Bridge from Tonality

The Second String Quartet has been interpreted as an example of Schoenberg’s bridge to the ‘new frontier.’ It begins with a relatively “tame” first movement and progresses towards one of his initial trips into a world not bound by traditional key and harmonic structure. Schoenberg went on to develop the twelve-tone technique, a compositional method that is primarily based upon an equal presence of all 12 notes in the chromatic scale, achieved through the use of tone rows.  This print involves a bridge symbol, connecting two abstractly representative realms meant to represent tonality and atonality. The natural push and pull, interaction, and direction of traditional harmonic interaction gives way to a rigid, linear, mathematical structure, reminiscent of the matrix serialist composers used as a tool to organize their pitches.