12 Tone Serialism Schoenberg

A BASIC OVERVIEW OF THE 20 CENTURY CLASSICAL IDEA:

Arnold Schoenberg created a system using all 12 tones in a row. Below is the 12 tone row from OP 25.

Schoenberg 12 tone row suite OP 25

The next idea is to use the notes in reverse order. This is called “Retrograde”

Retrograde 12 tone row Schoenberg

We can also take the original tone row and “Invert” it. This is called “Inversion”. We do this by inverting each interval. For instance if a note goes up a perfect 4th in the original set then it is inverted by coming down a perfect 4th, if it goes up a minor 3rd then it comes down a minor 3rd, etc

Inversion 12 tone row schoenberg

We can also take the Inversion of the original tone row and play the notes in reverse order. This is called “Retrograde Inversion”

Retrograde Inversion schoenberg 12 tone row

These ideas from 12 tone serialism are excellent for Jazz riffs, Composition and Improvisational ideas and concepts.

We will start with a few basic Jazz applications/Ideas

JAZZ APPLICATION; 1

Jazz application moving in minor 3rds in schoenberg 12 tone rows

JAZZ APPLICATION 2:

jazz application using 12 tone rows of Schoenberg

JAZZ APPLICATION 3:

Jazz application in 4ths to 12 tone Schoenberg tone row

JAZZ APPLICATION 4:

jazz improvisation applied to Schoenberg's 12 tone rows

Joining TONE ROWS/12 TONE LINES TOGETHER

Combined 12 tone rows applied to jazz fusion improvisation

combining 12 tone Schoenberg rows to Jazz as heads

Triplets and semiquavers 16ths applied to Schoenberg's 12 tone row musical system

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For other ideas on 12 tone concepts it is a good idea to visit John O’ Gallagher’s website. There is a really interesting book on 12 tone improv.

https://johnogallagher.com/book

A Method for using tone rows in jazz book cover