Arnold Franz Walter Schoenberg was an Austrian-American composer, greatly impacting musical composition throughout the 20th century until today. The artist specialized in many areas of music; orchestral music, operas, choral music, chamber music, and piano music. Schoenberg formulated new methods of musical composition, most specifically involving atonality, serialism, and the twelve-tone row (Kuiper). These new concepts tested preconceived, set ideas on what people at that time considered “music.” Schoenberg re-configured sound production to make new sounds no one had heard before, exemplifying modernity, and the changes associated. Schoenberg was born in Vienna (1874), and from the beginning, very motivated to pursue his path in music. While Arnold’s parents were not musical themselves, they enjoyed the art, and encouraged him, his brother, Heinrich Schoenberg (singer), and his cousin, Hans Nachod (gifted tenor) to pursue music (Kuiper). Schoenberg took initiative to financially help his family out as a bank clerk, following his father’s death in 1890, but during that time he connected with Alexander von Zelminsky (Kuiper).Zelminsky was a well-educated Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher, who taught Arnold Schoenberg composition and introduced him to more advanced musical circles in Vienna—the capital of Austria (Forney 301). He acquired lessons in harmony, counterpoint, and composition, resulting in his first famous work from 1897, the String Quartet in D Major (Kuiper). Schoenberg’s move from Romanticism to chromaticism is clear within this piece, as well as his changes in tonality. Zelminsky highly encouraged and critiqued Schoenberg while composing this work, which paid off, since the audience heavily enjoyed and appreciated this work.Schoenberg went on to teach his acquired learnings to many others. Over time, the artist found himself rejecting tonality itself (Forney 301). This rejection of a such an ingrained component to music composition led way for a more contemporary approach— the twelve-tone row. This new, revolutionary method “has fascinated and perplexed musicians, scholars, and audiences down to the present day (Auner 593). The twelve-tone method made Arnold Schoenberg a leader of contemporary musical thought.Schoenberg pushed beyond the major-minor system. Rejecting tonality, the twelve-tone method gave twelve tones of the chromatic scale equal importance, producing “atonal” music that rejected the framework of key (Forney 301). Atonality allowed for Schoenberg to better express his music, and work outside of his predecessors’ preset guidelines for music composition. Schoenberg’s atonal-Expressionist style led way to his more organized twelve-tone method (Forney 301).Schoenberg utilizes his twelve-tone method in the first of the Five Pieces for Orchestra. The artist intended on creating “an uninterrupted change of colors, rhythms, and moods” (Auner, 594). By breaking down music’s inflexible, set, building blocks, the twelve-tone method allowed for more freedom within the song’s organization. Rather than feeling “interrupted” or restricted, Arnold invented an entirely new replacement for tonality, better suiting his work/intended message. In Five Pieces for Orchestra, the melody is disjunct, since all twelve pitches and octave displacement are used. The harmony is atonal, as mentioned, and uses a lot of dissonant harmonies. The rhythm is complex and irregular and the texture is consistently changing, both common themes among Schoenberg’s works. The texture moves from homophonic to monophonic but is mainly contrapuntal. The sudden dynamics add to the piece’s edginess and abruptness and creates extremes in contrast (found in much of Arnold’s work). Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone method can be heard in Perriot Lunaire from 1912. This composition falls under the ‘song cycle’ genre and is in poetic form. Sprechstimme (speechlike melody), when the vocalist speaks approximate pitches rather than exact, is applied to the piece. The work follows Arnold’s expressionistic style and incorporates poetry to paint a picture for the audience. The complex pitches also sound unstable, illustrating Schoenberg’s willingness to go against his counterparts’ norms for composing music. I personally enjoy how the refrain ties everything together, despite the changes in pitch, melody, style, texture, and form. Many were amazed by Schoenberg’s works, while some felt his musical developments tested classical musical integrity. Arnold’s impact went beyond his own musical contributions. Schoenberg continued teaching in Berlin until Hitler came to power, became a professor at the University of Southern California, and an American citizen by 1940 (Forney 301). Schoenberg continued to lead and teach other composers throughout nearly his entire life. One example is his Second Viennese School, which included other respectable musical counterparts (Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven). This school was ultimately the home of Schoenberg’s twelve-tone method, tone row, and serialism (Forney 316). Again, this organization allowed composers to arrange pitches in any order and further express themselves in a more contemporary manner. Schoenberg created several alternatives to forming tone rows at his Second Viennese School. The ‘transposed row’ begins on a different pitch, but keeps the same order of intervals, an ‘inversion’ – the notes move in the opposite direction, a ‘retrograde’ – pitches are arranged reversely, and finally, ‘retrograde inversion’ – turns the row backwards and upside down (Forney 316). Arnold Schoenberg’s pioneering efforts to develop these ideas alone is admirable by itself, but his willingness to spread musical knowledge with so many other gifted artists is truly incredible. Schoenberg’s new musical concepts, providing flexibility and variety, will continue to live on forever. Particularly his breaking down of the traditional tonal system and his creation of the twelve-tone method, which will forever revolutionize and impact music (Forney 316). Arnold Schoenberg also experimented with different mediums than those used by his predecessors. Second String Quartet (1907-08) is the first string quartet to include a vocal part. I really like the soprano voice featured in this piece of Schoenberg’s, and I applaud him for being the first to include one in a string quartet. There is an extreme classical connection in this peace since it serves as a string quartet, yet its vocal addition illustrates Arnold’s willingness to break musical traditions. This song stands as a strong representation of classical music, despite its groundbreaking changes at the time it was composed, played, and published. Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter, art theorist, and one of the first recognized for purely ‘abstract’ works. Kandinsky was born in 1866, just eight years before Arnold Schoenberg’s birth. Wassily gained much fame for his non-objective art, which he referred to as ‘concrete art’ (Selz 127). In The Enjoyment of Music, Kandinsky’s Small Pleasures from 1913 is featured. The work “defies notions of beauty in order to define the artist’s inner self” (Forney 318). The set boundaries for painting disallowed Wassily from truly expressing his desired art, so he invented his own set of “building blocks.” Wassily was born in Moscow, Russia, and one of the first creators of abstraction within a modern painting. He utilized multiple different forms of abstraction; fluid and organic to geometric, and lastly, to pictographic (McMullen). Kandinsky spent much time in school but lacked inspiration and enthusiasm for social sciences (McMullen). More inspired by color, Kandinsky found his enthusiasm within his paintings. After meeting and moving in with German painter Gabriele Munter, Kandinsky could develop his own personal style and historically make a breakthrough with purely abstract painting (McMullen). Wassily Kandinsky found meaning within his work, beyond simply colors on paper. By creating a new art form (abstract art), he better communicated his own intrinsic interpretations (past the extrinsic and what is just on paper). Wassily Kandinsky’s created First Abstract Watercolour in 1910, which eventually served as his claim to fame. The piece uses rich paint colors, a mix of jagged and smooth, brushed lines, and defies well-known or conventional art forms and representations. The piece’s message is less clear and developed. This abstract form is built upon within Blue Mountain (1908) and Landscape with Factory Chimney (1910). In Blue Mountain, strong, bold colors are present yet again, and within each main color, other varying hues break it up. There are two horses with a rider on each, riding from left to the right of the painting. There is more of a clear story in this piece, the beautiful relationship between a horse and rider is represented. In Landscape with Factory Chimney, Kandinsky uses strong colors yet again, and they are broken up by brush strokes. The piece shows the impact of industrialization on our world and nature itself. Kandinsky covered significant world changes within his paintings and displayed relationships between things and people within our world. Wassily Kandinsky First Abstract Watercolor 1910 Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, FranceKandinsky tested the set boundaries and guidelines for painting, while Schoenberg did the same for musical composition. In January of 1911, Wassily Kandinsky attended a concert in Munich by Arnold Schoenberg, which inspired Kandinsky to start writing to Schoenberg (Buja). Now, Kandinsky was working on his Impression series. Impression refers to “paintings that reproduce a direct expression of an internal nature” (Buja). This yearning for an exact representation of the internal resonates with Schoenberg’s same music goals. Schoenberg created the twelve-tone method to more clearly express his internal expressions, while Kandinsky used paint colors and abstract methods to accurately convey his message. Both artists pushed the bar, even when completely unsure of how audiences would receive their art. Kandinsky created Impression III: Konzert following Schoenberg’s performance in Munich. The abstract piece illustrates Wassily’s overall impression of Arnold’s musical performance. There is a large black blob in the upper right corner, at the heart of the picture, which symbolizes the piano. There are people of all different shapes, sizes, and colors looking up and angled towards the piano. In reality, the performer’s back would have been to the audience, so while the organization is technically backward, Kandinsky’s interpretation of the piano’s identity becomes clear (Buja). The use of intense colors demonstrates music’s great strength and power. The lack of organization and symmetry shows Kandinsky’s willingness to go against preconceived norms within painting at the time. Wassily Kandinsky Impression III (Concert) 1911 Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Gabriele Münter-Stiftung, 1957 Wassily Kandinsky’s original paintings sell anywhere from five million to over forty million USD dollars today. His stature as the first abstract painter in the world produces much fame for his works. Kandinsky influences everything from Abstract Expressionism to Conceptualism and Pop culture. Throughout his life, Wassily also taught his learnings to other upcoming and prominent artists, like Schoenberg. Wassily Kandinsky believed that “music is the ultimate teacher.” Within photography, for example, we see the move from black and white to color, and then to increasingly higher resolutions. Wassily saw the move from rigid boundaries to a lack of definition within music, particularly Arnold Schoenberg’s work. Schoenberg rejected tonality itself, by creating the twelve-tone method. Kandinsky heard this change and learned from it. His learning remains clear in his decision to break from traditional figurative modes of painting (Briggs).Kandinsky respected Schoenberg so much so, that he wrote a letter after receiving much inspiration from his concert. He wrote, “You have realized in your work that which I… have so long sought from music. The self-sufficient following of its own path, the independent life of individual voices in your compositions, is exactly what I seek to find in painterly form” (Briggs). Schoenberg served as a revolutionary, a pioneer of creating new avenues for expression that did not exist yet. I find it extraordinary how Kandinsky simply wanted to captivate the same beauty he could hear in Schoenberg’s musical compositions. Not only did Kandinsky wish to better express himself, he wished to do that apart from preconceived boundaries.By creating new art forms (twelve-tone method and abstraction), both Kandinsky and Schoenberg could more easily express what was in their mind. Past, traditional forms did not serve as a base for either Kandinsky or Schoenberg. Both artists were born into a time of music and art revolution, in which many concepts and styles had not yet been discovered. Rather than adhering to current societal restrictions placed on art, Wassily Kandinsky and Arnold Schoenberg pioneered these new techniques themselves.Little did both artists know that there musical and painting developments would go on to become staples within their industry. Kandinsky captivated relationships; between a piano and an audience, industrialization and nature, a horse and their ride, and many more. A photographed image of exactly what Kandinsky was looking at, while painting, would not fully captivate his mind on canvas. From bending what the eye normally sees, Wassily pushed past traditional limits and integrated a deeper meaning that the eye cannot see. Schoenberg created the twelve-tone method, added contrast to his dynamics, formulated complex and irregular rhythms, transitioned between textures, and even created atonal work, greatly testing the original mold for creating a composition.All techniques from both artists are considered ‘familiar’ today, despite their seeming irregular or unconventional in the past. They are the inventors of these concepts themselves, and two large reasons why we have grown so much in music and painting, since their lifetimes. While we did not expect the twelve-tone method or abstractionism, both are avidly used today. Both inventors of these new methods, Kandinsky and Schoenberg made sure their counterparts understood and learned of these same techniques. Their willingness to dive into the unknown, in combination with their teachings fostered a lot of growth within both classical musical composition and painting.Many people today find strong connections between Arnold Schoenberg and Wassily Kandinsky’s work. In 2003, the Jewish Museum held a “Schoenberg, Kandinsky and the Blue Rider” exhibit. An “Acoustiguide” is provided to each person partaking in the exhibit, and the device allows the human to close their eyes and listen to Schoenberg’s musical accompaniment, before, during, or after viewing Kandinsky’s painting (Smith). This way, the viewer can see more into the mind of both artists, while drawing connections. I wish this exhibit was ongoing and located closer to me, so that I could have added my own experiences with the Acoustiguide.The “Schoenberg, Kandinsky and the Blue Rider” exhibit largely focuses on teaching the modernity period, to give the audience a better background on both artists’ developments. Personal passages from letters are provided between Kandinsky and Schoenberg. Kandinsky wrote, “Our own modern harmony is not to be found in the ‘geometric’ but rather the anti-geometric, anti-logical way’ based on ‘dissonances” (Smith). Schoenberg responded, “in what you call the ‘unlogical’ and I call the ‘elimination of the conscious will in art” (Smith). Clearly, both artists professed their love for one another’s work, but they also had a similar, deeper understanding—traditional composition styles disallowed both artists from properly illustrating their paintings’ and musical compositions’ intricacies. Individually, they could produce these new forms, but together they could transform an entire movement of Modernity.While Arnold Schoenberg was born eight years following Wassily Kandinsky, Wassily Kandinsky was the main one mirroring Schoenberg. Kandinsky’s painting was greatly formed from listening to Arnold’s compositions. The concert in Munich led way to Kandinsky’s first world renown painting, Impression III in 1911. However, Kandinsky still attains credit for first creating First Abstract Watercolor in 1910, the year before.One interesting fact that I left out was how Arnold Schoenberg was also a painter himself. He pointed out the complexities of purely grasping a painting’s spirit or entire being. His works were abstracted as well, but not as extreme in comparison to Kandinsky’s. Schoenberg specialized in self-portraits, portraits, landscapes, and drafts of stage set designs, which was slightly different from Kandinsky’s purely non-objective art. Both artists evoked images within their viewers’ and listeners’ minds. For Kandinsky, a painting was extremely emotional and spiritual, and I would say it held the same purpose for Schoenberg (Smith).A key part of both artists’ developments was that Arnold Schoenberg finished painting by 1911, the year they met (Smith). Both artists then pursued their higher path towards painting or composition work. Kandinsky’s favorite previous works of Schoenberg’s were his more conventional, full-faced self-portraits, rather than his more abstract, small images (Smith). This made me wonder whether Kandinsky was unable to compliment Arnold Schoenberg within his own specialty, abstraction. Regardless, each artist respected one another’s specialty and used it to further their own individual work.Kandinsky and Schoenberg both faced great adversity for their modern expressionism that challenged previous traditionalism. All methods created and utilized by these individuals were nearly self-taught. While teachers still existed for old, concrete concepts, these new ones had to be invented the users themselves. Locating schools and institutions that supported a move towards Modernity and away from Traditionalism was difficult. Finding support, in general, was not easy back in this time. It took composing the art, releasing the art, and finally waiting for the audience to hopefully have a positive reaction to so much change.Many responded to Modernity quite harshly and felt the movement was diluting ‘true’ art. Even today, many dilute the skills and resources needed to achieve certain abstract works or atonal music. Abstractionism is not a way of doing art, the atonal method is not a way of composing music, they are both efforts to not to do what previous artists have done for the past several hundred years. Wassily Kandinsky and Arnold Schoenberg perfectly exemplify two artists trying to do something that no one has done before. To achieve uniqueness and a more ‘full grasp’ on their compositions, both artists went entirely against the norm. By doing the opposite of what so many previous composers had done, they were able to formulate highly regarded, contemporary work that truly pushed the bar beyond all preconceived beliefs. Bibliography1. Auner, J.H. “The Atonal Music of Arnold Schoenberg, 1908-1923 (review).” Notes, vol. 58 no. 3, 2002, pp. 593-595. Project MUSE, https://muse-jhu-edu.ezproxy.stthomas.edu/article/24986. 2. Briggs, Ibiayi. “Seeing Sounds: Kandinsky Schoenberg.” Artsy, 20 Aug. 2013, www.artsy.net/article/ibiayi-seeing-sounds-kandinsky-plus-schoenberg. 3. Buja, Maureen. “Music and Art: Schoenberg and Kandinsky.” Interlude, 21 Feb. 2016, www.interlude.hk/front/music-art-schoenberg-kandinsky/. 4. Crawford, Dorothy Lamb. “Arnold Schoenberg.” A Windfall of Musicians: Hitler’s Émigrés and Exiles in Southern California, Yale University Press, 2009, pp. 102–133. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1npm6q.11. 5. Forney, Kristine, et al. The Enjoyment of Music. 12th ed., W.W. Norton & Company, 2017. 6. Kuiper, Kathleen, and Dika Newlin. “Arnold Schoenberg.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 6 Jan. 2017, www.britannica.com/biography/Arnold-Schoenberg. 7. McMullen, Roy Donald. “Wassily Kandinsky.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 14 Mar. 2017, www.britannica.com/biography/Wassily-Kandinsky. 8. Selz, Peter. “The Aesthetic Theories of Wassily Kandinsky and Their Relationship to the Origin of Non-Objective Painting.” The Art Bulletin, vol. 39, no. 2, 1957, pp. 127–136. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3047696. 9. Smith, Roberta. “Kandinsky and Schoenberg, Seen and Heard on Canvas.” ARTS: Art Review, The New York Times, 24 Oct. 2003, www.nytimes.com/2003/10/24/arts/art-review-kandinsky-and-schoenberg-seen-and-heard-on-canvas.html. 10. Osborne, Charles. “Arnold Schoenberg.” The Opera Lover’s Companion, Yale University Press, 2004, pp. 399–402. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1npv7b.57.