List of pieces which use the whole tone scale

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This is a list of notable musical works which use the whole tone scale.

Cantata Profana, b. 186–87 (Antokoletz 1984, 245)
Concerto for Orchestra, fifth movement, b. 484 (Antokoletz 1984, 263)
String Quartet No. 1, end of movement 3 (Antokoletz 1984, 88)
String Quartet No. 4, first movement, b. 157–60 (Antokoletz 1984, 280)
String Quartet No. 5 "The sequence of tonalities of the single sections [of the sonata form] produce the whole-tone scale" (Bartók 1935), 414); "In the first movement of the Fifth String Quartet...the tonalities of the individual sections form a complete whole-tone scale (B-C-D-E-F-G-B)." (Cooper 1996, 70)
Violin Concerto (Pople 1991, 74–75)
"Nacht" from Seven Early Songs (Gorrell 2002, 119)
Francs-Juges Overture (Antokoletz 2004, 312)
An die Jugend for piano, the right hand part of the "Preludietto, Fughetta ed Esercizio" is based on the whole tone scale (Stuckenschmidt 1970, 109).
Prelude 19, mm. 43–44, in the bass, "while the melody moves down chromatically" (Leikin 2015, 128)
The Stone Guest, passage from Act 3 (Andrews 2001)
Symphony No. 3, first movement, horns, between rehearsals P and Q (Davies 1985, 58–60)
Chansons de Bilitis (Hull 1915, 62)
Children's Corner (Hull 1915, 61)
Images for piano, No. 1 (Hull 1915, 56)
Jeux (Salzman 1974, 203)
La mer (Andrews 2001; Antokoletz 2004, 20)
Pelléas et Mélisande, act 4 scene 2 (Andrews 2001)
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, b. 32–33, 35–36 (Schoenberg 1978, 393n1)
Voiles from Préludes, Book 1 (Andrews 2001)
"Overture 1928" (Traczyk n.d.)
The Dream of Gerontius (Hull 1915, 58)
A Baghdad Lover, nine songs for bass and piano, op. 25 (1911) (Aldrich and Meckna 2001)
"Just the Same"[citation needed]
Ruslan and Lyudmila, near the end of the Overture, in the finale to act 1, and in the act-4 chorus "Pogibnet! Pogibnet!" (Andrews 2001; Woodside 1990, 68)
"Holographic Sight" (Karan 2011)
"Allegro burlesco" from the Sonatina exotique for piano (Hull 1915, 58)
"Fracture" (Macan 1997, 55)
"Red" (Macan 1997, 55)
"Spacelab" (from The Man-Machine) (Sigman 2011, 15)
Fantasy and Fugue on "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam", for organ (Todd 1981, passim)
Réminiscences de Don Juan (Schoenberg 1978, 390)
Quartet for the End of Time (movement 6, "Danse of Fury, for the seven trumpets", cello part) (Taruskin 2009, 237)
"Our Man Higgins" (McMillan 2008, 153)
A Musical Joke (Rosen 1998, 556)
Jet Lag, 1977, title track intro[citation needed]
Jeux d'Eau, page 1 (DeVoto 2004, 193)
Une fête, No. 6 (Hull 1915, 57)
Les rêves (Hull 1915, 57)
Piano Concerto, 1882, Allegro (Rimsky-Korsakoff 1886, 25–26) [1] 25–26
"Am Wegrend", op. 6, no. 6 (Frisch 1997, 218)
Chamber Symphony No. 1 (Frisch 1997, 233–34, 245; Salzman 1974, 32)
"Jesus bettelt", op. 2, no. 2 (Frisch 1997, 103–104)
Pelleas und Melisande (Schoenberg 1978, 393)
String Quartet No. 1 (Frisch 1997, 197–201)
"Sanctus" from the Mass No. 6 in E-flat major, D. 950 (Salzer and Schachter 1989, 215, 217–18)
"Some Questions About Hats" (from Desperate Straights)[citation needed]
"Giants" (from Desperate Straights)[citation needed]
Montag aus Licht, act 1, scene 6, "Das große Geweine", b. 879–81 (Kohl 2004, 131–32)
L'histoire du soldat (Zur 1982, 517–18)
"In the Future" (chorus)[citation needed]
Symphony No. 3, Op. 29 (IV. Scherzo, bars 47–58 and identical places)[citation needed]
The Queen of Spades, Op. 68 (1890) (Act 3, Scene 19, after bar 41 (Andante non tanto, Apparition of Countess's Ghost) and the consequent Ghost scenes).[citation needed]
Iolanta, Op. 69, (1892) (Finale, three bars before 170, orchestra part (Più mosso, Iolanta is afraid of the sky, after her sight is recovered).[citation needed]
Chôros No. 2 (Moreira 2014, 53)
String Quartet No. 3, second movement (Molto Vivo) (Tarasti 2009, 231–32)
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (introduction) (Perone 2006, 40)

See also[edit]


  • Aldrich, Richard, and Michael Meckna. 2001. "Fairchild, Blair". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Andrews, H. K. 2001. "Whole-Tone Scale". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Antokoletz, Elliott. 1984. The Music of Béla Bartók: A Study of Tonality and Progression in Twentieth-Century Music. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520067479.
  • Antokoletz, Elliott. 2004. Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartók: Trauma, Gender, and the Unfolding of the Unconscious. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195103830.
  • Bartók, Béla. 1935. "Analysis for the Fifth String Quartet". In Béla Bartók Essays.[full citation needed] Cited in Michael John Malone. Symbols of Transformation.[full citation needed], 2008: p.83. ISBN 9780549783367.
  • Cooper, David. 1996. Bartók, Concerto for Orchestra. Cambridge Music Handbooks. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521485050.
  • Davies, Peter Maxwell. 1985. Symphony No. 3. (score) London:Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.
  • DeVoto, Mark. 2004. Debussy and the Veil of Tonality.[full citation needed] ISBN 9781576470909.
  • Frisch, Walter. 1997. Early Works of Arnold Schoenberg, 1893–1908. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520212183.
  • Gorrell, Lorraine. 2002. Discordant Melody.[full citation needed] ISBN 9780313323669.
  • Hull, Arthur Eaglefield. 1915. Modern Harmony: Its Explanation and Application. London: Augener Ltd.
  • Karan, Tim. 2011. "Track by Track: The Human Abstract", (3 May).
  • Kohl, Jerome. 2004. "Der Aspekt der Harmonik in Licht." In Internationales Stockhausen-Symposion 2000: LICHT. Musikwissenschaftliches Institut der Universität zu Köln, 19. bis 22. Oktober 2000. Tagungsbericht, edited by Imke Misch and Christoph von Blumröder, 116–32. Münster, Berlin, London: LIT-Verlag. ISBN 3-8258-7944-5.
  • Leikin, Anatole. 2015. The Mystery of Chopin's Préludes. London and New York: Rutledge. ISBN 9781317023418.
  • Macan, Edward. 1997. Rocking the Classics.[full citation needed] ISBN 9780195098884.
  • McMillan, Jeffery S. 2008. DelightfuLee: The Life and Music of Lee Morgan. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Template:ISBN=0-472-03281-X.
  • Moreira, Gabriel Ferrão. 2014. "A construção da sonoridade modernista de Heitor Villa-Lobos por meio de processos harmônicos: um estudo sobre os Choros". PhD diss. São Paulo: Universidade do Estado de São Paulo.
  • Perone, James E. 2006. The Sound of Stevie Wonder: His Words and Music. The Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 9780275987237.
  • Pople, Antony. 1991. Berg: Violin Concerto. Cambridge Music Handbooks. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-39976-9.
  • Rimsky-Korsakoff, Nikolai. 1886. Concerto [for Piano and Orchestra], Op. 30 (reduction for two pianos). Leipzig: M. P. Belaieff.
  • Rosen, Charles. 1998. The Romantic Generation. The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674779347.
  • Salzer, Felix, and Carl Schachter. 1989. Counterpoint in Composition, reprinted with a new preface. New York: Columbia University Press Morningside Edition. ISBN 0-231-07038-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-231-07039-X (pbk).
  • Salzman, Eric. 1974. Twentieth-Century Music: An Introduction, second edition. Prentice-Hall History of Music Series, edired by H. Wiley Hitchcock. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-935007-1.
  • Schoenberg, Arnold. 1978. Theory of Harmony, translated by Roy E. Carter. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04945-4 (cloth); ISBN 0-520-04944-6 (pbk).
  • Sigman, Mitchell. 2011. Steal This Sound.[full citation needed] ISBN 9781423492818.
  • Stuckenschmidt, Hans Heinz. 1970. Ferruccio Busoni: Chronicle of a European. London: Calder & Boyars. ISBN 9780714502342 ISBN 9780714502359.
  • Tarasti, Eero. 2009. "Villa-Lobos's String Quartets". In Intimate Voices: The Twentieth-Century String Quartet, vol. 1: Debussy to Villa-Lobos, edited by Evan Jones, 223–55. Eastman Studies in Music 70. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press. ISBN 978-1-58046-322-5.
  • Taruskin, Richard. 2009. Music in the Early Twentieth Century.[full citation needed] ISBN 9780195386301.
  • Todd, R. Larry. 1981. "Liszt, Fantasy and Fugue for Organ on 'Ad nos, ad salutarem undam'". 19th-Century Music 4, no. 3 (Spring): 250–61.
  • Traczyk, Piotr. n.d. "Dream Theater: Overture 1928 – Guitar Tab",
  • Woodside, Mary S. 1990. "Leitmotiv in Russia: Glinka's Use of the Whole-Tone Scale". 19th-Century Music 14, no. 1 (Summer): 67–74.
  • Zur, Menachem 1982. "Tonal Ambiguities as a Constructive Force in the Language of Stravinsky". The Musical Quarterly 68, No. 4 (October): 516–26.