodecaphony only very exceptionally (and then in a secondary way).
The present divisions into "Medieval Period," "Renaissance Period," "Baroque Period," "Classical Period," "Romantic Period," "Modern Period to 1950," and "Modern Period since 1950" may be retained since distinctions may be made from one division to another on musical grounds, such as polyphony, cantus firmus, basso continuo, sonata, opera, dodecaphony, aleatory, and many other individual musical terms that may be unique or strongly associated with one BML classical recording division.
In the early Nineties the need to fill in the gaps led to the creation of thematic cycles, such as Pocatky dodekafonie a mikrointervalove hudby [The Beginnings of Dodecaphony and Micro-Interval Music], and Pocatky Ceske Nove hudby [The Beginnings of Czech New Music].