This work argues that the seemingly disparate styles of post-triadic music in fact share common structural elements. These elements collectively imply a new tonality as natural and coherent as the major-mir tonality that was the basis of a common musical language in the past. It describes the foundational assumptions of this post-diatonic tonality and illustrates its compositional functions with numerous musical examples. The second edition is enlarged by eleven new chapters, some of which are postscripts to earlier chapters - clarifying, elucidating, and expanding upon concepts discussed in the original edition. Others discuss new developments in the theory and practice of 12-tone tonality, including voice-leading implications of the system and dissonance treatment.
George Perle is a distinguished composer and Professor Emeritus of Music at the City University of New York. His books include Serial Composition and Atonality: An Introduction to the Music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern (Sixth Edition, California, 1991); The Operas of Alban Berg, Volume 1, Wozzeck (California, 1980) and Volume 2, Lulu (California, 1985); and The Listening Composer (California, 1990). He has been a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.