Found Sounds: UNCG Musicology Journal

Twelve-Tone Serialism and Its Effect on Modern Audiences

Kenan Baker


Twelve-tone music and serial composition are controversial topics for musicians and composers. This paper catalogs the early emergence of this practice, the opinions of composers on the craft itself, and their opinions on audience attitudes toward twelve-tone music. The conclusion is reached that serialism is generally too academic, written with professional musicians in mind, alienating the listener. The more successful modern composers have tempered their writing with more conventional harmony and tonality.


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