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  • Holly Mead

Composing Music by William Russo: Chapter 5

12 Tone Row


The development of the 12-tone row is associated with Arnold Schoenberg and 20th century contemporary music.


To construct our 12-tone row (sometimes called a note row, series, or set), we're going to order the 12 pitches of the chromatic scale to create a 12-tone melody/series. This is called the "prime form." We can repeat our tones consecutively, but we must always keep the order of successive pitches in the row intact. In addition to the original row, we will utilize the retrograde, the inversion, and the retrograde of the inversion.


This was not my usual modus operandi, but I had fun experimenting! Beep boop!