Headlam closely analyzes Berg's compositional technique and the use of symmetry and cycles throughout his oeuvre. He brings into the discussion Berg's own writings as well as those of composer and musicologist George Perle; the techniques of Schoenberg, Webern, and other serialists; and aspects of pitch-class set and twelve-tone theory. Headlam contends that in his treatment of all musical elements—pitch, rhythmic, formal, and even orchestrational techniques—Berg achieved a synthesis that transcends the surface distinctions of his tonal, atonal, and twelve-tone periods, and that the cyclic basis of these chronological periods differs in degree rather than in kind. Berg's achievement of this synthesis foreshadows later developments in the work of his many musical heirs.
- Winner of the 1997 ASCAP-Deems Taylor award in the Symphonic Books category (ASCAP is the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers)