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Extraordinary MeasuresDisability in Music$
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Joseph N. Straus

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766451

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766451.001.0001

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Musical Narratives of Balance Lost and Regained: Schoenberg and Webern

Musical Narratives of Balance Lost and Regained: Schoenberg and Webern

(p.72) Chapter 4 Musical Narratives of Balance Lost and Regained: Schoenberg and Webern
Extraordinary Measures

Joseph N. Straus (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In a large body of atonal music written between 1908 and the outbreak of World War I, inversional symmetry comes to function in a manner analogous to key in tonal music: a systematic way of regulating the relationships among the tones, a normative principle of pitch organization. And, as with any normative principle, inversional symmetry may be subject to deviation and disruption. The atonal music of Schoenberg and Webern often narrates the establishment, disruption, and reestablishment of a normative symmetry, understood as a bodily as well as a musical state.

Keywords:   atonal, inversion, symmetry, normative, Schoenberg, Webern

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