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Atonal Music

This term, in the broadest sense, describes music which does not have a tonal center, or adhere to any system of key or mode. That is, there is no central tone or key used as the primary foundation of a composition. Such music began to appear in the early 20th century and is still being composed on a smaller scale today. Some writers specifically reserve the word for music which is also neither tonal or serial, such as the pre-twelve-tone works of composers such as Berg, Schoenberg, and Webern.

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