Twelve-tone technique (also dodecaphony, and in British usage, twelve-note composition) is a method of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. The technique is a means of ensuring that all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are sounded as often as one another in a piece of music while preventing the emphasis of any through the use of tone rows, an ordering of the 12 pitches. All 12 notes are thus given more or less equal importance, and the music avoids being in a key. The technique was influential on composers in the mid-twentieth century.
Schoenberg himself described the system as a “Method of Composing with Twelve Tones Which are Related Only with One Another”. However, the common English usage is to describe the method as a form of serialism.
Josef Matthias Hauer also developed a similar system using unordered hexachords, or tropes, at the same time and in the same country as Schoenberg but with no connection to Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique. Other composers have created systematic use of the chromatic scale, but Schoenberg’s method is considered to be historically and aesthetically most significant.
In 1971 legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans – who played on the landmark modal jazz album Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis – recorded a Grammy Award-winning album called The Bill Evans Album, which included a composition called “T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune)” where Evans and his trio explored the jazz implications of using the twelve tone compositional technique.
Even also a Dodecaphony Blues (Blues em 12) a brilliant improvisation and interpretation!
- Twelve tone square to find all combinations of a 12 tone sequence; by Andreas Antidy Lehmann
- New Transformations: Beyond P, I, R, and RI by Larry Solomon
- Matrix generator from musictheory.net by Ricci Adams
- Theory and free PC-Software for deriving rows by Karl Hyman Dietz
- Twelve-Tone Technique, A Quick Reference by Dan Román
- Dodecaphonic Knots and Topology of Words by Franck Jedrzejewski