Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Arauco, Ingrid. "Bartók's Romanian Christmas Carols: Changes from the Folk Sources and Their Significance." Journal of Musicology 5 (Spring 1987): 191-225.

Four sources provide the basis for the study of Bartók's folk song arrangements, the Romanian Christmas Carols: (1) the transcriptions from the recordings he made on location; (2) notebook entries of melodies written down on-the-spot; (3) the versions of the carols as given in the preface to Bartók's Romanian Folk Music, vol. 4; and (4) the arrangement. Arauco especially examines changes between sources (2) and (3) and interprets them as a rapprochement to Western art music. Removal of incidental tones and ornaments, repositioning of barlines, and alteration of notes and rhythms clarify the harmonic and motivic phrase structures, which become easier to understand for listeners familiar with the tradition of Western art music and to some extent make up for the loss of the text originally comprising that function. Arauco argues that the change of elements incidental to the essence of the folk song not only adds structural clarity but, as a consequence, also reinforces the "inner emotive power."

Works: Bartók: Romanian Christmas Carols.

Sources: carols collected by Bartók in Transylvania, 1910-14 (193-95).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Andreas Giger

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