"Augustowski's French is as good as my own, and we spent the afternoon fishing and arguing over the dodecaphonists. "

Arnold Schoenberg, a pioneer of the Twelve-tone technique
Creative Commons AttributionArnold Schoenberg, a pioneer of the Twelve-tone technique - Credit: Florence Homolka
The dodecaphonists advocated a "Method of Composing with Twelve Tones Which are Related Only with One Another" (Schoenberg 1975), and so would avoid using a particular key.  This style came to be especially influential in the mid-twentieth century.