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Notebook

Notebook, 1993-

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[From: Lendvai, Ernš. "Duality and Synthesis in the Music of BŽla Bart—k." In Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm. Vision and Value series. Gyorgy Kepes, ed. New York: George Braziller, 1966.]

Duality and Synthesis in
The Music of Béla Bartók

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" . . . . I would like to attempt here an interpretation of Bartók's dual world, his "yang-yin" technique, in terms of an equation, contrasting some special elements encountered at every step in Bart—k's compositions. This interpretation is particularly applicable to the construction and content of the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion.

First, "Inferno" movement - Third, "Paradiso" movement

chromaticism - diatony

golden-section system - acoustic system

closed world - open world

circular pattern of melody - straight pattern of melody

presence of central tone - presence of fundamental tone

rhythm with strong ending - rhythm with weak ending

uneven meter - even meter

asymmetries - periodicity

F sharp minor beginning - C major end

demoniac world - serene world, festive and playful

instinctive existence - intellectual existence

organic - logic

love-hatred - perfect understanding-irony

tension - freedom from tension

emotional nature - sensuous nature

inspiration - thought

experience - knowledge, solution

feminine symbols - masculine symbols

dependency on fate - law, order, form

permanent change - validity at all times

augmentation-diminution - stabilized forms

occurrence - existence

process in time - extension over space

origin-development-conclusion - division

finite: circular motion - infinite

geometric nature - mathematical nature

(key figure to golden - (key figures to overtone

section: irrational figure) - system: integrals)


It is interesting to note that Bartók presumably intended--as supported by the date of its composition, 1937--the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion as the crowning of the Microcosmos (1926-37): the "Macrocosmos."

[Lendvai, Ernõ. "Duality and Synthesis in the Music of Béla Bartók." In Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm. Vision and Value series. Gyorgy Kepes, ed. New York: George Braziller, 1966.]




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