Milton Byron Babbitt was an American composer, music theorist, teacher. He is noted for his serial and electronic music. Babbitt was born in Philadelphia to Albert E. Sarah Potamkin, he was Jewish. He was raised in Jackson and began studying the violin when he was four but soon switched to clarinet and saxophone. Early in his life he was attracted to theater music, he was making his own arrangements of popular songs at seven, when he was thirteen, he won a local songwriting contest. Babbitt's father was a mathematician, it was mathematics that Babbitt intended to study when he entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1931. However, he soon left and went to New York University instead, where he studied music with Philip James and Marion Bauer. There he became interested in the music of the composers of the Second Viennese School and went on to write a number of articles on twelve tone music, including the first description of combinatoriality and a serial "time-point" technique. After receiving his bachelor of arts degree from New York University College of Arts and Science in 1935 with Phi Beta Kappa honors, he studied under Roger Sessions and later at Princeton University.
At the university, he joined the music faculty in 1938 and received one of Princeton's first Master of Fine Arts degrees in 1942. During the Second World War, Babbitt divided his time between mathematical research in Washington, D. C. and Princeton, where he became a member of the mathematics faculty from 1943 to 1945. In 1948, Babbitt returned to Princeton University's music faculty and in 1973 became a member of the faculty at the Juilliard School in New York. Among his more notable former students are music theorists David Lewin and John Rahn, composers Bruce Adolphe, Michael Dellaira, Kenneth Fuchs, Laura Karpman, Paul Lansky, Donald Martino, John Melby, Kenneth Lampl, Tobias Picker, J. K. Randall, the theatre composer Stephen Sondheim and pianists Frederic Rzewski and Richard Aaker Trythall, the jazz guitarist and composer Stanley Jordan. In 1958, Babbitt achieved unsought notoriety through an article in the popular magazine High Fidelity. Babbitt said his own title for the article was "The Composer as Specialist" (as it was published several times, including in Babbitt 2003, 48–54, but that "The editor, without my knowledge and—therefore—my consent or assent, replaced my title by the more'provocative' one:'Who Cares if You Listen?'
A title which reflects little of the letter and nothing of the spirit of the article". More than 30 years he commented: "For all that the true source of that offensively vulgar title has been revealed many times, in many ways, even—eventually—by the offending journal itself, I still am far more to be known as the author of'Who Cares if You Listen?' than as the composer of music to which you may or may not care to listen". Babbitt became interested in electronic music, he was hired by RCA as consultant composer to work with its RCA Mark II Synthesizer at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, in 1961 produced his Composition for Synthesizer. Babbitt was less interested in producing new timbres than in the rhythmic precision he could achieve using the Mark II synthesizer, a degree of precision unobtainable in live performances. Although he would shift his focus away from electronic music, the genre that first gained for him public notice, by the 1960s Babbitt was writing both electronic music and music for conventional musical instruments combining the two.
Philomel, for example, was written for soprano and a synthesized accompaniment stored on magnetic tape. From 1985 until his death he served as the Chairman of the BMI Student Composer Awards, the international competition for young classical composers. Milton Babbitt died in Princeton, New Jersey on January 29, 2011 at the age of 94. 1965 – Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 1974 – Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1982 – Pulitzer Prize, Special Citation, "for his life's work as a distinguished and seminal American composer" (Columbia University 1991, 70. 2000 – National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international, professional music fraternity 2010 – The Max Reger Foundation of America – Extraordinary Life Time Musical Achievement Award. "Some Aspects of Twelve-Tone Composition". The Score and I. M. A. Magazine 12:53–61.. "Who Cares if You Listen?". High Fidelity.. "Twelve-Tone Invariants as Compositional Determinants," Musical Quarterly 46/2.. "Set Structure as Compositional Determinant," Journal of Music Theory 5/1..
"The Structure and Function of Musical Theory," College Music Symposium 5.. "Contemporary Music Composition and Music Theory as Contemporary Intellectual History", Perspectives in Musicology: The Inaugural Lectures of the Ph. D. Program in Music at the City University of New York, edited by Barry S. Brook, Edward Downes, Sherman Van Solkema, 270–307. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-02142-4. Reprinted, New York: Pendragon Press, 1985. ISB
Klangfarbenmelodie is a musical technique that involves splitting a musical line or melody between several instruments, rather than assigning it to just one instrument, thereby adding color and texture to the melodic line. The technique is sometimes compared to a neo-impressionist painting technique; the term derives from Arnold Schoenberg's Harmonielehre, where he discusses the creation of "timbre structures". Schoenberg and Anton Webern are noted for their use of the technique, Schoenberg most notably in the third of his Five Pieces for Orchestra, Webern in his Op. 10, his Concerto for Nine Instruments, the Op. 11 pieces for cello and piano, his orchestration of the six-part ricercar from Bach's Musical Offering: This may be compared with Bach's open score of the subject and the traditional homogeneous timbre used in arrangements: Schoenberg himself employed the technique in his 1928 orchestration of the "St. Anne" organ Prelude BWV 552 from J. S. Bach's Clavier-Übung III. Malcolm MacDonald says of this arrangement, "The gamut of colour—including harp and glockenspiel, six clarinets of various sizes, a agile bass tuba is brilliantly kaleidoscopic.
The instrumentation has a serious purpose, however: it emphasizes structural divisions... and, above all, brings out the individual contrapuntal lines." A sequence of changing timbres may be heard in Schoenberg's rendering of the following passage: Notable examples of such voice distribution that preceded the use of the term may be found in music of the 18th and 19th centuries. John Eliot Gardiner says of the orchestral opening of J. S. Bach's Cantata Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot, BWV 39, "Bach sets out tentatively in an introductory sinfonia with repeated quavers tossed from paired recorders to paired oboes to the strings and back over stiffly disjointed quavers in the continuo.": In Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, first movement, according to George Grove, we hear "a succession of phrases of three notes, repeated by different instruments one after another": Similarly, in the fourth movement of Berlioz' Symphonie fantastique, the melody first appears as a descending scale played on'cellos and basses: Later, this melodic line is passed between the strings and the winds several times: There are further instances in the works of Claude Debussy: Regarding the latter, Samson writes: "To a marked degree the music of Debussy elevates timbre to an unprecedented structural status.
Hocket Klang Melodic fission Grove, George. Beethoven and His Nine Symphonies. London: Novello. Reprinted, New York: Dover Publications, 1962. Hoffer, Charles. Music Listening Today.. ISBN 9780495571995. ISBN 9780495916147. MacDonald, Malcolm. Schoenberg. Dent. Nadel, Ira B. ed.. The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-64920-9. Rogers, Michael R.. Teaching Approaches in Music Theory: An Overview of Pedagogical Philosophies.. ISBN 9780809388790. Gardiner, John Eliot. Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach. London: Allen Lane. Rushton, Julian. "Klangfarbenmelodie", The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers. Samson, Jim. Music in Transition: A Study of Tonal Expansion and Atonality, 1900–1920. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-02193-9. Schoenberg, Arnold. Harmonielehre. Vienna: Universal-Edition. Schoenberg, Arnold. Theory of Harmony.
Translated by Roy E. Carter. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Swenson, Milton, ed.. Annibale Padovano, Cristofano Malvezzi, Jacopo Peri and Annibale Padovano: Ensemble Ricercars,A-R Editions. ISBN 9780895790897. A streaming MP3 recording of Webern's orchestration of the Ricercar a 6 from Bach's Musical Offering. Klangfarben Orchestra
Emancipation of the dissonance
The emancipation of the dissonance was a concept or goal put forth by composer Arnold Schoenberg and others, including his pupil Anton Webern. The phrase first appears in Schoenberg's 1926 essay "Opinion or Insight?". It may be described as a metanarrative to justify atonality. Jim Samson describes: As the ear becomes acclimatized to a sonority within a particular context, the sonority will become'emancipated' from that context and seek a new one; the emancipation of the dominant-quality dissonances has followed this pattern, with the dominant seventh developing in status from a contrapuntal note in the sixteenth century to a quasi-consonant harmonic note in the early nineteenth. By the nineteenth century the higher numbered dominant-quality dissonances had achieved harmonic status, with resolution delayed or omitted completely; the greater autonomy of the dominant-quality dissonance contributed to the weakening of traditional tonal function within a purely diatonic context. Composers such as Charles Ives, Dane Rudhyar, Duke Ellington, Lou Harrison connected the emancipation of the dissonance with the emancipation of society and humanity.
Michael Broyles calls Ives tone-cluster-rich song "Majority" as "an incantation, a mystical statement of belief in the masses or the people". Duke Ellington, after playing some of his pieces for a journalist, said, "That's the Negro's life... Hear that chord! Dissonance is our way of life in America. We are something apart, yet an integral part". Lou Harrison described Carl Ruggles's counterpoint as "a community of singing lines, living a life of its own... careful not to get ahead or behind in its rhythmic cooperation with the others". Rudhyar gave the subtitle "A New Principle of Musical and Social Organization" to his book Dissonant Harmony, writing, "Dissonant music is thus the music of true and spiritual Democracy, it abolishes tonalities as the real Buddhistic Reformation abolished castes into the Brotherhood of Monks. Just as the harmonic series was and is used as a justification for consonance, such as by Rameau, among others, the harmonic series is used as physical or psychoacoustic justification for the gradual emancipation of intervals and chords found further and further up the harmonic series over time, such as is argued by Henry Cowell in defense of his tone clusters.
Some argue further that they are not dissonances, but consonances higher up the harmonic series and thus more complex. Chailley. Broyles, Michael. 1996. "Charles Ives and the American Democratic Tradition", in Charles Ives and His World, ed. J. Peter Burkholder. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press. Chailley, Jacques. 1951. Traité historique d'analyse musicale. Paris: Leduc. Cooper, Paul. 1973. Perspectives in Music Theory: An Historical-Analytical Approach. New York: Dodd, Mead. ISBN 0-396-06752-2. Ellington, Duke 1993. "Interview in Los Angeles: On Jump for Joy and Dissonance as a'Way of Life,'" reprinted in The Duke Ellington Reader, ed. Mark Tucker, 150. New York: Oxford University Press. Harrison, Lou. 1946. About Carl Ruggles. Yonkers, N. Y.: Oscar Baradinsky at the Alicat Bookshop. Harrison, Thomas J. 1996. 1910, the Emancipation of Dissonance. Berkeley: University of California Press. Lockspeiser, Edward. 1962. Debussy: His Life and Mind, p. 207. ISBN 0-304-91878-4 for Vol. 1. Cited in Nadeau, Roland, "Debussy and the Crisis of Tonality", p. 71, Music Educators Journal, Vol. 66, No.
1, pp. 69–73. Nattiez, Jean-Jacques. 1990. Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music. Translated by Carolyn Abbate. ISBN 0-691-02714-5. Rudhyar, Dane. 1928. Dissonant Harmony: A New Principle of Musical and Social Organization. Carmel, California: Hamsa Publications. Samson, Jim. 1977. Music in Transition: A Study of Tonal Expansion and Atonality, 1900–1920. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-02193-9. Schoenberg, Arnold. 1975. Style and Idea: Selected Writings of Arnold Schoenberg. Edited by Leonard Stein, with translations by Leo Black. New York: St. Martins Press. ISBN 0-520-05294-3. Expanded from the 1950 Philosophical Library publication edited by Dika Newlin; the volume carries the note "Several of the essays... were written in German" in both editions. Oja, Carol J. 1999. "Dane Rudhyar's Vision of American Dissonance." American Music Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 129–45. Stegemann, Benedikt. 2013. Theory of Tonality: Theoretical Studies. Wilhelmshaven: Noetzel. ISBN 978-3-7959-0963-5
The twelve-tone technique—also known as dodecaphony, twelve-tone serialism, twelve-note composition—is a method of musical composition first devised by Austrian composer Josef Matthias Hauer, who published his "law of the twelve tones" in 1919. In 1923, Arnold Schoenberg developed his own, better-known version of 12-tone technique, which became associated with the "Second Viennese School" composers, who were the primary users of the technique in the first decades of its existence; the technique is a means of ensuring that all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are sounded as as one another in a piece of music while preventing the emphasis of any one note through the use of tone rows, orderings of the 12 pitch classes. All 12 notes are thus given more or less equal importance, the music avoids being in a key. Over time, the technique increased in popularity and became influential on 20th-century composers. Many important composers who had not subscribed to or actively opposed the technique, such as Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky adopted it in their music.
Schoenberg himself described the system as a "Method of composing with twelve tones which are related only with one another". It is considered a form of serialism. Schoenberg's fellow countryman and contemporary Josef Matthias Hauer developed a similar system using unordered hexachords or tropes—but with no connection to Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique. Other composers have created systematic use of the chromatic scale, but Schoenberg's method is considered to be and aesthetically most significant. Though most sources will say it was invented by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg in 1921 and first described to his associates in 1923, in fact Josef Matthias Hauer published his "law of the twelve tones" in 1919, should be credited with inventing the technique, requiring that all twelve chromatic notes sound before any note is repeated; the method was used during the next twenty years exclusively by the composers of the Second Viennese School—Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Schoenberg himself. The twelve tone technique was preceded by "freely" atonal pieces of 1908–1923 which, though "free" have as an "integrative element... a minute intervallic cell" which in addition to expansion may be transformed as with a tone row, in which individual notes may "function as pivotal elements, to permit overlapping statements of a basic cell or the linking of two or more basic cells".
The twelve-tone technique was preceded by "nondodecaphonic serial composition" used independently in the works of Alexander Scriabin, Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Carl Ruggles, others. Oliver Neighbour argues that Bartók was "the first composer to use a group of twelve notes consciously for a structural purpose", in 1908 with the third of his fourteen bagatelles. "Essentially and Hauer systematized and defined for their own dodecaphonic purposes a pervasive technical feature of'modern' musical practice, the ostinato". Additionally, John Covach argues that the strict distinction between the two, emphasized by authors including Perle, is overemphasized: The distinction made between Hauer and the Schoenberg school—that the former's music is based on unordered hexachords while the latter's is based on an ordered series—is false: while he did write pieces that could be thought of as "trope pieces", much of Hauer's twelve-tone music employs an ordered series; the "strict ordering" of the Second Viennese school, on the other hand, "was tempered by practical considerations: they worked on the basis of an interaction between ordered and unordered pitch collections."Rudolph Reti, an early proponent, says: "To replace one structural force by another is indeed the fundamental idea behind the twelve-tone technique," arguing it arose out of Schoenberg's frustrations with free atonality, providing a "positive premise" for atonality.
In Hauer's breakthrough piece Nomos, Op. 19 he used twelve-tone sections to mark out large formal divisions, such as with the opening five statements of the same twelve-tone series, stated in groups of five notes making twelve five-note phrases. Schoenberg's idea in developing the technique was for it to "replace those structural differentiations provided by tonal harmonies"; as such, twelve-tone music is atonal, treats each of the 12 semitones of the chromatic scale with equal importance, as opposed to earlier classical music which had treated some notes as more important than others. The technique became used by the fifties, taken up by composers such as Milton Babbitt, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Luigi Dallapiccola, Ernst Krenek, Riccardo Malipiero, after Schoenberg's death, Igor Stravinsky; some of these composers extended the technique to control aspects other than the pitches of notes, thus producing serial music. Some subjected all elements of music to the serial process. Charles Wuorinen claimed in a 1962 interview that while "most of the Europeans say that they have'gone beyond' and'exhausted' the twelve-tone system", in America, "the twelve-tone system has been studied and generalized into an edifice more impressive than any hitherto known."American composer Scott Bradley, best known for his musical scores for work like Tom & Jerry and Droopy Dog, utilized the 12-tone technique in his work.
Bradley had learned the concept as a student of Schoenberg. Bradley described his use thus: The Twelve-Tone System provides the ‘out-of-this-world’ progressions so necessary to under-write the fantastic and incredible situations which present-day cartoons contain. An example of
A tone cluster is a musical chord comprising at least three adjacent tones in a scale. Prototypical tone clusters are separated by semitones. For instance, three adjacent piano keys struck produce a tone cluster. Variants of the tone cluster include chords comprising adjacent tones separated diatonically, pentatonically, or microtonally. On the piano, such clusters involve the simultaneous striking of neighboring white or black keys; the early years of the twentieth century saw tone clusters elevated to central roles in pioneering works by ragtime artists Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin. In the 1910s, two classical avant-gardists, composer-pianists Leo Ornstein and Henry Cowell, were recognized as making the first extensive explorations of the tone cluster. During the same period, Charles Ives employed them in several compositions that were not publicly performed until the late 1920s or 1930s. Composers such as Béla Bartók and Lou Harrison and Karlheinz Stockhausen became proponents of the tone cluster, which feature in the work of many 20th- and 21st-century classical composers.
Tone clusters play a significant role, as well, in the work of free jazz musicians such as Cecil Taylor and Matthew Shipp. In most Western music, tone clusters tend to be heard as dissonant. Clusters may be performed with any individual instrument on which three or more notes can be played as well as by most groups of instruments or voices. Keyboard instruments are suited to the performance of tone clusters because it is easy to play multiple notes in unison on them. Prototypical tone clusters are chords of three or more adjacent notes on a chromatic scale, that is, three or more adjacent pitches each separated by only a semitone. Three-note stacks based on diatonic and pentatonic scales are strictly speaking, tone clusters. However, these stacks involve intervals between notes greater than the half-tone gaps of the chromatic kind; this can be seen on a keyboard, where the pitch of each key is separated from the next by one semitone: Diatonic scales—conventionally played on the white keys—contain only two semitone intervals.
In Western musical traditions, pentatonic scales—conventionally played on the black keys—are built from intervals larger than a semitone. Commentators thus tend to identify diatonic and pentatonic stacks as "tone clusters" only when they consist of four or more successive notes in the scale. In standard Western classical music practice, all tone clusters are classifiable as secundal chords—that is, they are constructed from minor seconds, major seconds, or, in the case of certain pentatonic clusters, augmented seconds. Stacks of adjacent microtonal pitches constitute tone clusters. In tone clusters, the notes are sounded and in unison, distinguishing them from ornamented figures involving acciaccaturas and the like, their effect tends to be different: where ornamentation is used to draw attention to the harmony or the relationship between harmony and melody, tone clusters are for the most part employed as independent sounds. While, by definition, the notes that form a cluster must sound at the same time, there is no requirement that they must all begin sounding at the same moment.
For example, in R. Murray Schafer's choral Epitaph for Moonlight, a tone cluster is constructed by dividing each choir section into four parts; each of the sixteen parts enters separately, humming a note one semitone lower than the note hummed by the previous part, until all sixteen are contributing to the cluster. Tone clusters have been thought of as dissonant musical textures, defined as such; as noted by Alan Belkin, instrumental timbre can have a significant impact on their effect: "Clusters are quite aggressive on the organ, but soften enormously when played by strings." In his first published work on the topic, Henry Cowell observed that a tone cluster is "more pleasing" and "acceptable to the ear if its outer limits form a consonant interval." Cowell explains, "the natural spacing of so-called dissonances is as seconds, as in the overtone series, rather than sevenths and ninths.... Groups spaced in seconds may be made to sound euphonious if played in conjunction with fundamental chord notes taken from lower in the same overtone series.
Blends them together and explains them to the ear." Tone clusters have been considered noise. As Mauricio Kagel says, "clusters have been used as a kind of anti-harmony, as a transition between sound and noise." Tone clusters thus lend themselves to use in a percussive manner. They were sometimes discussed with a hint of disdain. One 1969 textbook defines the tone cluster as "an extra-harmonic clump of notes." In his 1917 piece The Tides of Manaunaun, Cowell introduced a new notation for tone clusters on the piano and other keyboard instruments. In this notation, only the top and bottom notes of a cluster, connected by a single line or a pair of lines, are represented; this developed into the solid-bar style seen in the image on the right. Here, the first chord—stretching two octaves from D2 to D4—is a diatonic cluster, indicated by the natural sign below the staff; the second is a pentatonic cluster, indicated by the flat sign. A chromatic cluster—black and white keys t
Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; the word derives from Greek μουσική. See glossary of musical terminology. In its most general form, the activities describing music as an art form or cultural activity include the creation of works of music, the criticism of music, the study of the history of music, the aesthetic examination of music. Ancient Greek and Indian philosophers defined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies. Common sayings such as "the harmony of the spheres" and "it is music to my ears" point to the notion that music is ordered and pleasant to listen to. However, 20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, for example, "There is no noise, only sound."The creation, performance and the definition of music vary according to culture and social context.
Indeed, throughout history, some new forms or styles of music have been criticized as "not being music", including Beethoven's Grosse Fuge string quartet in 1825, early jazz in the beginning of the 1900s and hardcore punk in the 1980s. There are many types of music, including popular music, traditional music, art music, music written for religious ceremonies and work songs such as chanteys. Music ranges from organized compositions–such as Classical music symphonies from the 1700s and 1800s, through to spontaneously played improvisational music such as jazz, avant-garde styles of chance-based contemporary music from the 20th and 21st centuries. Music can be divided into genres and genres can be further divided into subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are subtle, sometimes open to personal interpretation, controversial. For example, it can be hard to draw the line between heavy metal. Within the arts, music may be classified as a fine art or as an auditory art.
Music may be played or sung and heard live at a rock concert or orchestra performance, heard live as part of a dramatic work, or it may be recorded and listened to on a radio, MP3 player, CD player, smartphone or as film score or TV show. In many cultures, music is an important part of people's way of life, as it plays a key role in religious rituals, rite of passage ceremonies, social activities and cultural activities ranging from amateur karaoke singing to playing in an amateur funk band or singing in a community choir. People may make music as a hobby, like a teen playing cello in a youth orchestra, or work as a professional musician or singer; the music industry includes the individuals who create new songs and musical pieces, individuals who perform music, individuals who record music, individuals who organize concert tours, individuals who sell recordings, sheet music, scores to customers. The word derives from Greek μουσική. In Greek mythology, the nine Muses were the goddesses who inspired literature and the arts and who were the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, song-lyrics, myths in the Greek culture.
According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, the term "music" is derived from "mid-13c. Musike, from Old French musique and directly from Latin musica "the art of music," including poetry." This is derived from the "... Greek mousike " of the Muses," from fem. of mousikos "pertaining to the Muses," from Mousa "Muse". Modern spelling from 1630s. In classical Greece, any art in which the Muses presided, but music and lyric poetry." Music is composed and performed for many purposes, ranging from aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, or as an entertainment product for the marketplace. When music was only available through sheet music scores, such as during the Classical and Romantic eras, music lovers would buy the sheet music of their favourite pieces and songs so that they could perform them at home on the piano. With the advent of sound recording, records of popular songs, rather than sheet music became the dominant way that music lovers would enjoy their favourite songs. With the advent of home tape recorders in the 1980s and digital music in the 1990s, music lovers could make tapes or playlists of their favourite songs and take them with them on a portable cassette player or MP3 player.
Some music lovers create mix tapes of their favorite songs, which serve as a "self-portrait, a gesture of friendship, prescription for an ideal party... an environment consisting of what is most ardently loved."Amateur musicians can compose or perf
Quartal and quintal harmony
In music, quartal harmony is the building of harmonic structures built from the intervals of the perfect fourth, the augmented fourth and the diminished fourth. For instance, a three-note quartal chord on C can be built by stacking perfect fourths, C–F–B♭. Quintal harmony is harmonic structure preferring the perfect fifth, the augmented fifth and the diminished fifth. For instance, a three-note quintal chord on C can be built by stacking perfect fifths, C–G–D. Use of the terms quartal and quintal arises from a contrast, compositional or perceptual, with traditional tertian harmonic constructions. Listeners familiar with music of the common practice period perceive tonal music as that which uses major and minor chords and scales, wherein both the major third and minor third constitute the basic structural elements of the harmony. Composer Vincent Persichetti writes that: Chords by perfect fourth are ambiguous in that, like all chords built by equidistant intervals, any member can function as the root.
The indifference of this rootless harmony to tonality places the burden of key verification upon the voice with the most active melodic line. Quintal harmony is a lesser-used term, since the fifth is the inversion or complement of the fourth, it is considered indistinct from quartal harmony; because of this relationship, any quartal chord can be rewritten as a quintal chord by changing the order of its pitches. Like tertian chords, a given quartal or quintal chord can be written with different voicings, some of which obscure its quartal structure. For instance, the quartal chord, C–F–B♭, can be written as In the Middle Ages, simultaneous notes a fourth apart were heard as a consonance. During the common practice period, this interval came to be heard either as a dissonance or as a consonance. In the 19th century, during the breakdown of tonality in classical music, all intervallic relationships were once again reassessed. Quartal harmony was developed in the early 20th century as a result of this breakdown and reevaluation of tonality.
The Tristan chord is made up of the notes F♮, B♮, D♯ and G♯ and is the first chord heard in Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde. The bottom two notes make up an augmented fourth; this layering of fourths in this context has been seen as significant. The chord had been found in earlier works, notably Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 18, but Wagner's use was significant, first because it is seen as moving away from traditional tonal harmony and towards atonality, second because with this chord Wagner provoked the sound or structure of musical harmony to become more predominant than its function, a notion, soon after to be explored by Debussy and others. Despite the layering of fourths, it is rare to find musicologists identifying this chord as "quartal harmony" or as "proto-quartal harmony", since Wagner's musical language is still built on thirds, an ordinary dominant seventh chord can be laid out as augmented fourth plus perfect fourth. Wagner's unusual chord is a device to draw the listener into the musical-dramatic argument which the composer is presenting to us.
At the beginning of the 20th century, quartal harmony became an important element of harmony. Scriabin used a self-developed system of transposition using fourth-chords, like his Mystic chord in his Piano Sonata No. 6. Scriabin wrote this chord in his sketches alongside other quartal passages and more traditional tertian passages passing between systems, for example widening the six-note quartal sonority into a seven-note chord. Scriabin's sketches for his unfinished work Mysterium show that he intended to develop the Mystic chord into a huge chord incorporating all twelve notes of the chromatic scale. In France, Erik Satie experimented with planing in the stacked fourths of his 1891 score for Le Fils des étoiles. Paul Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice has a rising repetition in fourths, as the tireless work of out-of-control walking brooms causes the water level in the house to "rise and rise". Composers who use the techniques of quartal harmony include Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, Alexander Scriabin, Alban Berg, Leonard Bernstein, Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, Anton Webern.
Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony Op. 9 displays quartal harmony: the first measures construct a five-part fourth chord with the notes C–F–B♭–E♭–A♭ distributed over several instruments. The composer picks out this vertical quartal harmony in a horizontal sequence of fourths from the horns leading to a passage of triadic quartal harmony. Schoenberg was one of the first to write on the theoretical consequences of this harmonic innovation. In his Theory of Harmony of 1911, he wrote: The construction of chords by superimposing fourths can lead to a chord that contains all the twelve notes of the chromatic scale. For Anton Webern, the impor