Elliott Antokoletz. The Music of Béla Bartók: A Study of Tonality and Progression in Twentieth-Century Music.

Morris, Mitchell

This paper reflects upon the results of Elliott Antokoletz's study of Bartok's music and the implications of his results. Elliott Antokoletz's study of Bartok's music focuses upon the symmetrical pitch collections and chordal constructions that permeate Bartok's music. The functional role that such formations play in the music of Bartok, Stravinsky, and the composers of the Second Viennese School has been demonstrated by numerous scholars, such as Babbitt, Jarman, Perle,
van den Toorn, and Taruskin.. According to Antokoletz's preface, the field of Bartok analysis is in need of basic integrative concepts as a framework for the "diverse and often contradictory interpretations" that have heretofore prevailed. The study is based upon the premise that there does exist in Bartok's music an "all-encompassing system of pitch relations," and that this system can be located in the principle of "equal subdivision of the octave into the total complex of interval cycles." Furthermore, says Antokoletz, "the fundamental concept underlying this equal-division system is that of symmetry".



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Columbia University
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March 26, 2015