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Twelve-tone technique also known as twelve-tone serialism is a method of musical composition devised by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg (1874--1951).

The technique is a means of ensuring that all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are sounded as often as one another in a piece of music while preventing the emphasis of any one note through the use of tone rows which are orderings of the 12 pitches.

All 12 notes are thus given more or less equal importance and the music avoids being in a key.