Dodecaphony

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Dodecaphony

 

(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.

REFERENCES

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.

IU. N. KHOLOPOV

References in periodicals archive ?
2), modernism in music by and large failed to accustom the listening public to dodecaphonic style.
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For Adorno helped Mann understand how the dodecaphonic system could open up new musical possibilities, as well as running the risk of being a new form of musical totalitarianism.
In "Performance as an Extreme Occasion" Said describes Adorno's Philosophy of Modern Music, in which music--Western classical music--is portrayed as moving inexorably, ever since the late style of Beethoven, toward total autonomy from historical reality, a process that culminates in the extreme technicalization of Arnold Schoenberg's dodecaphonic system, a technicalization that has both modernist and avant-gardist implications.
However, if one wished specifically to extend the dodecaphonic techniques of nonrepetition and use of the aggregate, and apply them somehow to the formation of one's series, one would need to reconsider why they are usually used and how they pertain to the seventy-two note chromatic, in light of the pitches' tendency to fall into differentiated dominant and subordinate roles, as described earlier.
The latter work is dodecaphonic, not as immediately engaging, but still quite listenable and enjoyable--not at all forbidding, even though written in strict serialist style.
One thinks, for example, of Montale's aesthetic kinship with Debussy, his hypermetric creation of a poetic equivalent to the dodecaphonic scale.
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To put it mildly, one may reasonably doubt whether an essay on just the vocal lines of three chosen works - in which the author repeatedly confuses (for example) major with minor sevenths and seems reluctant even to mention the dodecaphonic processes that are fundamental to the music's logic - can possibly merit the dignity of print without first being overhauled by a very firm editorial hand.
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