On Bartok's violin duets (last edited: 2019)

Joseph Puglia
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open exposition

About this exposition

Bartók's 44 Duos for two violins were written to introduce techniques and musical approaches to beginning violinists. However these pieces along with other pedagogical works of Bartók also helped serve a larger purpose. In the beginning of the 20th century, western classical music reached a turning point where composers were searching for new means of expression. This led to a variety of different approaches both musically and socially. To find a unique voice, Bartók sought to combine folk music and art music, and by doing so, educate a wider public. Since folk songs were an untapped source of material, were based on simple scales that were easy to sing, and fit in with already developing historical trends of nationalism and pride of country, they were the perfect way to create completely new musical material through already familiar means. The Duos were a good introduction of this style at the time for beginning violinists and amateur musicians. Today the role of the 44 Duos has changed, but their status as staples of the repertoire for young violinists remains the same. The pieces have a huge untapped pedagogical application and though there are many other ways to introduce Bartók's style and concepts to a wider public, they still serve as one of the best ways to teach various techniques and methods of performing Bartók's music. The Duos focus on many techniques of articulation for young violinists. A study of the performance practice of musicians who were close to Bartók and the performance practice of Hungarian folk musicians themselves will also show us that these articulations were sometimes performed in ways very different than those we are used to. Perhaps most importantly, the Duos serve as an introduction to the parlando-rubato style – a much more subjective way of experiencing rhythm which is more free than modern tastes usually allow. This feeling for rubato has its roots in folk music which was by nature unwritten music, and finds application not only in Bartók's music, but also in other pieces, such as the music of Kurtág.
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last modified21/10/2019
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Simple Media

id name copyright license
558617 Berio Duet #1 2018 All rights reserved
559594 Example 1 - fairy tale 2018 All rights reserved
559596 Example 2 - for children 2018 All rights reserved
559600 Example 3 - duo 11 - different modalities 2018 All rights reserved
559603 Example 4 - Sorrow beginning 2018 All rights reserved
559605 Example 5 - cradle song parlando 2018 All rights reserved
559607 Example 5 - duo 33 parlando 2018 All rights reserved
559612 Example 7 - duo 6 chigirigiri 2018 All rights reserved
559615 Example 8 - duet 31 marcato 2018 All rights reserved
559619 Example 9 - duo 16 - dots 2018 All rights reserved
559622 Example 10 - duo 44 theme 2018 All rights reserved
559625 Example 11 - duo 35 - slurs with dots 2018 All rights reserved
559629 Example 12 - Kurtag parlando 2018 All rights reserved
559633 Kurtag fermata 2018 All rights reserved
559639 Rumanian dances, two notations 2018 All rights reserved

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