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12 Tone System
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Tone Scales


Also known as dodecaphony, are simple or compound structured systems for composition that incorporate with the same level of importance, all 12 notes or tones of the chromatic scale beginning from any tone. Twelve-tone technique is one of the many serial music types and one where, arrangement of 12 notes into any particular non key-centred melodic like order (with or without tonal implications) will establish a complete 12 note or 12 tone series, also called a note or tone row. This original order or series of notes may be transposed, inverted, reversed or reversed and inverted. As a result and as shown below, 48 different forms are possible. Arrows (-> = up & <- = down) have been included so as to assist with the interpretation of the following 12-tone structures.

A <-   F# ->   G <-   E- ->   A- <-   D<-   D- ->   F <-   E <-   C ->   B <-   B-
Reverse of the Original (Retrograde Motion)
B- -> B <- C -> E -> F <- D- -> D -> A- <- E- -> G <- F# -> A
Inversion of the Original
A -> C <- B -> E- <- B- -> E -> F <- D- -> D -> F# <- G -> A-
Reverse of the Inversion (Retrograde Motion)
A- <- G -> F# <- D <- D- -> F <- E <- B- -> E- <- B -> C <- A
The remaining 44 forms or series of notes are drawn from the transposed variations of the above four tone-rows and as a general rule, are reserved as thematic material for composition development.

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August 1, 2007