In music, serialism is a method of composition using series of pitches, rhythms, dynamics, timbres or other musical elements. Serialism began primarily with Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, though some of his contemporaries were also working to establish serialism as a form of post-tonal thinking. Twelve-tone technique orders the twelve notes of the chromatic scale, forming a row or series and providing a unifying basis for a composition's melody, harmony, structural progressions, and variations. Other types of serialism also work with sets, collections of objects, but not necessarily with fixed-order series, and extend the technique to other musical dimensions (often called "parameters"), such as duration, dynamics, and timbre.
The idea of serialism is also applied in various ways in the visual arts, design, and architecture (Bandur 2001, 5, 12, 74; Gerstner 1964, passim), and the musical concept has also been adapted in literature (Collot 2008, 81; Leray 2008, 217–19; Waelti-Walters 1992, 37, 64, 81, 95).
Integral serialism or total serialism is the use of series for aspects such as duration, dynamics, and register as well as pitch (Whittall 2008, 273). Other terms, used especially in Europe to distinguish post–World War II serial music from twelve-tone music and its American extensions, are general serialism and multiple serialism (Grant 2001, 5–6).
Composers such as Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, Luigi Nono, Milton Babbitt, Elisabeth Lutyens, Charles Wuorinen and Jean Barraqué used serial techniques of one sort or another in most of their music. Other composers such as Béla Bartók, Luciano Berio, Benjamin Britten, John Cage, Aaron Copland, Olivier Messiaen, Arvo Pärt, Walter Piston, Ned Rorem, Alfred Schnittke, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Igor Stravinsky used serialism only in some of their compositions or only in some sections of pieces, as did some jazz composers, such as Yusef Lateef and Bill Evans.
- 1 Basic definitions
- 2 History of serial music
- 3 Reactions to and against serialism
- 4 Theory of twelve-tone serial music
- 5 Notable composers
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Serialism is a method (Griffiths 2001, 116), "highly specialized technique" (Wörner 1973, 196), or "way" (Whittall 2008, 1) of composition, it may also be considered "a philosophy of life (Weltanschauung), a way of relating the human mind to the world and creating a completeness when dealing with a subject" (Bandur 2001, 5).
Serialism is not by itself a system of composition or a style. Neither is pitch serialism necessarily incompatible with tonality, though it is most often used as a means of composing atonal music (Griffiths 2001, 116).
"Serial music" is a problematic term because it is used differently in different languages and especially because, shortly after its coinage in French, it underwent essential alterations during its transmission to German.(Frisius 1998, 1327). The term's use in connection with music was first introduced in French by René Leibowitz (1947), and immediately afterward by Humphrey Searle in English, as an alternative translation of the German Zwölftontechnik twelve-tone technique or Reihenmusik (row music); it was independently introduced by Herbert Eimert and Karlheinz Stockhausen into German in 1955 as serielle Musik, with a different meaning (Frisius 1998, 1327) but also translated as "serial music".
Serialism of the first type is most specifically defined as the structural principle according to which a recurring series of ordered elements (normally a set—or row—of pitches or pitch classes) are used in order or manipulated in particular ways to give a piece unity. Serialism is often broadly applied to all music written in what Schoenberg called "The Method of Composing with Twelve Notes related only to one another" (Schoenberg 1975, 218; Anon. n.d.), or dodecaphony, and methods that evolved from his methods. It is sometimes used more specifically to apply only to music where at least one element other than pitch is treated as a row or series. In such usages post-Webernian serialism will be used to denote works that extend serial techniques to other elements of music. Other terms used to make the distinction are twelve-note serialism for the former and integral serialism for the latter.
A row may be assembled pre-compositionally (perhaps to embody particular intervallic or symmetrical properties), or derived from a spontaneously invented thematic or motivic idea; the row's structure does not in itself define the structure of a composition, which requires development of a comprehensive strategy. The choice of strategy often depends on the relationships contained in a row class, and rows may be constructed with an eye to producing the relationships needed to form desired strategies.(Mead 1985, 129–30)
The basic set may have additional restrictions, such as the requirement that it use each interval only once.
Rules of analysis derived from twelve-tone theory do not apply to serialism of the second type: "in particular the ideas, one, that the series is an intervallic sequence, and two, that the rules are consistent" (Maconie 2005, 119). Stockhausen, for example, in early serial compositions such as Kreuzspiel and Formel, "advances in unit sections within which a preordained set of pitches is repeatedly reconfigured ... The composer's model for the distributive serial process corresponds to a development of the Zwölftonspiel of Josef Matthias Hauer" (Maconie 2005, 56), and Goeyvaerts, in such a work as Nummer 4,
provides a classic illustration of the distributive function of seriality: 4 times an equal number of elements of equal duration within an equal global time is distributed in the most equable way, unequally with regard to one another, over the temporal space: from the greatest possible coïncidence to the greatest possible dispersion. This provides an exemplary demonstration of that logical principle of seriality: every situation must occur once and only once. (Sabbe 1977, 114)
For Henri Pousseur, after an initial period working with twelve-tone technique in works like Sept Versets (1950) and Trois Chants sacrés (1951), serialism
evolved away from this bond in Symphonies pour quinze Solistes [1954–55] and in the Quintette [à la mémoire d’Anton Webern, 1955], and from around the time of Impromptu  encounters whole new dimensions of application and new functions.
The twelve-tone series loses its imperative function as a prohibiting, regulating, and patterning authority; its working-out is abandoned through its own constant-frequent presence: all 66 intervallic relations among the 12 pitches being virtually present. Prohibited intervals, like the octave, and prohibited successional relations, such as premature note repetitions, frequently occur, although obscured in the dense contexture; the number twelve no longer plays any governing, defining rôle; the pitch constellations no longer hold to the limitation determined by their formation. The dodecaphonic series loses its significance as a concrete model of shape (or a well-defined collection of concrete shapes) is played out, and the chromatic total remains active only, and provisionally, as a general reference. (Sabbe 1977, 264)
In the 1960s Pousseur took this a step further, applying a consistent set of predefined transformations to preexisting music. One example is the large orchestral work Couleurs croisées (Crossed Colours, 1967), which performs these transformations on the protest song "We Shall Overcome", creating a succession of different situations that are sometimes chromatic and dissonant and sometimes diatonic and consonant (Locanto 2010, 157). In his opera Votre Faust (Your Faust, 1960–68) Pousseur used a large number of different quotations, themselves arranged into a "scale" for serial treatment, so as to bring coherence and order to the work; this "generalised" serialism (in the strongest possible sense) aims not to exclude any musical phenomena, no matter how heterogenous, in order "to control the effects of tonal determinism, dialectize its causal functions, and overcome any academic prohibitions, especially the fixing of an anti-grammar meant to replace some previous one" (Bosseur 1989, 60–61).
At about the same time, Stockhausen began using serial methods to integrate a variety of musical sources from recorded examples of folk and traditional music from around the world in his electronic composition Telemusik (1966), and from national anthems in Hymnen (1966–67), he extended this serial "polyphony of styles" in a series of "process-plan" works in the late 1960s, as well as later in portions of Licht, the cycle of seven operas he composed between 1977 and 2003 (Kohl 2002, 97 et passim).
History of serial music
Before World War II
In the late 19th and early 20th century, composers began to struggle against the ordered system of chords and intervals known as "functional tonality". Composers such as Debussy and Strauss found ways to stretch the limits of the tonal system to accommodate their ideas. After a brief period of free atonality, Schoenberg and others began exploring tone rows, in which an ordering of the twelve pitches of the equal tempered chromatic scale is used as the source material of a composition; this ordered set, often called a row, allowed for new forms of expression and (unlike free atonality) the expansion of underlying structural organizing principles without recourse to common practice harmony (Delahoyde n.d.).
Twelve-tone serialism first appeared in the 1920s, with antecedents predating that decade (instances of twelve-note passages occur in Liszt's Faust Symphony Walker 1986,[page needed] and in Bach Cope 1971,[page needed]). Schoenberg was the composer most decisively involved in devising and demonstrating the fundamentals of twelve-tone serialism, though it is clear it is not the work of just one musician (Whittall 2008, 1).
After World War II
Serialism, along with John Cage's indeterminate music (music composed with the use of chance operations) and Werner Meyer-Eppler's aleatoricism, was enormously influential in postwar music. Theorists such as George Perle codified serial systems, and his 1962 text Serial Composition and Atonality became a standard work on the origins of serial composition in the music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern.
The serialization of rhythm, dynamics, and other elements of music was partly fostered by the work of Olivier Messiaen and his analysis students, including Karel Goeyvaerts and Boulez, in postwar Paris. Messiaen first used a chromatic rhythm scale in his Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jésus (1944), but he did not employ a rhythmic series until 1946–48, in the seventh movement, "Turangalîla II", of his Turangalîla-Symphonie (Sherlaw Johnson 1989, 94); the first examples of such integral serialism are the Three Compositions for Piano (1947), Composition for Four Instruments (1948), and Composition for Twelve Instruments (1948) by American composer Milton Babbitt, who worked independently of the Europeans.
Several of the composers associated with Darmstadt, notably Stockhausen, Goeyvaerts, and Pousseur, developed a form of serialism that initially rejected the recurring rows characteristic of twelve-tone technique in order to eradicate any lingering traces of thematicism (Felder 1977, 92). Instead of a recurring, referential row, "each musical component is subjected to control by a series of numerical proportions" (Morgan 1975, 3). In Europe, the style of some serial and non-serial music of the early 1950s emphasized the determination of all parameters for each note independently, often resulting in widely spaced, isolated "points" of sound, an effect called first in German "punktuelle Musik" ("pointist" or "punctual music"), then in French "musique ponctuelle", but quickly confused with "pointillistic" (German "pointillistische", French "pointilliste"), the familiar term associated with the densely packed dots in paintings of Seurat, despite the fact that the conception was at the opposite extreme (Stockhausen and Frisius 1998, 451).
Pieces were structured by closed sets of proportions, a method closely related to certain works from the de Stijl and Bauhaus movements in design and architecture called "serial art" by some writers (Bochner 1967; Gerstner 1964; Guderian 1985; Sykora 1983), specifically the paintings of Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Bart van Leck, Georg van Tongerloo, Richard Paul Lohse, and Burgoyne Diller, who had been seeking to “avoid repetition and symmetry on all structural levels and working with a limited number of elements” (Bandur 2001, 54).
Stockhausen described the final synthesis in this manner:
So serial thinking is something that's come into our consciousness and will be there forever: it's relativity and nothing else, it just says: Use all the components of any given number of elements, don't leave out individual elements, use them all with equal importance and try to find an equidistant scale so that certain steps are no larger than others. It's a spiritual and democratic attitude toward the world; the stars are organized in a serial way. Whenever you look at a certain star sign you find a limited number of elements with different intervals. If we more thoroughly studied the distances and proportions of the stars we'd probably find certain relationships of multiples based on some logarithmic scale or whatever the scale may be. (Cott 1973, 101)
Igor Stravinsky's adoption of twelve-tone serial techniques offers an example of the level of influence that serialism had after the Second World War. Previously Stravinsky had used series of notes without rhythmic or harmonic implications (Shatzkin 1977); because many of the basic techniques of serial composition have analogs in traditional counterpoint, uses of inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion from before the war are not necessarily indicative of Stravinsky adopting Schoenbergian techniques. But after meeting Robert Craft and other younger composers, Stravinsky began to consciously study Schoenberg's music, as well as that of Webern and later composers, and began to adapt their techniques in his work, using, for example, serial techniques applied to fewer than twelve notes. Over the course of the 1950s he used procedures related to Messiaen, Webern and Berg. While it is difficult to label each and every work as "serial" in the strict definition, every major work of the period has clear uses and references to serialist ideas.
During this period, the concept of serialism influenced not only new compositions but also the scholarly analysis of the classical masters. Adding to their professional tools of sonata form and tonality, scholars began to analyze previous works in the light of serial techniques; for example, they found the use of row technique in previous composers going back to Mozart and Beethoven (Jalowetz 1944, 387; Keller 1955, passim). In particular, the orchestral outburst that introduces the development section halfway through the last movement of Mozart's next-to-last symphony is a tone row that Mozart punctuates in a very modern and violent way that Michael Steinberg called "rude octaves and frozen silences" (Steinberg 1998, 400).
Ruth Crawford Seeger extended serial control to parameters other than pitch and to formal planning as early as 1930–33 (Tick 2001) in a fashion that goes beyond Webern but was less thoroughgoing than the later practices of Babbitt and European postwar composers.
Reactions to and against serialism
Some music theorists have criticized serialism on the basis that the compositional strategies employed are often incompatible with the way information is extracted by the human mind from a piece of music. Nicolas Ruwet (1959) was one of the first to criticise serialism through a comparison with linguistic structures, citing theoretical claims by Boulez and Pousseur, taking as specific examples bars from Stockhausen's Klavierstücke I & II, and calling for a general reexamination of Webern's music. Ruwet specifically names three works as exempt from his criticism: Stockhausen's Zeitmaße and Gruppen, and Boulez's Le marteau sans maître (Ruwet 1959, 83, 85, 87, 93–96).
In response, Pousseur (1959) questioned the equivalence made by Ruwet between phonemes and notes, he also suggested that, if analysis of Le marteau sans maître and Zeitmaße, "performed with sufficient insight", were to be made from the point of view of wave theory—taking into account the dynamic interaction of the different component phenomena, which creates "waves" that interact in a sort of frequency modulation—this analysis "would accurately reflect the realities of perception". This was because these composers had long since acknowledged the lack of differentiation found in punctual music and, becoming increasingly aware of the laws of perception and complying better with them, "paved the way to a more effective kind of musical communication, without in the least abandoning the emancipation that they had been allowed to achieve by this 'zero state' that was punctual music". One way this was achieved was by the development of the concept of "groups", which allows structural relationships to be defined not only between individual notes but also at higher levels, up to the overall form of a piece; this is "a structural method par excellence", and a sufficiently simple conception that it remains easily perceptible (Pousseur 1959, 104–105, 114–15). Pousseur also points out that serial composers were the first to recognize and attempt to move beyond the lack of differentiation within certain pointillist works (Campbell 2010, 125). Pousseur later followed up on his own suggestion by developing his idea of "wave" analysis and applying it to Stockhausen's Zeitmaße in two essays, Pousseur 1970 and Pousseur 1997.
Later writers have continued both lines of reasoning. Fred Lerdahl, for example, in his essay "Cognitive Constraints on Compositional Systems" (Lerdahl 1988), argues that serialism's perceptual opacity ensures its aesthetic inferiority. Lerdahl has in turn been criticized for excluding "the possibility of other, non-hierarchical methods of achieving musical coherence," and for concentrating on the audibility of tone rows (Grant 2001, 219), and the portion of his essay focussing on Boulez's "multiplication" technique (exemplified in three movements of Le Marteau sans maître) has been challenged on perceptual grounds by Stephen Heinemann (1998) and Ulrich Mosch (2004). Ruwet's critique has also been criticised for making "the fatal mistake of equating visual presentation (a score) with auditive presentation (the music as heard)" (Grant 2006, 351).
Within the community of modern music, exactly what constituted serialism was also a matter of debate; the conventional English usage is that the word "serial" applies to all twelve-tone music, which is a subset of serial music, and it is this usage that is generally intended in reference works. Nevertheless, a large body of music exists that is called "serial" but does not employ note-rows at all, let alone twelve-tone technique, e.g., Stockhausen's Klavierstücke I–IV (which use permuted sets), as well as his Stimmung (with pitches from the overtone series, which is also used as the model for the rhythms), and Pousseur's Scambi (where the permuted sounds are made exclusively from filtered white noise).
When serialism is not limited to twelve-tone techniques, a contributing problem is that the word "serial" is seldom if ever defined. In many published analyses of individual pieces the term is used while actual meaning is skated around (Koenig 1999, 298).
Theory of twelve-tone serial music
Due to the pioneering work of composer-theorist Milton Babbitt, in the mid-20th century serialist thought became rooted in set theory and began to use a quasi-mathematical vocabulary for the manipulation of the basic sets. Musical set theory is often used to analyze and compose serial music, and is also sometimes used in tonal and nonserial atonal analysis.
The basis for serial composition is Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, where the twelve notes of the basic chromatic scale are organized into a row; this "basic" row is then used to create permutations, that is, rows derived from the basic set by reordering its elements. The row may be used to produce a set of intervals, or a composer may derive the row from a particular succession of intervals. A row that uses all of the intervals in their ascending form once is an all-interval row. In addition to permutations, the basic row may have some set of notes derived from it, which is used to create a new row; these are derived sets.
Because there are tonal chord progressions that use all twelve notes, it is possible to create pitch rows with very strong tonal implications, and even to write tonal music using twelve-tone technique. Most tone rows contain subsets that can imply a pitch center; a composer can create music centered on one or more of the row's constituent pitches by emphasizing or avoiding these subsets, respectively, as well as through other, more complex compositional devices (Newlin 1974; Perle 1977).
To serialize other elements of music, a system quantifying an identifiable element must be created or defined (this is called "parametrization", after the term in mathematics). For example, if duration is to be serialized, then a set of durations must be specified. If tone colour (timbre) is to be serialized, then a set of separate tone colours must be identified, and so on.
The selected set or sets, their permutations and derived sets form the basic material with which the composer works.
Composition using twelve-tone serial methods focuses on each appearance of the collection of twelve chromatic notes, called an aggregate. (Sets of more or fewer pitches, or of elements other than pitch, may be treated analogously.) The principle is that no element of the aggregate should be reused until all of the other members have been used, and each member must appear only in its place in the series. This rule is violated in numerous works still termed "serial".
An aggregate may be divided into subsets, and all the members of the aggregate not part of any one subset are said to be its complement. A subset is self-complementing if it contains half of the set and its complement is also a permutation of the original subset; this is most commonly seen with hexachords or six-note segments from a basic tone row. A hexachord that is self-complementing for a particular permutation is referred to as prime combinatorial. A hexachord that is self-complementing for all of the canonic operations—inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion—is referred to as all-combinatorial.
The composer then presents the aggregate. If there are multiple serial sets, or if several parameters are associated with the same set, then a presentation will have these values calculated. Large-scale design may be achieved through the use of combinatorial devices, for example, subjecting a subset of the basic set to a series of combinatorial devices.
- Hans Abrahamsen
- Gilbert Amy
- Louis Andriessen
- Denis ApIvor
- Hans Erich Apostel
- Kees van Baaren
- Milton Babbitt
- Tadeusz Baird
- Osvaldas Balakauskas
- Don Banks
- Jean Barraqué
- Jürg Baur
- Alban Berg
- Gunnar Berg
- Arthur Berger
- Erik Bergman
- Luciano Berio
- Karl-Birger Blomdahl
- Konrad Boehmer
- Rob du Bois
- André Boucourechliev
- Pierre Boulez
- Martin Boykan
- Ole Buck
- Jacques Calonne
- Niccolò Castiglioni
- Aldo Clementi
- Salvador Contreras
- Aaron Copland
- Luigi Dallapiccola
- Franco Donatoni
- Hanns Eisler
- Manuel Enríquez
- Karlheinz Essl
- Franco Evangelisti
- Brian Ferneyhough
- Jacobo Ficher
- Irving Fine
- Wolfgang Fortner
- Roberto Gerhard
- Frans Geysen
- Michael Gielen
- Alberto Ginastera
- Lucien Goethals
- Karel Goeyvaerts
- Jerry Goldsmith
- Henryk Górecki
- Glenn Gould
- Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen
- César Guerra-Peixe
- Lou Harrison
- Jonathan Harvey
- Josef Matthias Hauer
- Hermann Heiss
- Hans Werner Henze
- York Höller
- Heinz Holliger
- Bill Hopkins
- Klaus Huber
- Karel Husa
- Hanns Jelinek
- Ben Johnston
- Nikolai Karetnikov
- Rudolf Kelterborn
- Gottfried Michael Koenig
- Józef Koffler
- Ernst Krenek
- Meyer Kupferman
- René Leibowitz
- Ingvar Lidholm
- Witold Lutosławski
- Elisabeth Lutyens
- John McGuire
- Bruno Maderna
- Ursula Mamlok
- Philippe Manoury
- Donald Martino
- Paul Méfano
- Jacques-Louis Monod
- Robert Morris
- Luigi Nono
- Per Nørgård
- Krzysztof Penderecki
- Goffredo Petrassi
- Michel Philippot
- Walter Piston
- Henri Pousseur
- Roger Reynolds
- Terry Riley
- George Rochberg
- Leonard Rosenman
- Cláudio Santoro
- Peter Schat
- Leon Schidlowsky
- Dieter Schnebel
- Arnold Schoenberg, considered the founder of serialism
- Humphrey Searle
- Ruth Crawford Seeger
- Mátyás Seiber
- Roger Sessions
- Nikos Skalkottas
- Roger Smalley
- Ann Southam
- Leopold Spinner
- Karlheinz Stockhausen
- Igor Stravinsky
- Robert Suderburg
- Richard Swift
- Camillo Togni
- Gilles Tremblay
- Fartein Valen
- Wladimir Vogel
- Anton Webern
- Hugo Weisgall
- Peter Westergaard
- Stefan Wolpe
- Charles Wuorinen
- La Monte Young
- Anon. n.d. "Arnold Schoenberg". Milken Archive of American Jewish Music (archive from 1 December 2008, accessed 23 February 2016).
- Bandur, Markus. 2001. Aesthetics of Total Serialism: Contemporary Research from Music to Architecture. Basel, Boston and Berlin: Birkhäuser.
- Bochner, Mel. 1967. "The Serial Attitude". Artforum 6, no. 4 (December): 28–33.
- Bosseur, Jean-Yves. 1989. "Votre Faust, miroir critique". Revue belge de musicologie/Belgisch tijdschrift voor muziekwetenschap 43 (Liber amicorum Henri Pousseur: Henri Pousseur, ou, Le sérialisme entre modernisme et postmodernisme/Henri Pousseur, of, De lange weg naar de toekomst): 57–70.
- Boulez, Pierre. 1954. "… auprès et au loin". Cahiers de la Compagnie Madeleine Renaud–Jean-Louis Barrault 2, no. 3:7–27. Reprinted in Relevés d’apprenti, edited by Paule Thévenin. Collection "Tel quel". Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1966, 183–203; also reprinted in Points de repère, third edition, 1:287–314. Paris: Christian Bourgois, 1995. English version, as ". . .Auprès et au loin", in Pierre Boulez, Notes of an Apprenticeship, texts collected and presented by Paule Thévenin, translated by Herbert Weinstock, 182–204. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968. Another English version, as "Near and Far", in Pierre Boulez, Stocktakings from an Apprenticeship, translated by Stephen Walsh, with an introduction by Robert Piencikowski, 141–57. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. ISBN 0193112108.
- Campbell, Edward. 2010. Boulez, Music and Philosophy. Music in the Twentieth Century 27. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86242-4.
- Collot, Michelle. 2008. "Le génie des lieux". In Michel Butor: déménagements de la littérature, edited by Mireille Calle-Gruber, 73–84. Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle. ISBN 9782878544176.
- Cope, David. 1971. New Directions in Music. Dubuque, Iowa: W. C. Brown Co. ISBN 9780697035561.
- Cott, Jonathan. 1973. Stockhausen; Conversations with the Composer, New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Delahoyde, Michael. n.d. "20th-Century Music". Author's website, Washington State University.
- Felder, David. 1977. "An Interview with Karlheinz Stockhausen". Perspectives of New Music 16, no. 1 (Fall–Winter): 85–101.
- Forte, Allen. 1964. "A Theory of Set-Complexes for Music". Journal of Music Theory 8, no. 2 (Winter): 136–84.
- Forte, Allen. 1973. The Structure of Atonal Music. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
- Forte, Allen. 1998. The Atonal Music of Anton Webern. New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Frisius, Rudolf. 1998. Serielle Musik. In: Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: allgemeine Enzyklopädie der Musik. Second, newly compiled edition, edited by Ludwig Finscher, part 1 (Sachteil), vol. 8 (Quer–Swi): 1327–54. Kassel & New York: Bärenreiter; Stuttgart: Metzler. ISBN 978-3-7618-1109-2 (Bärenreiter) ISBN 978-3-476-41008-5 (Metzler).
- Gerstner, Karl. 1964. Designing Programmes: Four Essays and an Introduction, with an introduction to the introduction by Paul Gredinger. English version by D. Q. Stephenson. Teufen, Switzerland: Arthur Niggli. Enlarged, new edition 1968.
- Goeyvaerts, Karel. 1994. "Paris–Darmstadt 1947–1956: Excerpt from the Autobiographical Portrait", translated by Patrick Daly, Peter Vosch, and Roger Janssens. Revue belge de Musicologie / Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Muziekwetenschap 48 (The Artistic Legacy of Karel Goeyvaerts: A Collection of Essays): 35–54.
- Grant, Morag Josephine. 2001. Serial Music Serial Aesthetics: Compositional Theory in Post-War Europe. Music in the Twentieth Century, Arnold Whittall, general editor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80458-2.
- Grant, Morag Josephine. 2006. Untitled review of Wege zum musikalischen Strukturalismus: René Leibowitz, Pierre Boulez, John Cage und die Webern-Rezeption in Paris um 1950, by Inge Kovács (Schliengen: Argus, 2003); Die soziale Isolation der neuen Musik: Zum Kölner Musikleben nach 1945, by Michael Custodis (Beihefte zum Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 54, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2004); Reihe und System: Signaturen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Symposiumsbericht, edited by Sabine Meine (Monographien der Institut für Musikpädogogische Forschung der Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover 9, Hannover: Institut für Musikpädagogische Forschung, 2004). Music and Letters 87, no. 2 (May): 346–52.
- Griffiths, Paul. 1978. Boulez. Oxford Studies of Composers 16. London and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-315442-0.
- Griffiths, Paul. 2001. "Serialism". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell, 23:116–23. London: Macmillan Publishers.
- Guderian, Dietmar. 1985. "Serielle Strukturen und harmonikale Systeme". In Vom Klang der Bilder: die Musik in der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, edited by Karin von Maur, 434–37. Munich: Prestel-Verlag.
- Heinemann, Stephen. 1998. "Pitch-Class Set Multiplication in Theory and Practice". Music Theory Spectrum 20, no. 1:72–96.
- Jalowetz, Heinrich. 1944. "On the Spontaneity of Schoenberg's Music". (Subscription access) The Musical Quarterly 30, no. 4 (October): 385–408.
- Keller, Hans. 1955. "Strict Serial Technique in Classical Music". Tempo (new series) no. 37 (Autumn): 12–16, 21–24.
- Koenig, Gottfied Michael. 1999. Ästhetische Praxis: Texte zur Musik, Supplement I, edited by Stefan Fricke, Wolf Frobenius, and Sigrid Konrad. Quellentexte der Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts 1.4. Saarbrücken: Pfau-Verlag, 1999. ISBN 3-89727-056-0.
- Kohl, Jerome. 2002. "Serial Composition, Serial Form, and Process in Karlheinz Stockhausen's Telemusik." In Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives, ed. Thomas Licata, 91–118. Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31420-9.
- Leibowitz, René. 1947. Schoenberg et son école: l'étape contemporaine du langage musical. [Paris]: J.B. Janin. (English edition, as Schoenberg and His School: The Contemporary Stage in the Language of Music. Translated by Dika Newlin. New York: Philosophocal Library, 1949).
- Leray, Pascal. 2008. Portrait de la série en jeune mot. Mazères: Le chasseur abstrait éditeur. ISBN 978-2-35554-025-7.
- Lerdahl, Fred. 1988. "Cognitive Constraints on Compositional Systems". In Generative Processes in Music, ed. John Sloboda. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Reprinted in Contemporary Music Review 6, no. 2 (1992):97–121.
- Lerdahl, Fred, and Ray Jackendoff. 1983. A Generative Theory of Tonal Music. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
- Locanto, Massimiliano. 2010. "Karel Goeyvaerts – Henry [sic] Pousseur: deux compositeurs belges au cœur de la Nouvelle Musique". In Album Belgique, edited by Annamaria Laserra, 151–64. Brussels: P. I. E. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-90-5201-635-1.
- Maconie, Robin. 2005. Other Planets: The Music of Karlheinz Stockhausen. Lanham, Maryland, Toronto, Oxford: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 0-8108-5356-6.
- Mead, Andrew. 1985. "Large-Scale Strategy in Arnold Schoenberg's Twelve-Tone Music". Perspectives of New Music 24, no. 1 (Fall–Winter): 120–57.
- Meyer, Leonard B. 1967. Music, the Arts, and Ideas: Patterns and Predictions in Twentieth-Century Culture. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. (Second edition 1994.)
- Morgan, Robert. 1975. "Stockhausen's Writings on Music". (Subscription access) The Musical Quarterly 61, no. 1 (January): 1–16. Reprinted in the Musical Quarterly 75, no. 4 (Winter 1991): 194–206.
- Mosch, Ulrich. 2004. Musikalisches Hören serieller Musik: Untersuchungen am Beispiel von Pierre Boulez’ «Le Marteau sans maître». Saarbrücken: Pfau-Verlag.
- Newlin, Dika. 1974. "Secret Tonality in Schoenberg's Piano Concerto". Perspectives of New Music 13, no. 1 (Fall–Winter):137–39.
- Perle, George. 1962. Serial Composition and Atonality: An Introduction to the Music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Perle, George. 1977. Twelve-tone Tonality. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Pousseur, Henri. 1959. "Forme et pratique musicales". Revue Belge de Musicologie 13:98–116. Slightly revised and expanded version, trans. into English as “Music, Form and Practice (An Attempt to Reconcile Some Contradictions)”. Die Reihe 6 (1964): 77–93.
- Pousseur, Henri. 1970. "En guise de conclusion: Pour une Périodicitée generalisée". In his Fragments théoriques I: Sur la musique expérimentale, 241–90. Études de sociologie de la musique. Brussels: Editions de l’Institut de Sociologie Université Libre de Bruxelles.
- Pousseur, Henri. 1997. "Zeitmasze: série, périodicité, individuation". Chapter 12 of his Musiques croisées, preface by Jean-Yves Bosseur, 171–89. Collection Musique et Musicologie. Paris: L'Harmattan.
- Ross, Alex. 2007. The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ISBN 978-0-374-24939-7.
- Ruwet, Nicolas. 1959. "Contradictions du langage sériel". Revue Belge de Musicologie 13 (1959), 83–97. English trans., as “Contradictions within the Serial Language”. Die Reihe 6 (1964): 65–76.
- Sabbe, Herman. 1977. Het muzikale serialisme als techniek en als denkmethode: Een onderzoek naar de logische en historische samenhang van de onderscheiden toepassingen van het seriërend beginsel in de muziek van de periode 1950–1975. Ghent: Rijksuniversiteit te Gent.
- Schoenberg, Arnold. 1975. Style and Idea: Selected Writings of Arnold Schoenberg. Edited by Leonard Stein, translated by Leo Black. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05294-3.
- Schwartz, Steve. 2001. "Richard Yardumian: Orchestral Works". Classical Net (Accessed 10 May 2011).
- Shatzkin, Merton. 1977. "A Pre-Cantata Serialism in Stravinsky". Perspectives of New Music 16, no. 1 (Fall–Winter): 139–43.
- Sherlaw Johnson, Robert. Messiaen, revised and updated edition. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-06734-9.
- Smith Brindle, Reginald. 1966. Serial Composition. London, New York: Oxford University Press.
- Steinberg, Michael. 1998. The Symphony: A Listener's Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Stockhausen, Karlheinz, and Rudolf Frisius. 1998. "Es geht aufwärts". In: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Texte zur Musik 9, edited by Christoph von Blumröder, 391–512. Kürten: Stockhausen-Verlag.
- Straus, Joseph N. 1999. "The Myth of Serial 'Tyranny' in the 1950s and 1960s" (Subscription access). The Musical Quarterly 83:301–43.
- Sykora, Katharina. 1983. Das Phänomen des Seriellen in der Kunst: Aspekte einer künstlerischen Methode von Monet bis zur amerikanischen Pop Art. Würzburg: Könighausen + Neumann.
- Tick, Judith. 2001. "Crawford (Seeger), Ruth (Porter)". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
- Waelti-Walters, Jennifer R. 1992. Michel Butor. Collection monographique Rodopi en littérature française contemporaine 15. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi. ISBN 9789051833867.
- Walker, Alan. 1986. Franz Liszt, volume two: The Weimar years 1848–1861. New York: Knopf. ISBN 9780394525402.
- Whittall, Arnold. 2008. The Cambridge Introduction to Serialism. Cambridge Introductions to Music. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86341-4 (hardback) ISBN 978-0-521-68200-8 (pbk).
- Wörner, Karl H. 1973. Stockhausen: Life and Work, introduced, translated, and edited by Bill Hopkins. London: Faber and Faber; Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-02143-6.
- Delaere, Marc. 2016. "The Stockhausen–Goeyvaerts Correspondence and the Aesthetic Foundations of Serialism in the Early 1950s". In The Musical Legacy of Karlheinz Stockhausen: Looking Back and Forward, edited by M.J. Grant and Imke Misch, 20–34. Hofheim: Wolke Verlag. ISBN 978-3-95593-068-4.
- Eco, Umberto. 2005. "Innovation & Repetition: Between Modern & Postmodern Aesthetics". Daedalus 134, no. 4, 50 Years (Fall): 191–207. doi:10.1162/001152605774431527. JSTOR 20028022.
- Fürstenberger, Barbara. 1989. Michel Butors literarische Träume: Untersuchungen zu Matière de rêves I bis V. Studia Romanica 72. Heidelberg: C. Winter. ISBN 9783533040705; ISBN 9783533040699.
- Gollin, Edward. 2007. "Multi-Aggregate Cycles and Multi-Aggregate Serial Techniques in the Music of Béla Bartók." Music Theory Spectrum 29, no. 2 (Fall): 143–76. doi:10.1525/mts.2007.29.2.143.
- Gredinger, Paul. 1955. "Das Serielle". Die Reihe 1 ("Elektronische Musik"): 34–41. English as "Serial Technique", translated by Alexander Goehr. Die Reihe 1 ("Electronic Music"), (English edition 1958): 38–44.
- Knee, Robin. 1985. "Michel Butor's Passage de Milan: The Numbers Game". Review of Contemporary Fiction 5, no. 3:146–49.
- Kohl, Jerome. 2017. Karlheinz Stockhausen: Zeitmaße. Landmarks in Music Since 1950, edited by Wyndham Thomas. Abingdon, Oxon; London; New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7546-5334-9.
- Krenek, Ernst. 1953. "Is the Twelve-Tone Technique on the Decline?" The Musical Quarterly 39, no 4 (October): 513–27.
- Miller, Elinor S. 1983. "Critical Commentary II: Butor's Quadruple fond as Serial Music". Romance Notes 24, no. 2 (Winter): 196–204.
- Misch, Imke. 2016. "Karlheinz Stockhausen: The Challenge of Legacy: An Introduction". In The Musical Legacy of Karlheinz Stockhausen: Looking Back and Forward, edited by M.J. Grant and Imke Misch, 11–19. Hofheim: Wolke Verlag. ISBN 978-3-95593-068-4.
- Rahn, John. 1980. Basic Atonal Theory. New York: Schirmer Books.
- Roudiez, Leon S. 1984. "Un texte perturbe: Matière de rêves de Michel Butor". Romanic Review 75, no. 2:242–55.
- Savage, Roger W. H. 1989. Structure and Sorcery: The Aesthetetics of Post-War Serial Composition and Indeterminancy. Outstanding Dissertations in Music from British Universities. New York: Garland Publications. ISBN 0-8240-2041-3.
- Schoffman, Nathan. 1981. "Serialism in the Works of Charles Ives". Tempo, new series, no. 138 (September): 21–32.
- Scruton, Roger. 1997. Aesthetics of Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-816638-9. Quoted in Arved Ashbey, The Pleasure of Modernist Music (University of Rochester Press, 2004) p. 122. ISBN 1-58046-143-3.
- Spencer, Michael Clifford. 1974. Michel Butor. Twayne's World Author Series TWS275. New York: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 9780805721867.
- Wangermée, Robert. 1995. André Souris et le complexe d'Orphée: entre surréalisme et musique sérielle. Collection Musique, Musicologie. Liège: P. Mardaga. ISBN 9782870096055.
- White, Eric Walter, and Jeremy Noble. 1984. "Stravinsky". In The New Grove Modern Masters. London: Macmillan Publishers.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Serialism|
- Serial and twelve-note works by American composers (archive from 26 July 2012, accessed 23 February 2016).