Tradition Transformed

David E. Schneider

in Bartók, Hungary, and the Renewal of Tradition

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245037
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932050 | DOI:
Tradition Transformed

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  • Musicology and Music History


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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

Chapter.  10513 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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