In 1913 Béla Bartók traveled to Algeria to research Arab folk music. He took with him the most modern technological device then available, the Edison phonograph, and recorded Arab peasants performing their music. Analysis of his ensuing scholarly documentation and free composition reveals the inspiration Bartók drew from Arab folk music, not only in his treatment of traditional musical elements — melody, rhythm, and harmony — but also in novel incorporation of exotic timbre, scales, drum modes, ululation, and exorcism. This paper elucidates diverse musical elements with examples from authentic folk music and Bartók’s compositions. What emerges is a remarkably comprehensive image of Arab music, seen through the lens of Béla Bartók’s unique scholarship and creativity.
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Péter BOZÓ (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
Review Editor: Lynn HOOKER (Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA)
Martin ELEK (University of Oxford, Oxford, GB)
Belinda ROBINSON (University of Cambridge, GB)
Viktória OZSVÁRT (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
Patrick DEVINE (Maynooth University, Maynooth, IRL)
Anja BUNZEL (Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences, CZ)
William A. EVERETT (Conservatory University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA)
Márta GRABÓCZ (University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, F)
Denis HERLIN (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, F)
János KÁRPÁTI (professor emeritus, Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, H)
Katalin KOMLÓS (professor emerita, Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, H)
Valeria LUCENTINI (University of Bern, CH)
Tatjana MARKOVIĆ (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, A)
Pál RICHTER (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
László SOMFAI (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
László VIKÁRIUS (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
István Csaba NÉMETH (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
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2020 Volume 61
Magyar Tudományos Akadémia
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary, Széchenyi István tér 9.
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