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The Quest of the Absolute: Schoenberg, Hauer, and the Twelve-Tone Idea

The Quest of the Absolute: Schoenberg, Hauer, and the Twelve-Tone Idea The Quest ol the Absolute: Schoenberg, Hauer, and the Twelve-Tone Idea John Covach In 1923 the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) announced to his closest students that he had discovered a "method of composing with twelve-tones related only to one another."! In August 1919, however, another Austrian composer, Josef Matthias Hauer (1883-1959), had completed a composition that he claimed constituted the first musical work to consciously employ a principle that he called the "twelve-tone law."2 In fact the first thirty-six mea­ sures of this piece, Nomos, op. 19, indeed present five statements of a single twelve-tone row. Further, Hauer himself performed the piece for Schoenberg's Society for Private Musical Performances in Vienna less than a year after its composition.3 John Covach is a professor in the College of Music at the University of North Texas. r. See H. H. Stuckenschmidt, Arnold Schoenberg : His Life and Work , trans . Humphrey Searle (New York: Schirmer, 1977), 277; and Willi Reich, Schoenberg: A Critical Biography, trans. Leo Black (London : Longman, 1971 ), 130. Both authors report that Schoenberg first mentioned his discovery of the twelve-tone idea to his student Josef Rufer in 1921. See also Joan Allen Smith, Schoenberg http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

The Quest of the Absolute: Schoenberg, Hauer, and the Twelve-Tone Idea

Black Sacred Music , Volume 8 (1) – Mar 1, 1994

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Copyright
Copyright © 1994 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-8.1.157
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Quest ol the Absolute: Schoenberg, Hauer, and the Twelve-Tone Idea John Covach In 1923 the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) announced to his closest students that he had discovered a "method of composing with twelve-tones related only to one another."! In August 1919, however, another Austrian composer, Josef Matthias Hauer (1883-1959), had completed a composition that he claimed constituted the first musical work to consciously employ a principle that he called the "twelve-tone law."2 In fact the first thirty-six mea­ sures of this piece, Nomos, op. 19, indeed present five statements of a single twelve-tone row. Further, Hauer himself performed the piece for Schoenberg's Society for Private Musical Performances in Vienna less than a year after its composition.3 John Covach is a professor in the College of Music at the University of North Texas. r. See H. H. Stuckenschmidt, Arnold Schoenberg : His Life and Work , trans . Humphrey Searle (New York: Schirmer, 1977), 277; and Willi Reich, Schoenberg: A Critical Biography, trans. Leo Black (London : Longman, 1971 ), 130. Both authors report that Schoenberg first mentioned his discovery of the twelve-tone idea to his student Josef Rufer in 1921. See also Joan Allen Smith, Schoenberg

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1994

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