The 12 Tone Row


Twelve-tone technique is

a method of musical composition devised by

Arnold Schoenberg .

The technique is a means of

ensuring that all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are sounded

as often as one another in a piece of music while preventing

the emphasis of any one note[3] through the use of tone rows ,

an ordering of the 12 pitches.



The 12 pitches are:

C   C#   D   D#   E   F   F#   G   G#   A   A#  B



Tone Row:



Chromatic Scale:

All 12 notes are thus given

more or less equal importance, and the music avoids being in

a key. The technique was influential on composers in the mid-

twentieth century .



  • Other composers in the 20th century who used the 12 tone system to compose are:

Alban Berg: 

Anton Webern:

 Milton Babbitt:

 Igor Stravinsky: