Chapter

Musical Narratives of Balance Lost and Regained: Schoenberg and Webern

Joseph N. Straus

in Extraordinary Measures

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199766451
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895007 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766451.003.0005
Musical Narratives of Balance Lost and Regained: Schoenberg and Webern

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In a large body of atonal music written between 1908 and the outbreak of World War I, inversional symmetry comes to function in a manner analogous to key in tonal music: a systematic way of regulating the relationships among the tones, a normative principle of pitch organization. And, as with any normative principle, inversional symmetry may be subject to deviation and disruption. The atonal music of Schoenberg and Webern often narrates the establishment, disruption, and reestablishment of a normative symmetry, understood as a bodily as well as a musical state.

Keywords: atonal; inversion; symmetry; normative; Schoenberg; Webern

Chapter.  4602 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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