se·​ri·​al·​ism | \ ˈsir-ē-ə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce serialism (audio) \

Definition of serialism

: serial music also : the theory or practice of composing serial music

Examples of serialism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web University music departments were dominated by an approach whose variants were known as atonality, twelve-tone music, and serialism. Walter Simmons, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 And the serialism and the sadness and the all of it. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 4 Mar. 2021 Drawing from symphonies, chamber music and conceptualism, electro-acoustic fusions, neo-romanticism and choral music, string quartets, song cycles and serialism, Reynolds embraces and expands many traditions. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Sep. 2019 Although the compositional method is related to mid-century serialism, the formula tends to yield tonal-sounding motifs, with Michael’s theme hovering around D minor. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 17 June 2019 Wuorinen, who marks his 80th birthday later this year, was once the orchestra’s composer-in-residence, at a time when his commitment to the principles of serialism was more orthodox and pronounced. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Mar. 2018 Thomson, rejecting the hyper-complexity of European styles like serialism that dominated post-World War II composition, frequently drew on the sounds of his Missouri childhood for inspiration. Ryan Ebright, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2017 This work comes from 1944, before the composer’s more radical move toward total serialism. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, 27 Oct. 2017 Like his compatriots Krzysztof Penderecki and Witold Lutoslawski, Mr. Gorecki had in his early work experimented with modernist techniques like serialism. William Robin, New York Times, 9 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'serialism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of serialism

1955, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of serialism was in 1955

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Cite this Entry

“Serialism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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