In response to the demise of the tonal system of composing music, musicians in the early
twentieth century looked for new approaches to composing that would restore a sense of coherence to music.
One such approach was devised by Arnold Schoenberg, who formulated what is now known as the serial composition
system, or "twelve-tone" method.
As a natural consequence of the increasing chromaticism of the time, the previous system
of "functional tonality" which gave music much of its sense of order began to lose its effectiveness. A diatonic
set of seven pitches which defined a key became so diluted by chromaticism that tonality lost its meaning. A
mathematical system for achieving a sense of order was needed; complete equality of all twelve chromatic pitches
and the emancipation of dissonance were also important objectives of the new system.
|V.S. Manoranjan, Chair, Math|
|Content:||Charles Argersinger, Music|
|CJ Kentler, Math|
Department of Music
Pullman, Wa. 99164