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What do you consider to be the main items of change in Bartk's concerto from the practice of the baroque composers in the Concerto Grosso?

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Introduction

Elizabeth Morgan. What do you consider to be the main items of change in Bart�k's concerto from the practice of the baroque composers in the Concerto Grosso? The Bart�k model is more dissonant, harmonically ambiguous in places, and more interesting rhythmically. It is written for a large full orchestra with no set concertino group and involves more use of percussion instruments. Bart�k uses short, narrow melodic phrases with a strong contrapuntal texture in places. He uses scales other than major and minor, and there is extreme chromaticism and virtuoso handling of a wide range of instruments, with specific and direct instructions for the playing of those instruments. In the first movement, the wedge figure which appears frequently is very chromatic. The Serbo-Croat melody in bar 76 is based on the germinal motive: F, G, Aflat, Bflat, Bnatural, C. The F - Bnatural of which is based on the octatonic scale made up of alternating tones and semitones, it is also an augmented fourth, tritone. ...read more.

Middle

There is a syncopated passage in the flutes and oboes at bar 456. The second movement is very rhythmic, and in this movement there is no set concertino group, but each new theme is presented by pairs of instruments. In this movement, there is the use of the side drum, creating a recurring tattoo. The octatonic scale appears once more in bar 62 in the flute parts. At 228, there is a Debussy like texture with the harp, adding to the tone colour. Also at this point, Bart�k uses very specific instructions for the playing for the string instruments, such as 'arco au talon' and 'arco, con sord punta d'arco'. In the third movement at bar 10, Bart�k uses decorated arpeggios made up of alternating minor 3rds and minor 2nds. This section is in an Arab style, which is quite chromatic, with a lot of orchestral colour, such as trills, tremolando, glissandi, and static harmony. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the Cflat is treated like a blue note, reminiscent of jazz. In the development section at 265, there is a strong contrapuntal fugue with a bizarre village band type accompaniment. A series of octatonic scales begins in bar 409, and there are whole tone scales in the strings at bar 533, with glissandi in the basses. Throughout the work Bart�k uses a wide range of percussion instruments, such as timpani, cymbals, side drum, tam-tam and bass drum. Bart�k uses very precise instructions for the playing of these percussion instruments, such as in the first movement at bar 390, cymbals to be played with the thick end of the Side Drum stick, in the second movement at the start, the side drum to be played without snares, and in bar 114 of the fourth movement, the tam-tam is to be played laissez vibrer. Therefore, the main items of change are more dissonance, rhythmically more interesting, and the use of a larger orchestra. ...read more.

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