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Stravinsky's "Construction of Twelve Verticals": An Aspect of Harmony in the Serial Music

Joseph N. Straus
Music Theory Spectrum
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Spring, 1999), pp. 43-73
Published by: on behalf of the Society for Music Theory
DOI: 10.2307/745920
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/745920
Page Count: 31
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Stravinsky's "Construction of Twelve Verticals": An Aspect of Harmony in the Serial Music
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Abstract

Stravinsky's serial music, from the Cantata (1952) to Requiem Canticles (1966), is generally contrapuntal in texture, but solemn chorales also occur with some frequency. These are normally traceable either to Stravinsky's familiar rotational arrays or to the "constructions of twelve verticals" that are the subject of this paper: a layering of four series forms from which twelve four-note chords are created as vertical slices. These four-part arrays have interesting properties, including a propensity to produce whole-tone harmonies, and Stravinsky deploys them in structurally and rhetorically significant ways.

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