Abstracts of issue 1/1985 (1)

George Zervos

The Meaning of Athematism in Weberns Music

The point of this article is to show that athematism in Weberns last twelve-note works (i.e. op. 27), as well as in the first atonal works of the second Vienna School (i.e. Schoenbergs Six little pieces for piano, op. 19, or Bergs Four pieces for clarinet and piano, op. 5), is the logical consequence of the abolition of tonality. Finally, the theme has no meaning except its tonality. It is not casual that the New-music has followed Weberns line. Because Webern was the one who used the series as an abstract constructive principle (with athematic elaboration) opposing Schoenberg, in whose works the series coincided with the theme. Generally, the dissolution of the theme in the first atonal works of the 20th century, as well as in the last twelve-note works of Webern, means dissolution of the principle (in this case the theme), which gives meaning to western music; simultaneously, it means an effort of finding new meaning in the musical works.

Musicology