Definition of serialism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsirēəˌlizəm/


A compositional technique in which a fixed series of notes, especially the twelve notes of the chromatic scale, are used to generate the harmonic and melodic basis of a piece and are subject to change only in specific ways. The first fully serial movements appeared in 1923 in works by Arnold Schoenberg. See also twelve-tone.
Example sentences
  • At the same time he was rapidly developing his musical style on the basis of Schoenberg's serialism, the rhythmic methods of Stravinsky and Messiaen, and Webern's tightly integrated approach to composition.
  • These composers returned to Korea with contemporary Western compositional styles, techniques including serialism and genres including electronic and computer music.
  • This work, written in 1975, is closely derived from the slow movement of Rochberg's Third String Quartet - an important signpost in the composer's movement away from serialism.



Pronunciation: /ˈsirēələst/
adjective& noun
Example sentences
  • He 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.
  • One might suggest that he turned away from the complexity of the serialist school where it seemed that complexity equaled meaning.
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