How Do You Spell ATONAL?

Pronunciation: [e͡ɪtˈə͡ʊnə͡l] (IPA)

The term "atonal" refers to a style of music characterized by the absence of tonality or a key. Its spelling reflects its pronunciation, with emphasis on the first syllable and a stress on the second-to-last syllable. In IPA phonetic transcription, it is written as /ˌeɪ.toʊˈnɑl/. The "a" is pronounced as "ay," while the "o" is pronounced as "oh." The stress falls on the "o" syllable, and the final "l" is silent. Overall, "atonal" is a straightforward word to spell and pronounce.

ATONAL Meaning and Definition

  1. Atonal refers to a style or form of music that lacks a sense of tonality or tonal center. The term is typically used in relation to compositions from the early 20th century onward that deliberately abandon traditional tonal structures and harmonic principles. Atonal music often lacks a melodic hierarchy and avoids establishing a clear tonal key, resulting in a more dissonant, unpredictable, and unstructured sound.

    In an atonal composition, pitch relationships are primarily based on intervals other than the traditional major and minor scales. The absence of tonal stability or a central key gives atonal music a sense of ambiguity and unrest, challenging listeners' expectations and creating a distinct musical language. Atonality allows composers to explore new harmonic and melodic possibilities, embracing dissonance, and developing complex, intricate musical textures.

    This departure from tonal conventions was a significant development in the evolution of Western classical music, spearheaded by composers like Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern, collectively known as the Second Viennese School. Atonal music became an important foundation for further experimental styles such as serialism and the twelve-tone technique.

    While atonal music can be challenging to the ear, it has played a crucial role in pushing the boundaries of musical expression, expanding the possibilities of composition, and enabling new forms of artistic exploration.

Common Misspellings for ATONAL

Etymology of ATONAL

The word "atonal" was coined in the early 20th century, specifically in 1908, by Austrian-American composer Arnold Schoenberg. It is a combination of the prefix "a-" meaning "without" or "not", and the word "tonal", which refers to the traditional tonal system that is based on a hierarchy of pitches and keys. By creating the word "atonal", Schoenberg sought to describe a departure from traditional tonality in music, where no one pitch or key center dominates.

Similar spelling words for ATONAL


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