Music grant

“The introduction of the first dissonant tone (the seventh partial), signifies that in this life some ‘dissonance’ must be mixed in; the number seven represents the totality of heaven and earth together” (Chafe, Allegorical Music).

Although the extent of this symmetry seems strange and eccentric, this idea isn’t actually as bizarre as you might think. Thematic inversion had been used by composers as far back as Haydn. The Second Viennese School, under which Berg had been educated, considered playing melodies backwards part of the library of techniques that could replace tonality.

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