Initially firmly part of the avant garde amongst Australian composers, Meale experienced a stylistic rethink in the 1970s, abandoning an exclusively atonal approach in his orchestral work Viridian (1979) and his Second String Quartet (1980) for a polytonal approach, and in later works embracing a frank tonality, with fin-de-siècle overtones, whilst retaining an individual voice.
"Richard Meale – Abandoning Tonality" [radio transcript]. 2008. In Talking to Kinky and Karlheinz – 170 musicians get vocal on The Music Show ed. Anni Heino, 263–268. Sydney: ABC Books. ISBN 978-0-7333-2008-8.