Help me understand atonal music
July 23, 2009 2:38 PM Subscribe
I've been trying to branch out my musical tastes, and have started recently to listen to atonal and serialist music (Boulez, Schoenberg, Webern). There is something about it that I like, but I'm not quite sure what it is, and I feel like if I knew more about the music in question I could better appreciate it.
posted by Frankieist to media & arts (16 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I have a fair amount of knowledge about music theory, but really only from texts on traditional harmony (including Schoenberg's Theory of Harmony). While the music isn't structured around harmony, there must be other structures because it sounds better than when I randomly smash keys on my piano. What should I be listening for? Repeated motifs? Rhythms?
I imagine that each artist might be fairly idiosyncratic with regard to how they structure their own music. If that's the case I'm more interested in Boulez and Schoenberg, as I like both of them far more than I like Webern.
More generally, if you are someone who listens serialism or atonal music, what do you like about it and how do you process it?