Twelve Tones – An Introduction To Dodecaphonic Music

Twelve Tones is a brilliant introduction to dodecaphonic music theory that manages to avoid being mind-numbingly boring. 

How? By including music history, copyright commentary, cartoonery, existential pondering, Rorschach inkblots, fantastic musical examples and even laser bats.

Check it out and let us know what you think of it!


23 thoughts on “Twelve Tones – An Introduction To Dodecaphonic Music

  1. I’ve always asked myself, why bother with 12 notes, 6 are sufficient for most motifs considered “catchy”. ; )
    Also, “classic” dodecaphony is stuck with chromatic intervals – it’s limited, stuck in “western hearing”, originating in having elevated the piano to an undeserved apex position in music. /Rant off. Still an interesting topic, and schönberg was right about a lot of things in any case. Btw. I didn’t watch the tutorial yet…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 20
  2. I want Cute Hands to teach me about many things. I remember seeing her explain some paper-folding thing– she’s good at explaining ridiculously complex things. She’s a monster-doodler and music brain.

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  3. Great work, especially the geometric drawings that illustrated the harmonies at the end!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4
  4. You can get around copyright law on the condition that you *make* *fun* of the person you are “stealing” from. Vi Hart is a genius.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4
  5. She has a point on copyright law. It would be nice if a classic work could make it into the public domain in a lifetime ….. O well I’m sure they will be charging us for air soon.

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  6. Vi Hart frustrates me because I consider myself a creative, intelligent person and every time I watch one of her videos I feel I know nothing, will never create anything of value, and will hopelessly remain that way. :(

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3
    • She’s definitely brilliant. I love how she crosses science and music and math so effortlessly. And then throws in a humorous 4-part 12-tone piece that’s actually very musical.

      I wish one of my theory instructors would have had a fraction of her talent and humor.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2
  7. Ha! This was really well done and interesting. It definitely gave me some ideas. I like the results. She put a lot of thought and work into this..that’s evident. I doubt that I’d have the same level of patience, and she managed to make it really fun as well. Great job!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
  8. I’m probably the only one who couldn’t sit through the whole thing (I’ve watched it in segments and skipped some bits) because the pacing is too fast and there’s too little actual musical content in there compared to all the doodling and humour (not my type of humour but I know from experience how difficult it is to remain completely straight while lecturing). A slower pace and a clear focus on the theory would be appreciated. Otherwise: Brilliant idea. It’s heartwarming to see people who have the energy and time to make educational videos for other people in their spare time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
    • Folks have different learning styles, senses of humor, etc. It’s cool that while this wasn’t your “cup of tea”, you can still appreciate the craft in it. It’s also a good point that watching in segments (to allow for digesting the more complicated bits) is a good approach for some.

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  9. Funny: “I took the twelve tone row at random. I mean, who’s going to know the difference.”

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  10. Yeah this was well done for someone at this age. I for one know 0.01% of what she does.. As chaotic as it was, I was able to get something out of this.She is a legend at this point. I want to check her other videos now.

    And seems like a few people who are disliking the comments are just plain jealous that a young girl already knows more than they will in their entire lives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
  11. This is nicely made but completely inaccurate from a theoretical standpoint. The video-maker uses repetition with her dodecaphonic motifs. This instantly creates a tonal centre. The aim of the 12 tone system was to avoid repetition and hence tonality (hence the law that each of the 12 tones must be played once before a note can be repeated). Repetition is the engine of tonality.

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