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Krumbholz, MUSC 243

Notes on Bartk, From the Island of Bali (no. 109 of Mikrokosmos)


Pitch material: tetrachords X, Y, and Z

All three tetrachords are symmetrical. (They are mirrored around the middle interval.)
Y is a retrograde (backward) version of X, which is then transposed to start on pitch-class B.
The X (and therefore Y) tetrachord consists of two interlocking tritones (itself a symmetrical interval):

Form

A
6
8 14
Y
X

511
rY
rX

B
4
4 1216
Y
Y

1718
X
Y

A
1922
X
Y

6
2330
3133
3435
8
Z
Y
W
Z
X
X
(D pedal)

Canons
Unison passages
dynam.:

r = retrograde (backward)

ff

coda
3639
Y
X

4043

In mm. 1216, the first unison passage, the left hand plays in the register first established by the right hand. This passage is balanced
by mm. 2330, where the right hand now plays in the left hands initial register.
Mm. 4043 act as a harmonic summary of the whole piece. Note how each hands chord is simply a rendition of the tetrachords
used at the very opening of the piece. Furthermore, the A and F in m. 42 are, respectively, the highest and lowest notes of the
piece. Its also the only time these pitch classes are spelled as A and F rather than as G and G. Each of these pitches is transposed
symmetrically three octaves in the opposite direction.
Y