Looking Outwards 02 – Sara Frankel


caption: Arnold Schoenberg, mastermind of twelve tone technique, expresses himself within a more mathematical template than traditional music theory.

I found the composer Arnold Schoenberg quite fitting and admirable for this looking outwards post.  Schoenberg, a composer from the mid 20th century, expanded the idea of music with his usage of twelve tone music in his compositions. While he was not necessarily the creator of this concept, he is the so called “poster child” of this concept as he explored its use in his work of the relationship between mathematics and music, bringing more attention to the idea.  Twelve tone technique is the concept that every 12 notes in a chromatic scale must be used before repeating any note again.  What I admire about this concept is the fact that while there are so many constrains and listening to this off hand, everything about it seems quite atonal.  In actuality however, this method is far from atonal.  Somehow, with the introduction of having every note possible at your disposal, you are not only limited to that of the key signature but to so much more.  If anything, that makes my job as the musician that much harder as the possibilities of phrasing and my voice are endless. The video I attached does a great job to explain the work and point of view of Arnold Schoenberg.


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