Twelve Tone via Whole Tone

By Lars Rosager | Music

Dec 15

Picture The Western chromatic octave is comprised of twelve notes, each a half step from the next. Twelve-tone styles of composition are sometimes built on tone rows, statements of the twelve notes of the chromatic octave that feature every note before any note is repeated. One way to arrive at this goal is to convey two whole-tone scales.

Since the whole-tone scale is comprised of six notes, each a whole step from the next, it follows by virtue of simple mathematics that two whole-tone scales from two different starting pitches a half step apart will produce the twelve notes of the chromatic octave before any one of these notes is repeated.

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