The Brilliant Bela Bartok 0:00

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Alongside Franz Liszt, Bela Bartok is considered Hungary's greatest composer. While on holiday at a resort in 1904, Bartok heard a nanny from Transylvania singing folk songs to the children in her care. This sparked his life-long dedicated to folk music, which features heavily throughout his oeuvre. In 1908, for example, he and Kodaly traveled into the countryside to collect and research old Magyar folk melodies. They made the surprising discovery that these melodies were much closer to Asian traditional songs on pentatonic scales than to Gypsy music, as previously thought. Coupled with a growing interest and taste for traditional national culture, this led to the kind of music we know and love from Bartok today.

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