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Twelvetone technique (also dodecaphony, and in British usage, twelvenote composition) is a method of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. The technique is a means of ensuring that all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are sounded as often as one another in a piece of music while preventing the emphasis of any^{[2]} through the use of tone rows, an ordering of the 12 pitches. All 12 notes are thus given more or less equal importance, and the music avoids being in a key. The technique was influential on composers in the midtwentieth century.
Schoenberg himself described the system as a "Method of Composing with Twelve Tones Which are Related Only with One Another".^{[3]} However, the common English usage is to describe the method as a form of serialism.
Josef Matthias Hauer also developed a similar system using unordered hexachords, or tropes, at the same time and in the same country as Schoenberg but with no connection to Schoenberg's twelvetone technique. Other composers have created systematic use of the chromatic scale, but Schoenberg's method is considered to be historically and aesthetically most significant.^{[4]}
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History of use
Invented by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg in 1921 and first described privately to his associates in 1923,^{[7]} the method was used during the next twenty years almost exclusively by the composers of the Second Viennese School – Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Hanns Eisler and Schoenberg himself.
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