Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to serialism: Total serialism


n. Music
1. Serial compositions.
2. The theory or composition of serial music.

se′ri·al·ist n.


(Music, other) (in 20th-century music) the use of a sequence of notes in a definite order as a thematic basis for a composition and a source from which the musical material is derived. See also twelve-tone


(ˈsɪər i əˌlɪz əm)

a technique for composing music in which tones are used in fixed sequences of arbitrary placement without regard for tonality.
se′ri•al•ist, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.serialism - 20th century music that uses a definite order of notes as a thematic basis for a musical composition
music - an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
12-tone music, 12-tone system, twelve-tone music, twelve-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)
References in periodicals archive ?
As Deborah Mawer argues in her compact and insightful new book, American music arrived on the French scene at exactly the right time, as composers including Debussy, Ravel, and Les Six were looking to break from the rigidity of atonality and twelve-tone serialism and establish a musical language free of Austro-German domination.
Shreffler has said, "we desperately need, and still lack, a comprehensive account of the enormous differences between North American and European approaches to serialism, and indeed of American music history after 1945" ("The Myth of Empirical Historiography: A Response to Joseph N.
A century on, his resistance to closure might equally be identified as a marker of his modernity, aligning it with the aesthetics of serialism and the non-finito, to which notions of 'perfection' seem alien.
Their name is a reference to the German contemporary composers of the 1970s who championed "simpler" melody and harmony instead of the "difficult" serialism that had been in vogue.
At the moment we've explored Ancient Egyptian art, Chinese traditional art, and European art, including baroque, the Romantic period, serialism, art deco, and art nouveau.
Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen in Germany, and Milton Babbitt in the United States were pursuing the most radical extension of dodecaphony: "total serialism," in which a restricted number set was used to control not only pitch but also texture, timbre, duration, dynamics, and much more.
Winnipeg-born Michael Cavanagh directed the 145-minute production in April, with Tyrone Paterson leading the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra through an all-American score that eschewed the rampant compositional serialism of its day and is infused with the spirit of Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and Leonard Bernstein.
He also encountered serialism at the Domaine Musical concerts, the musique concrete of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, and the work of Iannis Xenakis, which inspired his early compositions.
Theoretical perspectives from Schenkerian theory and sonata theory to post-tonal voice leading and serialism are also discussed.
It explains topics ranging from the basics of music notation, major scales and key signatures, and intervals, to diatonic and chromatic harmony, to pitch class set theory, serialism, and avant-garde and electronic music.
30pm entitled "Visual Serialism - Why I am Not a Video Artist.
The excavation of Bernstein's twelve-tone structures, however, belies his rhetoric on serialism (including his famous lamentation at Copland's turn toward twelve-tone techniques) and disproves the common assumption that Bernstein dabbled in and then dismissed serialism.