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Arnold Schoenburg
Was born in Vienna, Austria in 1874
He was an important figure in the
expressionist movement
He was a pioneer of atonal music (no key)
In 1933 he left Germany because the Nazis
condemned his music as `decadent' (because
he was Jewish)
He moved to Paris and eventually settled in
He used music to express his intense
emotions from a traumatic stage in his life
He died in 1951…read more

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Was an early 20th century movement in
the arts that aimed to express intense
It developed from the end of the
Romantic era, particularly from Wagner'
s extensive use of Chromaticism so the
key was unclear
Schoenburg took Wagner's ideas further
­ abandoning the use of keys altogether,
writing atonal music…read more

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Features of expressionism
It is atonal (avoids normal hierachy of
keys and chords, giving all 12 semitones
equal importance)
Generally only expresses one intense
Composers make full use of the pitch
range of instruments
Timbre (sound) is felt to be as important
as melody
Extreme dynamics
Pieces tend to be quite short as it is hard…read more

Slide 5

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Background to Five
Orchestral Pieces
It is a set of atonal pieces for full
They all last between 1-5 minutes and are
not connected by themes in any way
In these works Schoenburg was more
concerned about the combination of
timbres rather than melody or harmony
He wrote the pieces as a response to
Richard Strauss' (an established
composer of the time) request for some
compositions after experimenting with his…read more

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Key techniques used by
Hexachord ­ a group of 6 notes that
create a musical motif or chord, with the
notes arranged in any order
Complement ­ the 6 semitones not used
in the hexachord
Principle voice ­ the main melodic line
(aka Hauptstimme or )
Secondary voice ­ the next most
important line after the principle voice
(aka Nebenstimme or )…read more

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Samuel Richardson

This excellent powerpoint presentation covers the context of Schoenburg's 'Peripetie' and some key points of analysis. 

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