This introductory text for students covers all the most important aspects of serial composition, including full discussion of such topics as melody writing, twelve-note harmony, polyphonic writing, forms, stylistic factors, avant-garde techniques, and free twelve-note composition. The author's intention is to avoid a pedantic exposition of serial principles and to include many technical details which are also valid in non serial contexts, being the common property of contemporary musical languages. Richard Smith Brindle (born 1917) is a native of Lancashire. He studied at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, in Rome at the Academia di Santa Cecilia, and in Florence privately with Dallapiccola. His own music is influenced by he Italian avant-garde school of berio, Maderna, non, and others. From 1970 until his retirement in 1985 he was Profesor of Music at the University of Surrey.