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Over a century ago, Schönberg served an electroshock to classical music with his dodecaphony (or twelve-tone technique). The worn habits and rules about harmony – like the doctrine of the classic European canon – were dumped into the trash can. Instead, there was room for experiment and adventure alongside control and ratio. Like Schönberg, his student Anton Webern saw the string trio as the genre in which he could let off some steam. Three voices could clash, grind and crush and then follow their own path. But even after dodecaphony reshaped music composing, there were still composers who specifically wrote for the string trio. The string trio as a genre or a piece of music is not loaded with a heavy tradition, therefore encouraging free thinking. For composers like Anton Webern, Arnold Schoenberg, La Monte Young, and Alfred Schnittke, the string trio guarantees experimentation. Composing string trios did not only mean a break in their own style but also setting a new landmark in music history.



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