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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Bartok: Mikrokosmos, No. 109, "From the Island of Bali"

This short chromatic piano piece was composed by Bela Bartok in binary form. The first of the three structural divisions begins softly, andante, in six-eight time. The right and left hands alternate with each other, repeating their motives throughout the first section. The first sign of structural phenomena shows at the beginning of the Risoluto section. There is a meter change to four-four, tempo increase, and the volume swells to forte. Another structural phenomena is a register change, as both hands move up an octave at the beginning, then drops down at the end with a sforzando. This structural division also shows the piano players hands in unison with each other for part of the Risoluto, instead of alternating motives. The final Andante section returns to triple meter, and a slower tempo. The base is sustained for the first six measures while the treble clef demostrates complex contrapuntal motives similar to those played in the first structual division. The tempo slows yet again four measures from the end, accompanied by a decrescendo to pianissamo, while both hands play a sustained chord held until the sound dies.


Minnie Mouse said...

A well done analysis. The only thing I felt it was missing was some melodic aspects like keys and phrase structure (how many measures in a phrase? etc.). Otherwise...nice.

John Styx said...

Good job, although I believe you made one typographical error, I don't believe this is a binary form piece, we seem to have three distinct sections in this piece (well, a recapitulation, but still) other than that a great first effort!

Martin Buber said...

I think it's more complicated than just dividing it by the meter changes and tempo markings. And you said binary, and then said it had three parts. But anyway, when it goes into Risoluto, though the meter does change and so does the register, the beginning is somewhat reminiscent of the end of the first section. And then with that major break in the near the end of the Risoluto where it jumps to FF and the rhythm is suddenly syncronized. I think you did a good job, only the piece is quite complicated.