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Music of Bela Bartok cover
  • ISBN: 9780300051117
  • ISBN10: 0300051115

Music of Bela Bartok

by Wilson, Paul A

  • List Price: $47.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publish date: 05/01/1992
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In this book, Paul Wilson presents a new theoretical and analytical approach to the music of Bela Bartok, Hungary's most famous composer and a key figure in twentieth-century music. Wilson explains his theory and then applies it to five important pieces: the Sonata for Piano, the Third Quartet, and movements from the Fifth Quartet, the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, and the Concerto for Orchestra. According to Wilson, earlier critics of Bartok's music have often sought to discover an unvarying precompositional system that accounted for individual musical events. Wilson's approach is different in that he develops a way to explore each work within the musical contexts that the work itself creates and sustains. Wilson begins by discussing a number of fundamental musical materials that Bartok employed throughout his oeuvre. Using these materials as foundations, he then describes a series of flexible, behaviorally defined harmonic functions and a model of pitch hierarchy based on the functions and on several connective designs. Wilson shows how these hierarchical structures provide meaningful forces for coherence and for dynamism and progressional drive in the music. After analyzing the five works from Bartok's oeuvre, he concludes by explaining the philosophical similarities between his theory and the work of David Lewin and Charles Taylor in the related fields of perception and hermeneutics.
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