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 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, "Fall arts 2019 | Classical music: Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Roger Reynolds a whirlwind of music," 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, "Karlheinz Stockhausen Composes the Cosmos," 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, "Copland’s generous patriotism gets boost from SF Symphony," 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, "Celebrating Women’s Rights, ‘That Most American of Operas’," 3 Nov. 2017 This work comes from 1944, before the composer’s more radical move toward total serialism. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, "Contemplating a Mystically Charged Two-Hour Piano Epic," 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, "How a Somber Symphony Sold More Than a Million Records," 9 June 2017 Flutist McGill returned for Martin's 1939 Ballade for flute and piano, bringing to vivid life the music's refined language, tantalizingly balanced between tonality and serialism. Special To The Plain Dealer,, "ChamberFest Cleveland leaves deep impression with Shostakovich in rare transcription (review)," 30 June 2017 Composers of what is known, for better or worse, as classical music have broken over time with sonata form, tonality, serialism and minimalism. Michael Cooper, New York Times, "where have classical music’s uppercase letters gone?," 17 Mar. 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 26 Oct. 2020.

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