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Composition with Twelve Tones - Essay Example

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This paper focuses on the composition with Twelve Tones, generally known as the ‘twelve-tone technique’ is a composition of music which was formed by an Austrian musician/composer. The twelve-tone / note composition is also known dodecaphony. …
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Composition with Twelve Tones
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Composition with Twelve Tones

The researcher states that it was in the early 19th century (between 1911 and 1922) that Schoenberg was searching for something new, something that may replace the traditional and old scheme of composition of music pieces. He believed that the old music was using just one or two tones as the core elements of its compositions. These two elements according to him were the tone / tonality and dissonance. According to Schoenberg these elements were stretched and used throughout the composition which he did not appreciate. As a result Schoenberg came up with a new idea that all the twelve tones must be utilized while composing music. Through it he was assure of the fact that no single tone will get the significance and all tones will be heard and balance each other in any composition. If we try to understand ‘The method of composing with twelve tones grew out of necessity…such a change became necessary when there occurred simultaneously, a development which ended in what I call the emancipation of the dissonance’, Schoenberg actually pointed out towards the surplus use of dissonance in the late 19th century by the composers like Strauss, Debussy and Wagner. These composers used dissonance freely as the basic element of music. This was indeed a thorough change in the techniques of compositions and thus it ended in what Schoenberg’s has stated as ‘Emancipation of the dissonance’. It has been noticed that the majority of the Schoenberg’s twelve tone composition portrays some characteristics which summons the forms of large scale tones. The music composition included all the major and minor keys from A to G. However his prediction regarding the popularity of the twelve tone composition did not come to reality. He thought that with the formation of the twelve tone composition he can spread and sustain the Germanic Music for the coming ten decades. Actually it did not happen. Schoenberg’s twelve tone system gained popularity in the 20th century only. However at present musicians are unaware of the system and does not even aware of what twelve tone composition (Taylor & Melchior, 1993). With the formation of the twelve tones composition there was a simultaneous development in the music composition which was called the emancipation of dissonance. Emancipation of dissonance is also a concept in music composition which was formulated by Arnold Schoenberg and some other composers. In this emancipation he declared no difference or change in dissonance or consonance. According to Schoenberg, just like any other feature of life, music is also historically foreseeable. With this assumption and his establishment of the twelve tone composition he thought that he can hold German music for the coming 100 years. His representation was classical and portrayed a sequence in which principle of evolution was symbolized by chromatic scale. He further assumed the twelve tone composition as a replacement for functional tonality. The development of twelve tone composition was considered to bring a change in music style whereas the change was brought to an end with the development of emancipation of dissonance. However for the use of twelve tone composition he emphasized on not using or avoiding traditional dissonance or simple consonance (Encyclop?dia Britannica, 2013). It is evidenced from Music literature that Schoenberg was very ... Read More
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