Bela Bartok

Topics: Folk music, Hungary, Béla Bartók Pages: 2 (623 words) Published: November 9, 2012
Research Paper on Bela Bartok.............
By Jibin Parayil Thomas (2011B4A7628G)


Bela Bartok (1881-1945) is regarded as a key innovator of the twentieth-century music. He is widely known for compositions strongly influenced by his folk music studies, and for his activities as a concert pianist, music editor and teacher. The works of Bela Bartok are generally approached from either of two theoretical premises. The first being an extension of traditional western art music that has preceded him (particularly the expanded harmonic resources which emerged during the 'Romantic' musical period), the other being from Bartok's own research into the folk music of Europe. It has been said that through this research, Bartok was able to free himself from the tyrannical rule of the major and minor keys, leading eventually to a new conception of the chromatic scale, every tone of which came to be considered of equal value and could be used freely and independently. Bartok was not noted for his use of 12-tone concepts per se, but his search for harmonic freedom did parallel the concepts of the 12-tone composers of his time. His music rarely displays the consistent vocabulary that would prove a set-theory approach to be worthwhile. There are certain pitch collections that do appear consistently in his work. Bartok achieved something that no one had before his time, the symbolic handshake between East and West: synthesis, a seamless blending of two sources into a single style. Bartok was a knowledgeable ethnomusicologist who wrote and lectured on his areas of research into the cultural music of Europe in general, and of Hungary in particular. (Ethnomusicology is defined as "the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts).The research paper comprises three sections: the first explores Bartok’s general philosophy on life, as it evolved within the turbulent political and cultural...
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