Dodecaphony


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Related to Dodecaphony: Gebrauchsmusik

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

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