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Chapter22.4+_4_6_ - Continuing with Arnold Schnberg Pierrot...

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Continuing with Arnold Schönberg
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Pierrot lunaire (Moonstruck Pierrot, 1912) This cycle of twenty-one songs is based on German translations of the Belgian Albert Giraud’s symbolist poetry Schoenberg scored the cycle for a woman’s solo voice and five performers who play eight instruments The voice declaims the text in Sprechstimme (“speaking voice”), which approximates written pitches with gliding speech tones.
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Pierrot lunaire (Moonstruck Pierrot, 1912) Traditional elements: Each poem has a (repeated) refrain Schoenberg typically sets the repeated lines with a variant of the original music at the same pitch level Repetitions of motives, chords, themes, and sections are employed Many songs evoke old forms, genres, or techniques.
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Pierrot lunaire (Moonstruck Pierrot, 1912) Nacht (Night) from Pierrot lunaire (in our Listening set) Schoenberg calls this song a passacaglia, a set of variations over a three-note pattern Basic motive: rising minor third followed by a descending major third The motive reappears constantly, often overlapping itself.
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Twelve-tone method In the twelve-tone method, pitches are related only to each other, not to a tonic The goal is to make each pitch equally important, by not allowing any to become more prominent than the others.
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Twelve-tone method The basis of twelve-tone composition is a row, or series of pitches A row contains the twelve pitch-classes arranged in a specific order The pitches of the row may sound successively or simultaneously The composer usually states all of the pitches in a row before going to another row The original version of the row is called the prime The row can also be used in inversion (with inverted intervals), retrograde (backward), and retrograde inversion.
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Twelve-tone method With this system, Schoenberg continued to explore the principal methods of atonality. Integration of harmony and melody Developing variation Chromatic saturation Schoenberg soon applied these techniques to pieces in classical structures and genres.
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Piano Suite, Op. 25 (1921–23) The Prelude of this suite is Schoenberg’s first twelve-tone piece.
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Piano Suite Op. 25, Row forms
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Piano Suite, Op. 25 (1921–23)
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