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Monday, March 07, 2005

Bartok's Peasant Dance no. 128

I don't have the faintest idea what I was thinking when I decided to analyze this piece but I can definitely say that it is a challenge! There is no key signature notated but from the many accidentals in the A section I'm going to guess it is in g minor due to the leading tone and the B flat and E flat. The first four measures seem to be an introduction. Then it goes into an eight measure phrase. This phrase sounds like it ends on an IAC but it sounds incredibly weak! I decided this was a phrase merely because I didn't want to call the entire A section one phrase and I noticed that the following tonal motive seemed to relate closely to this phrase. Although the notes were very similar, the rhythm was quite different. This phrase sounds like it has a very long cadential extension on the end. The phrases are contrasting. This extension goes into an enharmonic modulation of b flat minor. This transitional B section is very contrapuntal. It doesn't sound like a tonal development of the A section but is similar rhythmically. At the end it sounds very similar when there is the same descending pattern of fifths as the ascending pattern of fifths in the A section. Then, through a common tone modulation, the A section returns. It has a lot of extra harmonic excitement this time. The piece ends on a major one chord. I think it is simple ternary form which is really quite ironic because the piece doesn't seem simple at all. I like the main theme. I also like that before every big section change there is a 3/4 measure. It matches the feeling of many music students. We don't know whether we're entirely stable at times, we certainly have many confused moments, and we never seem to stop, just as this piece seemed to end hanging on a chord that had nothing to do with the entire rest of the compositional make up of it.


susannahRAMA said...

i think i agree with your analysis that the key of the piece is in g minor...i just didn't want to say it because i was so unsure:)
good job

Ed Geyer said...

I'm sorry you were met with such a challenge, that darn Bartok didn't seem to write his pieces with our form and analysis class in mind. But to answer your question of what you were thinking, you probably were thinking that a Peasant Dance sounded really cool. But I recommend Brahms next time around; he's not quite as out of the box, and he actually gives you a key signature. But I think you showed your bravery by making claims of a g minor key and different cadences, as some were to frightened to put a label on such weirdness. Good work

FluteBunny10 said...

LOL. Good observations, and very funny too. I especially liked, "I think it is simple ternary form which is really quite ironic because the piece doesn't seem simple at all."

katie said...

The key was so confusing. I am impressed with your analysis!!! Hopefully we can go over this in class

Anonymous said...

It's actually G phrygian not G minor.