Schoenberg, Arnold

(1874–1951)
   Among the 20th century’s major musical innovators, Schoenberg was largely self-taught. His first compositions, heavily influenced by Alexander Zemlinsky (1871–1942), who eventually married Schoenberg’s sister, were lushly tonal in the style of late19th-century Romanticism (Verklärte Nacht, 1899). However, in his Symphony Op. 9 of 1907 and the 1908 song cycle, The Book of the Hanging Gardens, Schoenberg set off in a radically new direction. Proclaiming “the emancipation of dissonance,” he rejected classical patterns of tonality, thus setting a norm for the First Vienna School, as he and his followers would later categorize their music. He grew equally dismissive of the lush ornamental excesses of Viennese Jugendstil (Young Vienna), and its musical equivalent in the music of Gustav Mahler and Anton Bruckner. He continued, however, to admire the work of Brahms for its use of brief snatches of rhythm and melody in larger harmonic structures.
   Schoenberg perfected the 12-tone style of musical composition, with which he was deeply associated after World War I. In it, the eight steps of the conventional major and minor musical scales are abandoned. It requires the use of each of the halftones of that scale in the series of rows that make up a musical work. By making all halftones equal, Schoenberg believed he was expanding the harmonic possibilities of music.
   Though they did influence the work of such Austrian composers as Alban Berg, these ideas found little favor among audiences in Vienna. From 1925 to 1933, Schoenberg conducted a master class at the Prussian Academy of the Arts in Berlin, where he had already spent extended periods of time. He then immigrated to the United States, where he taught, first in Boston, then in Los Angeles, until 1944. Schoenberg was also a talented painter with affinities to both late 19th-century Impressionism and Central European Expressionism. He left around 70 canvases.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Schoenberg, Arnold — (1874 1951)    composer and teacher; leader of the New Vienna School consisting of Schoenberg and his students Alban Berg and Anton von Webern and arguably the pioneer in twentieth century music* composition. Born in Vienna to Jewish parents… …   Historical dictionary of Weimar Republik

  • Schoenberg, Arnold — (1874–1951)    Austrian composer. Schoenberg was a self taught composer who experimented with new theories and techniques. He broke away from the classical tonal composition and evolved a controversial 12 tone system. His work paved the way for… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Schoenberg, Arnold — (1874 1951)    Austrian composer. He was born in Vienna, and held teaching positions in Vienna, Berlin and Amsterdam. In 1924 he settled in Berlin. He left Germany in 1933, and lived in the US. His compositions include the opera Moses and Ann,… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Schoenberg, Arnold (Franz Walter) — born Sept. 13, 1874, Vienna, Austro Hungarian Empire died July 13, 1951, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S. Austrian born U.S. composer. He was raised as a Catholic by his Jewish born parents. He began studying violin at age eight and later taught himself …   Universalium

  • Arnold Schoenberg — ( [ˈaːrnɔlt ˈʃøːnbɛrk] ) (13 September 1874 ndash; 13 July 1951) was an Austrian and later American composer, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School. He used the spelling… …   Wikipedia

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  • Schoenberg — Schoenberg, Arnold (1874 1951) an Austrian ↑composer who went to the US in 1933. He invented the twelve tone system of writing modern music, in which music is written around a set of twelve notes of a ↑Chromatic ↑scale. His system has influenced… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Arnold — /ahr nld/, n. 1. Benedict, 1741 1801, American general in the Revolutionary War who became a traitor. 2. Sir Edwin, 1832 1904, English poet and journalist. 3. Henry H. ( Hap ), 1886 1950, U.S. general. 4. Matthew, 1822 88, English essayist, poet …   Universalium

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