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atonal

Line breaks: atonal
Pronunciation: /eɪˈtəʊn(ə)l
 
, ə-/

Definition of atonal in English:

adjective

Music
Not written in any key or mode: atonal music may be written by obscuring tonal structures or by ignoring conventional harmonies altogether
More example sentences
  • Not one to experiment in the emerging environment of atonal and neo-classical music, his old-fashioned compositions were swept aside well before his death.
  • In fact, it reminds me very much of Schoenberg's freely atonal music of roughly twenty years previous.
  • When the lectures were first delivered, Bernstein's rejection of atonal music deeply offended many avant-garde composers.

Derivatives

atonalism

1
noun
Example sentences
  • He would experiment with Schoenberg-style atonalism before embracing tonal and populist elements (especially American jazz).
  • It was intellectuals who kept the spotlight on atonalism long after the public got alienated from it.
  • Creston explored a variety of musical techniques and compositional styles, including atonalism.

atonalist

2
noun
Example sentences
  • Talman would also have us believe that somehow, serialists and atonalists could bury expression in their music by piling on the mathematical base on which their music was founded.
  • The serialists / atonalists wrapped themselves in quasi-mathematical systems at the expense of the subjective, though they insisted that the works were meant to be expressive.
  • If a colleague dropped atonal writing, the atonalists saw this as a threatening refusal to validate their own work.

atonality

3
Pronunciation: /-ˈnalɪti/
noun
Example sentences
  • Webern makes the move to free atonality at roughly the same time Schoenberg does and with very much the same result: a long creative silence.
  • I compared him with his colleague Milhaud, whose deeply biting satire and occasional ventures into atonality took him in other directions, in a worldly sense making his music astringent.
  • Around the turn of the century, composers began to experiment with atonality, dissonance and primitive rhythms.

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