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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Atonality or serialism?”

October 27, 2006

Dear Michael,

Is there organ music written for Organ using atonality or serialism?

Timothy Olmsted
Newport News, VA

Dear Timothy,

Yes, plenty of it, beginning with Arnold Schoenberg’s Variations on a Recitative. Also consider Olivier Messiaen’s Livre d’Orgue (and portions of other of his later compositions).

I don’t play much, because many people don’t like it, but I have broadcast quite a bit of Messiaen, and included the Schoenberg work at least twice (and will again).



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