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RMCO Work Detail

Title Romanian Folk Dances
Composer Bartok, Bela
Contributor's Name Unattributed but probably Robert Wright
Bio In the early 20th century Bela Bartok came under the dual influence of Zoltan Kodaly and Debussey, to whose music Kodaly introduced him. Bartok's work in folks music represents not only his native Hungary, but also Romania.

His seven Romanian Folk dances, Stick Dance, Round Dance, In One Spot, Horn Dance, Romanian Polka, Short and Sweet, and Short and Sweet, were composed in 1917 from piano pieces of two years earlier. Bartok made direct use of folk material from instrumental tunes he had noted down in this region alone. The seven dances share a common four-line stanza form, stating original flute and fiddler's tunes, and are vividly but not extravagantly orchestrated.

The melodies are modal in character and the dance mainly in 2/4 meter except the Horn Dance in 3/4 and the following Romanian Polka, which alternates between 3/4 and 2/4. The dances vary greatly in character from the leaping Stick Dance through the graceful Round Dance. In One Spot is performed forward and backward. The Polka has alternative even and uneven beats, and the two final fast dances were originally accompanied by shouts and singing.


Work record last updated on 07-15-2004