Bartók's Studies of Folk Rhythm: A Window into His Own Practice
Relationships between Béla Bartók's folk music studies and his compositional practice in the domains of pitch and form have been well documented, but his studies in the arena of rhythm have not. Leong investigates Bartók's ethnomusicological writings on rhythmic transformations in folk music, categorizes the rhythmic techniques he described, and investigates their use in three compositions. The three compositions are chamber works, chosen to represent three uses of folk music described by Bartók: quotation, imitation, and absorption of folk music. Violin Rhapsody No. 1 quotes actual folk melodies; "Contrasts" for violin, clarinet, and piano imitates them, and Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion shows folk influence only indirectly.