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Bartók, Hungary, and the Renewal of TraditionCase Studies in the Intersection of Modernity and Nationality$
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David Schneider

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520245037

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520245037.001.0001

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Tradition Transformed

Tradition Transformed

“The Night's Music” and the Pastoral Roots of a Modern Style

(p.81) Three Tradition Transformed
Bartók, Hungary, and the Renewal of Tradition

David E. Schneider

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on “The Night's Music”, the fourth movement in Béla Bartók's December 1926 piano recital. It suggests that the acceptance of this work even among the conservative Hungarian audiences of Bartók's day is perhaps surprising for a work that would come to be seen as the locus classicus of a uniquely Bartókian contribution to the language of musical modernism. It explains that Bartók used a highly dissonant but very soft tone cluster made up of five adjacent semitones as a static background throughout most of the work.

Keywords:   The Night's Music, Béla Bartók, piano recital, musical modernism, soft tone cluster, adjacent semitones

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