Founded Columbia University's folklore department: Who is Bela Bartok?

Hungarian composer, pianist, and musicologist Bela Bartok was born in 1881. He introduced and popularized the folk music of his country. He conducted music research for many years. He revived the Hungarian spirit with his compositions adapted from folk music.

By Stephen McWright Published on 9 Mayıs 2024 : 21:07.
Founded Columbia University's folklore department: Who is Bela Bartok?

He also studied Eastern European and North African Folklore and made folk music compilations. In 1936, he went to Turkey as a guest of Ankara Community Center and gave conferences on folk music compilations.

Later, together with Ahmet Adnan Saygun, he listened to and recorded the music of the nomads in the Adana region. During his stay in Turkey, he worked to create a Turkish folk music archive at Ankara State Conservatory.

Béla Viktor János Bartók (25 March 1881 – 26 September 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Franz Liszt are regarded as Hungary's greatest composers. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became known as ethnomusicology.

Who is Bela Bartok?

Bartok was born in 1881. As a baby, Bartok was very sensitive to sounds. When his mother played the piano, he never cried and listened carefully.

When Bartok was 4 years old, his mother started taking piano lessons. He started playing the piano well within a year.

When primary school started, Bartok was introduced to all teachers and students by the music teacher and the school principal. When he was 8 years old, his father died and the responsibility of the family was left to his mother.

When he was 9 years old, Bartok started writing piano pieces, and a year later he became known to the public as a pianist.

He settled in Pressburg with his mother in 1893. His mother started working as a teacher here. Meanwhile, Bartok started taking music education and piano lessons from Laszio Erkel, the son of the famous Hungarian artist F Erkel.

He graduated from high school in 1899. He entered the Budapest Higher School of Music. He became a student of pianist and composer Hans Koessler.

After graduating from music school in 1903, he started to earn his living by playing the piano and giving lessons for a while.

Bela Bartok attracted the attention of Europe by composing "2 Orchestral Suites" and his fame began to spread.

In 1907 he became piano professor at the Budapest Music Academy. He spent 30 years teaching and traveling to concerts. He traveled to many countries and examined their folk songs, sound sequence relationships, melodies, and rhythm features.

He achieved great success with his composition "Music for Stringed Instruments, Percussion and Celesta" in 1936 when he was over 50 years old, and his work "Mikrokosmos" for piano, which he completed in 1937.

Bartok left his homeland in 1940 and went to the USA. There he settled in New York and founded the folklore department of Columbia University.

Even though he was a famous artist, he could not support himself with the money he earned. He fell ill in 1942 due to sadness and poverty.

He continued to write works even in his sick bed. He finished his most important work, "Orchestral Concerto". His last work is “3. He died in New York at the age of 64 before completing his Piano Concerto.