retrograde



[Eng.]


Moving backwards; A device used by composers where a series of notes (comprising a figure or theme) is brought back later in the composition, but written backwards. This device is essential in twelve-tone music. Also, twelve-tone music allows any note in the series to be placed in any octave, so the retrograde form of a serial melody does not necessarily match the contour of the original melody.

See retrograde; Crab motion; cancrizans; [Ger.] Krebsgang.

See also retrograde inversion; retrograde motion; retrograde canon; canon cancrizans; retrogression.


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