La Seconde École de Vienne

The Second Viennese School

It is a convention to use the term 'Second Vienna School' for the movement spearheaded by Arnold Schoenberg in the early decades of the 20th century, by analogy with the 'first' cohort of Vienna-based composers who are none other than the originators of 18th-century classical style. The audacious 20th-century incarnation had the great merit of questioning the basic principles of tonality, opening the door to serialism via the experiments in 12-tone music. It produced the masterpieces of Schoenberg and those of his closest disciples: Alban Berg and Anton Webern.

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