Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#477949 - 10/17/07 09:20 AM Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
To my surprise it is unknown outside of Hungary that the first movement ‘With drums and pipes’ of his ‘Out of Doors’ Suite is based on a Hungarian children’s song. The Hungarian name of the movement is ‘Síppal, dobbal,…’, literally ‘With whistle, with drum, …’. To Hungarians this is as obvious a song quote as ‘Mommy is buying a mockingbird’ is for Americans. The main motive of Bartók’s piece in bars 9 and 10 are a quote from a children’s song (encircled in these pictures):


The song text in literal translation:

Stork, stork, [nonsense word], What made your leg bloody?
A Turkish child cut it. A Hungarian child cured it.
With a whistle, with a drum,
And with a reed violin.

I analysed the song and the piece and found an interesting conclusion:

The quote from the song that Bartók took as main motive for his movement contains only the trichord on the second degree of the tonal center (D, E and F in C-major). In the movement this motive is a major second higher, making the tonal center (seem) E. Yet, just like the song, the movement comes home to the first degree: the tonal center D appears later in the piece, at the end of the B section and the repeat of the A section. Had Bartók the homecoming to the first degree still in mind?

The ambiguity is actually all over the piece, right at the start in the “drummo-continuo” on the piano’s lowest D and E together as a small clusterchord.

This dismisses E as main tonal center and thereby the broad claim in books and CD-booklets that the whole suite has an arch form, with tonal centres of the five movements respectively E G A G E. (No, the last piece, “The Chase”, does not have D as tonal center; rather F, I think the repeated E is just a poignant leading tone).

The text gives rise to one more question: we clearly hear drum and whistle/flute imitations in the piece. But can anyone hear a violin in it? Maybe the Meno mosso at the end? Suggestions welcome!

I dreamt about this last night, woke up and thought quite some more about it. I guess not all 26 thousand or so members of Pianoworld are as trilled about this as I am \:\) . But hey, maybe some one is, and if not some one in Pianoworld is, then no one is \:\(
... Thanx!
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#477950 - 10/17/07 01:13 PM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
I never heard this suite. But now I am interested in hearing what you are referring to.

But my knowledge of theory is very basic. Can I ask you how do you define 'tonal center' of a piece? I assume that it is the root note of the scale the piece is based on. Correct?

Top
#477951 - 10/17/07 01:33 PM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Max W Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
I think I'd agree with you on the violins at the meno mosso, especially with the octave doubling (I believe in hungarian folk music violins tended to accompany the singer).

Bassio - the best way to understand what a tonal centre is defined as is by looking at it in terms of relationships between different harmonies. Usually (in conventional tonal music) the tonality can be identified easily by looking for the obvious dominant-tonic harmonic progressions. (even more obviously, just read the key signature...!) I think when dealing with less conventional tonal music, it becomes more complicated because you have to look more at what you think the implied harmonies are, rather than analyzing it straight off the page. You also have a greater possibility of multiple tonal centres in a single piece via modulation (which are less likely to resolve back to the original key - think Schubert's wanderer fantasie, which modulates a lot but starts and ends in C major), or even bitonality. Leading to multiple analysis' of a single piece that could all potentially be correct (without the composers word to confirm it). At least that is how I understand it...

Top
#477952 - 10/17/07 01:44 PM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
hmm thanks MAx

So when you modulate, you change the tonal center? Or when you modulate, you change the tonal center, provided you do not resolve back to the tonic in the first place (but skip to another tonality without resolving the first)?

But all pieces from the start of the world modulate. When can we say that this piece or that is not stable (tonically speaking) or has a quite shifting tonal center .. or what the hell is bitonality??

I really can use more enlightment \:D

Top
#477953 - 10/17/07 02:21 PM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
Thank you both for your responses and interest in this piece.

Bassio, here you can hear part of the piece by Sándor György:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/music/wma-pop-u...3877258-3887631

You can read along the score in the link at the top of the thread.

The piece starts with drums, and at 39 seconds the middle section starts, the flutes.

I hope the whole suite will be on youtube sometime soon by a decent artist.

Max W (does that stand for Max Weber?), thanks for your description of tonal center. I am happy to hear some one believe the meno mosso could be a violin imitation. It resembles the flute imitation of the middle section but is in a bit lower register, and has this more legato "string bow playing" quality (if I may call it that) to it.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

Top
#477954 - 10/17/07 03:08 PM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Max W Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bassio:
hmm thanks MAx

So when you modulate, you change the tonal center? Or when you modulate, you change the tonal center, provided you do not resolve back to the tonic in the first place (but skip to another tonality without resolving the first)?

But all pieces from the start of the world modulate. When can we say that this piece or that is not stable (tonically speaking) or has a quite shifting tonal center .. or what the hell is bitonality??

I really can use more enlightment \:D [/b]
Modulation is changing the tonal centre. It doesn't have to be prepared, but usually in tonal music it is. There are many methods, I think one of the most common is to use the strong pull of a dominant 7th chord to the respective tonic to change the key. E.g in a piece that is in C major, you could use A minor 7 (the relative minor which is easier to incorperate) to move to D minor as a new tonic. Or even use the previous tonic chord of C as a dominant chord in the key of F major. In conventional tonal music, modulations will be resolved back to the original key - the majority of classical sonatas (perhaps even all of them..?) will demonstrate this. I'm not sure what you know of sonata form, but basically in the Exposition the 1st subject group is tonic, then modulates (sometimes suddenly, sometimes prepared using a Transition) to the dominant for the 2nd subject group. The Development section will modulate a lot, but always returning to the original tonic for the Recapitulation - where the difference is that the 2nd subject group repeated is in the tonic key also so that the piece ends on the tonic chord. That basically outlines a series of modulations which is based around the 'main' tonic key.

Of course it's also possible for a piece to modulate to another key without retaining the importance of the original - many possible reasons. But a modulation is just changing the current tonal centre to a new one - it's only from the late romantic period (probably with many exceptions beforehand...) that modulations became more of a compositional device in itself, rather than a device to create some interest before returning to the original tonic key. I hope this makes sense...

Unstable tonal centres is best used to describe music where the harmonies and modulations stretch the tonal system to the point where it is difficult to find a tonic chord treated with more importance than the others. Usually this music is limited to music from the 20th century (like Bartok), and usually instead of a conventional tonic centre it relies on other methods of ordering the harmonies. Bitonality is not so common, basically imagine playing a piece in the original key, at the same time as playing it in a different key. Although I'm sure they don't have to be so closely related (and the composer could run amok and combine different harmonies in each key, rather than parallel harmonic changes, to create new harmonies)


Robert Kenessey - unfortunately not, it's the initial of my surname (which isn't weber..!). I've read some of his very interesting literature on religion, although I'm not too familiar with it.

Top
#477955 - 10/18/07 03:25 PM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
As it's my birthday in a few hours, I guess I'm allowed to prop my thread up in the list a bit. Thanx!
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

Top
#477956 - 10/18/07 05:34 PM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520
This piece is well known outside of his native country. E sounds like the tonic minor for the beginning section:

http://www.amazon.com/Out-Doors-Piano-Music-Bart%C3%B3k/dp/B000006O33
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

Top
#477957 - 10/19/07 02:17 PM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
Thank for your reply. I am happy it's well known outside Hungary (rightly so). I mostly meant that it's not known outside Hungary the first movement is based on a folk/children's tune. Actually, your link to Max Levinson's version points this out, as he plays the direct song quotes way too fast.(I don't like his pedalling either). I played the piece too, and it tempts the pianist to play it too fast, but it's better if kept pesante.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

Top
#477958 - 10/19/07 04:48 PM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
I am always interested in ethnic origins of compositions Robert. Thanks.

And Bartok is one of the big guys in ethnomusicology.


"that modulations became more of a compositional device in itself"

How can you explain that? I can't get it.

What do you think is the function of modulation in a piece?

I assume:
1) Modulation creates emotional surge at the moment of the modulation itself

2) Modulation creates emotion (and interest) through the new tonality to which it shifted

As for no.2, all tonalities (I guess) in western music are more-or-less the same - given well or equal temperament. So I assume qualitative difference is only between the major and minor.

And so emotion (or interest) is only created by the relative relation between the first tonality and the new one to which we modulated!!

Therefore, I can assume that tonality absolutely in itself per se does not carry much emotional content or amusement except for: 1) how the melody works 2)being major or minor

Take out the melody and you are left with no qualities except for the later no.2.

However, returning to ethnomusicology Robert: In Arabic music, the scales (maqams) in thereselves carry emotional content even without melody. Something I don't find in western music as explained above.

What do you think?
Come on .. of course someone will disagree ;\)

PS. I didn't mention rhythm but that's another talk. ;\)

Top
#477959 - 10/22/07 03:25 AM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
The major and minor scales and all the modes have a certain mood to them, even without a melody played. The Phrygian mode seems darker than plain minor. A very interesting composition in this regard is the 3rd movement of Bartók's suite op 14 which is very Arabic. (sorry, no imslp link anymore \:\( ) It consists largely of scales and scale excerpts.

If you are interested in arabic folk music in Bartók, see III. "The Arabian influence in Bartók's music." on http://www.damjanabratuz.ca/essays/bartok/bartok_centenary.htm

I hope Max W will answer your uncertainty about "That modulations became more of a compositional device in itself". I am not an expert myself.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

Top
#477960 - 01/29/08 09:37 AM Re: Main motive of Bartók's ‘With drums and pipes’ comes from a folk song.
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
I added two pictures of both the song and the start of the Bartók movement to my original post.

(By the way, weird harmonisation in this version of the song arranged for piano (g# in c-major; any enlightened views on this?)!
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

Top

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
107 registered (Art_Vandelay, aesop, AmateurBob, anotherscott, Acevle, 38 invisible), 1258 Guests and 23 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75609 Members
42 Forums
156347 Topics
2296294 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Debussy's opinion of other composers
by phantomFive
12 minutes 5 seconds ago
Ivory v. Plastic Questions
by Retsacnal
Yesterday at 11:50 PM
The worst student in your studio
by Cardinal201
Yesterday at 11:43 PM
Piano Movers
by DancerJ
Yesterday at 11:16 PM
Yamaha P-85 closer to a Grand Piano action than any Upright!
by Paul678
Yesterday at 07:22 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission