12-tone system

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Noun1.12-tone system - a type of serial music introduced by Arnold Schoenberg12-tone system - a type of serial music introduced by Arnold Schoenberg; uses a tone row formed by the twelve semitones of the chromatic scale (and inverted or backward versions of the row)
serial music, serialism - 20th century music that uses a definite order of notes as a thematic basis for a musical composition
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References in periodicals archive ?
Arnold Schoenberg's 12-tone system was nothing if not controversial.
(1) Guter frames Schoenberg's method of composing with twelve tones in the context of Wittgenstein's philosophical views on music: the most plausible sense in which Schoenberg's 12-tone system can be rendered a serviceable image for Wittgenstein's view of language is by way of contrast.
Its forbidding aspect derives from Stravinsky's rare, and illadvised, use of the 12-tone system which seems to stifle his creativity and normal exuberant energy.