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Sounding AuthenticThe Rural Miniature and Musical Modernism$
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Joshua S. Walden

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199334667

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199334667.001.0001

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Béla Bartók’s Rural Miniatures and the Case of Romanian Folk Dances

Béla Bartók’s Rural Miniatures and the Case of Romanian Folk Dances

(p.169) Chapter Six Béla Bartók’s Rural Miniatures and the Case of Romanian Folk Dances
Sounding Authentic

Joshua S. Walden

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 focuses on the role of the rural miniature in the early period of Béla Bartók’s career. Bartók’s essays and letters about folk music, recording technology, and nationalism demonstrate his belief that the folk music of the countryside constituted the pure and simple expression of the Hungarian soul, and he promoted its study, transcription, and arrangement as art music. The chapter offers an extended analysis of Romanian Folk Dances, to view the relation between his ethnographic research and his composition of rural miniatures. It examines the wax cylinder recordings of the original source melodies, Bartók’s transcriptions in his anthologies, manuscript sketches of Romanian Folk Dances, and professional recordings by Zoltán Székely and Joseph Szigeti of the arrangement of the work for violin and piano.

Keywords:   Béla Bartók, Joseph Szigeti, Zoltán Székely, Ethnomusicology, Wax cylinder, Romanian Folk Dances, Transcription, Arrangement

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