Ever wondered who is the father of modern music? Read about Arnold Schoenberg and his twelve-tone music technique that laid foundation of modern-day music.
In my quest to find interesting topics for my next blog, I randomly searched for “father of music” on Google.
While writing lessons about the chromatic scales and Scriabin’s atonal music, I read about his twelve-tone technique.
I was surprised to know it was Arnold Schoenberg!
This article is mainly about the Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone music technique.
Who was Arnold Schoenberg?
Arnold Schönberg was an Austrian composer, music theorist, and painter.
During the 19th century, the world was enjoying the romantic compositions and much-celebrated work of classical composers.
However, Schoenberg developed a unique and unusual music composition technique.
It is known as twelve-tone music compositions that laid the foundation of modern-day music. The twelve-tone technique is also known as dodecaphony or twelve-tone serialism.
He was the first modern composer to compose music without resorting to the dominance of a centralized melodic idea.
Schoenberg himself described the system as:
…. a method of composing with twelve tones which are related only with one another
Before reading more about the technique, listen to Pina Napolitano performing the first movement of Schönberg’s Fünf Klavierstücke, Op.23.
It may not sound like the regular four-chord songs or a theme based music composition.
What is twelve-tone music?
The first word that came to mind after listening to above compositions is – VIBRANT!
I know some of you may feel the piece isn’t even close to the hit songs you listen daily.
The twelve-tone music is not about commercial music but knowing how deep is the ocean of music.
Western music comprises of 12 tones or musical notes usually identified using a chromatic scale.
The general principle of music says that we have to choose a primary key and build upon major and minor scales to create the relevant mood.
However, the twelve-tone music composition doesn’t focus on primary key.
Each of the twelve notes is balanced across the music composition.
You may know how robotic a chromatic scale would sound on your musical instrument.
I can only imagine how challenging it would be to compose music using all the 12 notes and don’t sound robotic at all.
This type of music, not built upon a tone is also known as atonal music.
What kind of feelings are expressed using atonal music?
It could be anything!
An intense drama, mood swings, romantic mood, multi-mood story……
Thanks for reading my 83rd article in the series 100-day music blogging challenge. Stay tuned for more informative articles.