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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 ?
This work was very significant in Szabelski's development, as it illustrates the way that dodecaphony was used by the composer (see Figure 1).
(39) Schoenberg himself mobilised the rhetoric of messianism in support of his utopian vision of emancipation and salvation, professing a mystical conviction that he had been elected to proclaim the 'law' of dodecaphony (and suffer for it) on 'orders from the Supreme Commander'.
Puffett's precise terms are 'series technique' and 'quasi-serial technique', and the distinction between that and Schoenbergian dodecaphony needs clarifying, for it helps to define Schoeck's individuality.
(38) The table conversation between the father figure of dodecaphony, the king of tacet film inanity, and "Baby Snooks" makes the imagination reel.
He experimented with dodecaphony, punctualism, aleatoricism, sonorism, and serialism, in such works as Strophes (1959), Anaklasis (1959-1960), Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960), and Polymorphia (1961).
In the 1960s, Novak further extended his range of genres and compositional means; for a short time he employed elements of dodecaphony and aleatoricism in his compositions, first applying the twelve-tone technique as a thematic material in the middle section of his Capriccio for cello and small orchestra (1958), with the chamber piece Passer Catulli (1962) being considered one of the apices of this phase.
Similarly, in the Quaderno musicale di Annalibera - which others have too often discussed purely in terms of its structural aspects and its highly sensitive use of dodecaphony and of neo-Bachian canonic techniques - Quattrocchi skilfully jolts us into viewing the work from a new angle not only by pointing out the substantial debt of the tenth piece ('Ombre') to Musorgsky's ever-disconcerting 'Catacombs' but also by suggesting that the intricately interwoven canonic processes of, for example, the third piece ('Contrapunctus primus') are not necessarily the most important aspects of its sound-world for listeners, however intriguing they may be for performers and score-followers.
Her essay analyzes criticisms by Carl Dahlhaus and Richard Taruskin concerning whether twelve-tone music could be politically engaged: while Dahlhaus believed that art could not by definition be politically engaged because that would inappropriately instrumentalize something that was meant to be autonomous, Taruskin criticized politically-engaged dodecaphony for being ineffective at communicating with audiences.
Here, it is made clear that Skalkottas approached dodecaphony from several different angles, compared to other composers who followed the trend, and had developed his own twelve-note musical language.
I have also researched into the possibilities of serialism and dodecaphony, which in connection with minimalism and microtonality are nowhere near exhausted.
After 1948, persuaded especially by Herm a 1 I 11 Scherchen and Luigi Dallapiccola, though guided above all by his infinite curiosity for new compositional techniques, Macierna first approached dodecaphony and then, coinciding with his involvement in the Darmstadt summer courses, serialism.
Yet Schoenberg's music dating from his subsequent atonal period and the phase following the devising of the dodecaphony technique was largely apprehended as "nihilistic" and merely "mathematical", or "spectacularly ponderous".