In the words of Jewish Austrian composer and painter Arnold Schoenberg; or Schönberg, harmony was freed from “the tyranny of tonality”. Schoenberg's term is interesting in its suggestion that the tonal system exerts an overpowering pressure to conform. The carefully ordered hierarchal keys; with its singularity, central focus on each movement or work, and tonal centres that made up the tonality of “centuries–old harmonic basis of music” became of less importance and “had outlived its usefulness” as atonality; which is “a system without key” that is “deliberately avoided” gained popularity. This music utilizes several chromatic notes with the intention of hearing no tonal centers.
Later commentators spoke similarly of music being emancipated