Mast. Of Music and Music Lit. 10:00MWF
BÃÂ©la BartÃÂ³k was born in 1881 in Greater Hungary. With the title of "the greatest Hungarian composer" he is considered one of the most significant musicians of the twentieth century. He shared with his friend ZoltÃÂ¡n KodÃÂ¡ly, another leading Hungarian composer, a passion for ethnomusicology. His music was invigorated by the themes, modes, and rhythmic patterns of the Hungarian and other folk music traditions he studied, which he synthesized with influences from his contemporaries into his own distinctive style.
BartÃÂ³k grew up in the Greater Hungary of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was partitioned by the Treaty of Trianon after World War I. His birthplace, NagyszentmiklÃÂ³s (Great St Nicholas), became SÃÂ®nnicolau Mare, Romania. After his father died in 1888, BÃÂ©la's mother, Paula, took her family to live in NagyazÃÂ¶llÃÂ¶s, later known as Vinogradov, Ukraine, and then to Pozsony, or Bratislava, in her native Slovakia.
When Czechoslovakia was created BÃÂ©la and his mother found themselves on opposite sides of a border.
A smallpox inoculation gave the infant BÃÂ©la a rash that persisted until he was five years old. Because of this he spent his early years in isolation from other children, often listening to his mother playing the piano. BÃÂ©la showed precocious musical ability and began to compose dances at the age of nine. The frequent moves of the family were motivated, in part, by Paula BartÃÂ³k's desire to obtain the best possible musical instruction for her son.
At Pozsony, BartÃÂ³k studied piano under distinguished teachers. He taught himself composition by reading scores (copies of a musical composition in written or printed notation). Under the influence of composer ErnÃÂ¶ DohnÃÂ¡nyi, four years ahead of him in his school, teenage BartÃÂ³k wrote chamber music in the style of Brahms, the german romantic who created...