From the Village to the Concert Hall: Béla Bartók

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Listen: Hear Peter Laki Discuss Bartok

One of the great composers of the early 20th century, Béla Bartók was also one of the founders of the field of ethnomusicology. Bartók collected folk music from Slovakia, Transylvania and his native Hungary, lugging an Edison phonograph across the fields and persuading local peasants to sing into the horn so that he could record their voices.

Bartok records Eastern European folk songs in 1907. i i

hide captionBartok, at center, stands at a window sill recording folk songs from Eastern European peasants in 1907.

Corbis
Bartok records Eastern European folk songs in 1907.

Bartok, at center, stands at a window sill recording folk songs from Eastern European peasants in 1907.

Corbis

Peter Laki, a musicologist and editor of the book Bartók and his World, discusses the influence of Eastern European folk songs on the composer.

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