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Question 8

Non-tonal music may at times appear to have some chord progressions, the individuals chords are usually chosen due to the overall sound as opposed to their resolutions. I believe and acknowledge the fact that the knowledge of a composition or the composer’s cultural context is very important when it comes to the understanding of a piece of a non-tonal music since it gives the individuals a clear understanding of the music as compared to a person who lacks knowledge of composition or the composers cultural context (Schuijer 2008). This is also of great importance since the listeners are able to connect and relate with the non-tonal music in the most effective way since they have a clear understanding of the composer’s cultural context and thus they can easily relate to the actual meaning that the composer intended to rely though the words may be different (Stegemann 2013). By knowing something about a certain piece, it really makes a very big difference on ones level of understanding since they in a way become connected to the music. This makes it easier for the listeners to understand the music and enjoy it as it is played. When confronting an example of a non-tonal music, I would prefer to know something about the music. This is based on the notion that, by knowing something, I will enjoy and connect with the music more since I will be well aware of what the composer meant and wanted to rely to the listeners (Kelley 20002). This will not be the case for those listeners who know nothing about the music.


Kelley, R 20002, Introduction to Post-Functional Music Analysis: Set Theory, The Matrix, and the Twelve-Tone Method, viewed 22 September 2016,

Schuijer, M 2008, Analyzing atonal music: Pitch-class Set Theory and Its Contexts, University of Rochester Press, Rochester.

Stegemann, B 2013, Theory of Tonality: Theoretical Studies, Noetzel, Wilhelmshaven.