Eike Feß provides surprising insights into Schönberg's gradual appropriation of the twelve-tone space and at the same time provides a commonly understandable introduction to his compositional style.

Arnold Schönberg's thinking and work, as well as his biography as a Vienna-born Jew, reflect the complexity of culture and history in the first half of the 20th century. In 1923, with the Wind Quintet op. 26, the composer defined the "method of composition with twelve tones related only to one another", which offered a valid foundation for music beyond traditional harmony. From then on, it served its creator as a tool for the free development of musical ideas. The new publication of the Arnold Schönberg Center examines Schönberg's reorganization of music from different perspectives.
A chapter on Basic Principles provides a brief overview of elementary ideas and conventions of the twelve-tone method. A History chapter examines Schönberg’s efforts to fashion a method of composition that, independent of traditional harmony, could match the heritage of musical traditions formed in the German-speaking cultural sphere. The Glossary then provides an overview of terminological, technical, and theoretical aspects of the twelve-tone method. A Lecture by Schönberg’s presents the formation and application of the twelve-tone method now from the perspective of the composer. A final chapter, on the Twelve-Tone Method in 50 Objects, offers a collection of manuscripts, documents, and photographs that lie at the center and around the peripheries of serial composition. Taken together, they form a visual narrative from the beginnings of the twelve-tone method to the late phase of Schönberg’s creative work.

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