Category: Music

The Influence of Folk Music on Hungarian Composer Béla Bartók

Béla Bartók pic

Béla Bartók
Image: britannica.com

Tunde Krasznai is a concert pianist who trained at the Weiner Leó Conservatory of Music and the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). During her time at UCLA, Tunde Krasznai performed music as therapy and also assisted in teaching courses such as The History of Popular Music in America.

In 2016, Ms. Krasznai had the opportunity to give a solo performance at a Miami Hungarian Church memorial concert called “Remembering the Hungarian Revolution.” Among the pieces she played were works by composers such as Chopin, Liszt, and Bartók.

One of the key Hungarian composers of the mid-20th century, Béla Bartók grew up in a diverse, multicultural setting. An obsessive ethnomusicologist, he collected songs from around the world, with an emphasis on folk pieces from Eastern Europe. Cumulatively, he gathered and preserved more than 10,000 works from Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.

Bartók’s efforts led to the creation of sophisticated classical works with folk music as a basis, which were vital in presenting an alternative to Webern and Schoenberg’s atonality in the early 20th century. They also informed his greatest work, the five-movement Concerto for Orchestra, which he composed in exile in New York during World War Two and which incorporated folk scales and drone elements.

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