Set Operations in the Music of Nikolai Roslavets

Terry B. Ewell
Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science (2002)
Pages 17–24


Nikolai Andreevich Roslavets-the "Russian Schoenberg"-was at the vanguard of Russian modernism during the second and third decades of the twentieth century. Working with little knowledge of Arnold Schoenberg in 1913 and 1914, Roslavets developed a compositional system that rivaled and even surpassed the systematic tonal organization of European composers at that time. The noteworthy features of Roslavets' compositions from this period included segmentation, rotation, and other set class operations. His unique approach to composition anticipated developments by many of his European contemporaries.