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Te publton of .tudy of t muc ofBa mkban
imprtt evet. Many deiptve analye of partcula work
ofh have app, but here for the fit tme mthe Englih
langage M a. autorittve and convincing epsiton of the
theretcl prncple which the comper worked out for
mbut ree, W far W i kw,fom epunding to
anyone durng m lifetme, ether m wrtng or by word of
mouth. Tu we owe bth t author a t publiher a
. Er6 Ldv"; 0te fct tat WB6k m
mearly te, evolved for ha metho ofintegratn,
the dement ofmuic; te Mthe chOrdalltuctW wth the
meloc mot apprprate to tem, together with thC"pf
prtiOD of length a between movement i whole work,
main dvision witin a movement such W eposition, develoP"
ment and repitulaton w even baancng pbru withn
at01 of movemet, according to ODC sigle bac prncple,
that of the Golde Secton. Sme luch matematcl prprn
wu 6ntpmpW M"cthetc prnciple by Calde the
3rd miUennium .C.g taken up by the Greeks two thousand
years later and rediscovered during the Renaissance, but never
systematically applied to music at any time. (There exists onc
single string quartet movement by Haydn, composed in Iength
according to Golden Section proportions, but this is morc of an
intellectual quirk of the compwer's than a principled pro
cedure.) Bart6k discovered a way of deriving the basic
pentatonic intervals A-G-E and the frst inversion of the major
common chord E-G-C from the Golden Section in its prac
ticable fonn of Fibonacci's series of whole numbers. From there
Bart6k proceeded to the establishment of two fundamental
scales, dCKribed by Lendvai a "diatonic" and "chromatic",
containing respectively seven and eight notes inside the octave.
Within thiJ framework Bart6k applied m theory of "tonal
axes" as the basis of tunality.
It is an implied thesis of the bok that the pentatonic scales
of the earliest folk music, the modes of oiental iDd medieval
art and folk mwic and lastly, the major and minor scale idiom
of European art music of the 17th, 18th and IDth centuries, are
stage. on the road towards Bart6k's complcte integration of the
deepest fundamentals of tonality with perfect formal proportion.
During the pat years there have been various scienti
fcally orientated attempts within musical theory to show the
way forward to the composer and to help him to fnd a
fnn fothold in the period of chaos which followed the dis
integration orthe major and minor scale period at the beginning
of Ucentur. The most important in order oflheir appearance
have been Aaviev's uMusikalnaya Forma kak Prouess" and
Ulntonatsia" (1930), Hindemilh's "Craft of Musical Composi
tion" Vol. I (English Ed. 1937), Derck Cooke's "The
Language of Mwic" (19
9) and Emest Ansermct's "
Fondements de la Musque dans la Cnscience Humainc"
(lg61). To these major worD should now be added Lendvai's
exposition ofBart6k's mwical theories. Though thee fve work
propagate theories which are mutuaUy contradictory in onc
respect or another, they arc all in agreement on onc fundamental
proposition. namely, that tonality, that tonal relatons of,ome
kind or another are an Cential framework for any COll$truction
of tone' which can be rightly considered B a work of musical
art. Aaviev' , concept of "intonation" , Hindemith' , "SerieJ I
Co kc' , "pinpointing of the inherent emotional characterlation
of the major, minor and chromatic scale",- Ansermet' ,
exposition of the space between the notes makng up the octave
B a "structured IpaCC, divided unequally at the perfect ffth
and perfect fourth". and now Bart6k'I tonal axe, operatng
within his particular "diatonic" and "chromalic" scale (the
latter not the chromatic scale of twelve semitone) arc all
based upon the admision that there exist a h.ierarchy of
intervals, proceeding from the essential nature of musical tones
themselves, which may nOI be diregarded if music is to result
from composing or the putting together of tone.
Some readers may wonder why have not included among
the important theoretical writings of this century Arnold
Schoenberg' s essay entitled "Composition with Twelve Tones"
(1941), the argumentation of which in support ofr method of
composing with twelve tones which arc related only with one
another (now known as serial dodecaphony) advances it, in the
author' , opinion. "to the rank and imporLance of a .cicnttc
theory". A study of the theoretical paragraphs of this cssay
dispels any such illusion. The whole justifcation orlhe method
of comping with twelve tone depends upon the roHowing two
"The tenn emancipation of thc dissonance refen to its
comprehensibility. which is considered equivalent to the
consonance's comprehensibility. A style based on U
Lkc: Trgmwu,pagczii q
Shonb: S! mIwa,Q@c Q
LO mMM=mVMt t0 Om0c W mc M
mt 0m M gM0y gbc mpmu0l m0M
vt 0M b0t WW W OM0] t b 00Ucat
wwwdgby Hm.Tmm aa0t0vgbt
ayOtbctcnvaO0 0b0lt0nccattcdwb0tl0l0w0m
wy gNW0w y tuw gt0gt0n nd u mctcy d0@t0
0 0l W0 Omg8 bdAtucb t U t0tly wm0ut
tbc cnmc~Mdty wbcb bc C l0t ad tbctN0tc m
y bdly mcnU mdmeam0ag mcmgMat tbtc00l
wtbn@wm0bM mcn00acd 0~c.
M fa I m wtc a0 uggttct 0f t0nbty, 8cnl 0t
0thcwc, b gt0wdcd ny gtml 0lUtbtctO ~dtyW
g blccw0tk0t m cWmdbc cbg0a
0l tbc NM b0 0l U ct, Ter Wwa@nd
AOnO, mW "Wgbcdct ncvNw (19) WUD
tmgNb0mMkMdb0Vky, 0my bbbtg,t
d Wcm l0M0wO w wttby M b W
m g<y W W M

W @W
==>=#" v =
Im W mmW m @ w
ccam wm d Nm O OW c m it aot
m 0b[M0~cy ad dctW mc tgc wrb m
bt mtvtc g "Wctkc d p
gm, wbcbOvdbMyUN"w0tm
m@ t Ww- M W wc to gtum w
btwit mt0ddmtmcgat0l~cw0lw0
mw W, d gttlN00w cbt<bt 0l .0ba
a0twn m0mcat`8c0mdct00a e
: mm,gg
In concuson, te publicton of Lndva' bo k C
ony 0welcomed. It ahould be lIudied, not only by Bat6k'.
admrer. tlether wt the other UD abve-mentone,
but by
IlUden W o cmpoiton who W ! to 6ght ter
way out o the prent WMmcnfuson i te mu world,
and Iw to build a famework for their ceatve work, which U
a chace mixture of te latet .tyle 8l preent in vogue
amonl onc or other M cique, bUI a logically inlegte
develpment fm te mu a of pat peo. In thil6ght
the ,uggle of Ba6k a eunde by Lvai, Ma iupira
lon, even msluton may not b the one whch proVQ to b
the mot widely accepte.
Aan Bush, Ra|eu,191'_

JonaI !rtnctplcs
The As Sytem
"Every &has the rgbt to Itrke it rot in the &of a previow
@c it Dot only the right to but it mu.t .tem from it",
Bart6k once delarcd.
Hi tonall)ltem @m out of functonal music. B urunter
rupted Wmevoluton can 0followed from the bgng of
functional concepts, trough the harmone of Viennee
O O and the tone-world of romantcam to B
By an analysis of W compitons, m system can
pry b shown to gthe es ental proprie of claieal
harmony, 1c
[aj the functonal aftie of the fourth and degree
(6) the relatonship ordativc major and minor keys
(c) the overtone relatons
(4) the role of leading Dote
Cl) the oppite tenson of te dominant and ,ubominant
U te duait of tonal and ditance principle
[ej 1o bwm Wl M tQ to utvAtc B`z waM Qtcm
mmccco.LtMt C Wmcwc[ F, tbc
owm U tbc 8vbot [j , tbc bm dc@cc u
tbcdot[jA, tbcXmdc@ccMdMAbvcoUcton0
wW & tom0 , Ucadm d abvc wUc
8vbomt,W wbomat E, tbc 0d dc@
aad Abvc o Uc domt 0m W dMt. T
o , E-F 0oam to Uc vn0bona
M W T 1
W0. f
wM UAt mc Mvca 1 wgaU it. We
gdquee OTWmmcmMdMcmc
o tbc lt my b @$

l M "para.e W W W m 0IOnic, 'Ub
dominant and domnant &g nptvc1y.

"f :

I0l0 kXl6
Chon m on the fundamenta C, E (=D#), F# (-G)
and A have a Amfuncton.
Cnn bu on the fudamet E, G, B (=At), Cl
(=D) have a ..functon.
Con mon the fndamental D, F, A (=G#). B have
It UW0that the puar &HmDt b cDldu
. chordl of the de aeveDthJ but W te functona
rationhip o four m W l tnt, wh may bt b
cmpa t te rjomr ratioD of U muc (e.g.
C major ad A nioor, E major ad C mj.

It should b noted, wM, that a much more aeNitive

rdatoDp cu betwen the 'f ple o an athe
"count:u, e.g. C a Ft thos atuated net to
each other, e.g. C and A. A ple Ualways interchangeable with
its cuntle without any change in iu functon.
The ple-counterple rdationhip M the mot fundamental
lUctUral principle in Bartk', music, in repet to bth 8m
large form. Aready 'he WM form of BIwh4 Cat&
wu conceive in ple.counterple tenions. It starts at the dark
F# ple. rle to the bright C major chord (the realm m
Bluebean) and deends agan to the glomy F#.
The cour o Soll fo, TU Pi w P"nn O
from the deptu to the heights: from F# '0 C, the beginning and
end of the work. In Fig, '5 the Fl and C entrie (bs. 0-5)
repreent the tonic, G and Dl ente (from the end orb. 8)
dominant, the Ab w D entric (b. 12-17) the .ub.
dominant counterple.
The B major tonic mte rt=Czmno i replaced in the
developmen, by it coun'erpo1e F (b. ll5). Sily the F
major tonc of the Di/i Ureplaced by B in te develop
men. (b. &}.
Tmovemenu of Mw/or Stgs, Fnmawtmlahave
the foUowing structure:
E (b. 56)
F# (b. 063
C (b. 46)
E (b. 83
A mmW o c, B-A-DF m m M of
. mWbvu,! i t mmway: E-A-ADI-C-F. m
=D wUmrqA .. D, W W -
WmmM]a8ms,PmmwOu(Me. It.176
181), w m m o FI'-B'-E'-A'-D'-'-C'-F @ @

table teache yet another les n. WwmovemcnU M

on the tonic m8, A-EIF#. Thw the Ml and uw
movemeDt are suppned by the "prncipa branch". A and
E; the middle movement. however, by the "seondar
branch", C and F#. Thw each 8 ha a two-fold afnity
depending on whether we opp the ple with the counter
ple, or the principa branch with the secondary branch .

CDIquently the compnents of the Aetem are as folows:

- ple+counterpole
M principal +sccondar branch
sY'tem T+D+S U e
(no dimenion)
(1 dimenion)
(2 dimenn)
(3 dimenion)
The Slow Movement of the 8:mw[:rTw tPttmd
i baed on the lubdominant a BDF-A, complying with
the tradition of clas ical compitioD. The modal amgWt
o i1 principal theme M symmetrical: the bginning and end
luppned by the Band F countcrples (i.e. the ;rinipal branch
o mm),whc dMM a fu mc lia ral
eadD and A cunte (i.e. te m brch o te
=jwit te aner o te tanging-fI(E) W te mddl.


8 9| * 0 g

3 mw M m W m w m
my Mmw U Uw Mdo-t Ha
( CI wt. dom m&wm
The meloy contitutng the core o the movement U $
centred arund the subdominant The 0# opning and
dare replaced Vthe middle of the teme by the counterle
D. Ever main mctric and motivic pint revolve around the
Thee two melodie truly rdet the Itrcture o the movement.
one o them being attached to the principa BF. te other to
the lCodar Gfn branch of the lubdomnant
The seond teme of the h B C:, the famoUl
to be smewhat more intricate. Although the twelvetone
meloy touche ever degre o te chromatc scale. there UW
doubt a to iu tonalit. In it a we M0 the A and D# counter
ple (bginning. middle, end) and the broken-up F# major
and C major-minor counterlC.

W0. ]
For HMdetaib, MApp. I, p. 99.
(|} A 8wQof te eoluton of haronie tg lead to the
conclUn that the birh of te 8 l)tem BWDO
nccaty, repreag te logica contnuatol (and in a
ce WDthe completon) of European functonal music. It
c b demontated that the I)Item, with it characteritic
feature 0 in efet, ben u by te Vienne "Greau".
Indeed, it m ben rcd by Bach, in 1 chrmtcism.
The MD u j1 crtion in muc wa introuced
in praetce by te rca ton of the I-IV-V-I afty (in
meieval mo muic, at fnt in cadence form only) In the
cue o the C tonc:
The clacal ther of hny already .paks of prima and
aeondary U Ww m the C may b my by i .
relatve A, the F by it relatve D and the G by ill relatve E.
Romantc harony @ 80 fun, making freuent w of
the uppr relatve. (Natl y ony mjor and mnor key. of
wmkcyolignature may b pmmrelatvc. c.g. C major
and A mor, Q C W El major):
A Ej
One more step complete the system. The & extend the
application of relative t o the wWt system. The a aystem
implie the reognition of the fact that the common relative for
A and E is not only C, but MF# (=G); that D and A not
only have F a a common relative, but m] and that E and
B not only have G, but alao C# (=Db} a common :e|.u.,
i well known, Bart6k showed a p:e|e:eaee for the M
of a: aUed major-minor chords (sce Fig. 32b). For instance, iu
ronn in C tonality i:
The function remains unchange even the C major $c
a shown in the abve chord-is replaced by the relative A
mnor. or when the E[ major tonalty replace the relative
C minor. technique ocun :ep|a:|,in Bart6k'l mwic:
C major-minor

A minor Eb major
The .ubtitute chords may a b employed in major-minor
for, which bring! the system w a clsI. sn t
relatve of A major (FI minor) and that of E minor (G
major) met at a pint of enharmonic ccincidence, FI=G.
A minor
A major
C majominor

E major
` .
F# minor =G major
Tec relatvC, applied w dominant and lubdominant
hamony, agai reult W te MOmthe stem.
(6) The ther oCthe mItem i a lubtantatcd by the
WWoC awt. Autcally, arrving fom the WMWthe
ku M to reach the rot from & overtone-all cadental re
latoD rCt on the prnciple o interconnecton between rots
aDd their ovcrtonC. ThUl, the domnant of C i not ony G but
the next overtODC E and B. Tercfore te c of domno
OmqybmWDmmWO t I
de F M dt N m mm m.
m M&T qu mw W W M mm m
mmwumO m 8it o d mi.e.8u
gW wm UmmB wmwt 6t o t
tn Fo m&w'rCW ,W
# |m==WpW(b)}=;MW ,
mk m mwqowWmmM
M bO W W M m m w (F-0--8) w
b b I B a P. No I b m mm ww
bUW mmtmtmQmM 8umy
o. IbtO mt I m W.Tag W M
c>nmp t U b R m m Nww0
tmmp r cor wWc,ltbmtco
b oa n,bw Nw fm &(mm k mmen[
mtmQ. wM<,wmWM am-
m }. Wm me&mmmw
anb mm.MWhm
m@,mw,mmw "mwm'*www
attonic rclationship w expanded to include E. C and
Since the DT relatonship correpnds rdalvely w
the T- and
the S-D relatiObip,
ovcrtonerot attracton et btween the T - and the SD,
W well.
tonic C E and B

dominant E G#and D

dominant B D andA
,ubominant A
L and G
lubdomnat D
F#ad L


0 y
3 amt o d dm t (d dwt) m d
o te rboc whe t dmto mtvW
mmo t

If we add mrole o t Movenone, i.e. t fth, then we
Cdeduce the cmplete mI)tem frm thcc relaton.
(d) In the aplCt cadence, that of V-I, te m role U
playe by sl ed stve note whch prouce the pull
o the domnant towa the tonc. Te le Dote pulb to
t rot M the seveth towan the third degee of the tonic,
i.e. the leading note B relve OD C and the Kventh F on E
or E.
Te impnant atve note W&Wrelatonp to
each othe. The ultonehalf the otave interal-iI -
terled by the interhangeability o iu WM without changing
the interval. ThU. dthe BF relatioPhip U converted into an
F-B one (a U freuenty the C wit Bak), the. the F
( _E#) aume the rle o the leadng note, puling towad the
FI intead of E, while the .. enth B pulh toward A# or A
itead o C. So, wtcad of the Qpted tonc C mjor, the
tcwck, the equaly tonic F. major (or mnor) emergC.
Ho. t i
relution M reered by BartOk for a ludden c of
scene. The crcumstance of an epcted G'-C cdece
emerging a G'-F# gve w a llBart6keao p:udo-cadenc".
(e) Starting from the tonic centre C we reach the dominant in
one diretion and the lubdominant in the other, in iitd
latitude. At a distance 0 a fth we fnd the dominant G
upwards and the subdominant F downwards. Regarding
:mo relatons we m get the dominant G. E, B in the
upper and the subdominant F, Atp, D in the lower directiona
80MWlM gz 0WlW
0l8tCl08 0lM6B

W0. 12
But what happens if the pendulum coven the latitude 0 a
tntone? In U cae the deviations made upwards and down.
wards meet, both ending at FI (-G), and iwe were to take
one a the dominant, then the other would have to asume the
subdominant function. By coincdence, however, a neutral
isation of their functons take place. domnant and subdomnant
merging are rendered inefective in the interaction of their
oppsite rorce. Cnuently .e balance is saved, and the
function is jnvuriably that of the tonic. The counterpole is br:
Similarly the distance between the tonic C and F# is
bisected by E ("nl) in the one and by A in the other
directon; % lying in tensionJC. neutral eection point, they
have to be interreted a tonic. No more than four tonic
pole can b surmised, since the intervab CE, EltF" FIA.
A-C provide no funher pints of biction.
Fm|y,whatg thouIdb ztuM a wo z
cmomucdcgmc,oB iuwunmCC[=Dg
Y u M W WM thc dmt znd which thc rub
domt|malRcIztcB, Cdomzdcgrof Ucvztion
o t f. wmch might corrqnd % thc SD intcr-
dcgadcncc,botnotteiuopptc.Anywzy,t rubomnzut
foncuoa o B mc domaznt |uncdon 0 C B un-
[]) Thut,omthc |ogco macuoazI intcrconnccuon
o| MN 0 iatcruuag pat m- Tc IUb
dozut d domazat & rcprucotcd D8 ctivcIy m
by mc dcg V zad V bot, ia thc C o| C Int. thc
rubomnznt byA [zaducouatcrp|c), thc domin t by E
M dtcrm nothingacwmrc thcrcU |ormW, thc
dmt t=adzry thcmc il E m &cthovcu't WGUi,
$.(0 mz[or}orthctubmtIowMovcmcntin Ao|
Nh@ [C mm). Thc movcmcut: o| Br' Fis'
5yMghzvc t |o|Iowiag kcy-mucncc: OA in mc
m o tooioomnzat-robdomnzat-tomc,cR
Howwcr, mc zbc mzuoa o thc=ryttcmlzJt to
czp|aa whyBk tgmmuc zogmcntcd D rcIztio W W
dcuadiuoJ-lV-V-.[ForCpIu,W App.11. p. 103.)
Tamiutu zncw zpprozch tothcryttcm.
lt U gcm y zocptcd dzt twcIvc-toac mu dom z
tuocgtcadcucytoiad crcct toaUrcIzuom.
Atea rcIzuo W C b mmt tuitzb|yc`mtcd bymct
diwono thcotzvc, oro| thccirc|co 6(t. Bydvidngthc
octzvcmtwcIvcquUpzruwcgctt chromaucvzIc;int
C oImcgoa|pzruwchzvcmcwho|c-tencvz|c;|ourcguzI
pzrugivour thccltord oImcmcdwvcnm; m c thc
zogmcatcd m, zadmy by diwdng thcotavc into two
gopzmwczmvcztt Uwm
For the PWt we NM cclude the whole-tne M
Ww of il WN pbilte: T whole-tone lae
produce the chromatc ae by interlocking.
Ever tonal Item praupplC & centre W weD W ,ub
ordinate relaton dependent OD the centre. Takng agan W
the towc centre. the three functon W repreented moat
ptenty by thoe degreC dividng the crcle of W into three
equal pau, i.e. in the augented triad CEA. Propertie
inheret in casa hWny are repnible for the E
auumDg a dmt functon and A a lubomoant functon
in relation to the towc C.
Each o tee man note prmt their lubttuton by teir
cunterplc, i.e. their trtomc equvalenu. Thus, C my be
replaced by FI. E by B and A by D.
If we divide the twelve-tone chrmatc se proprtionaly
between the three functona, each functon whave four plt,
and thcc-imfar W we keep M the m.tance prnciple-arc
@ ged U dimnihed-seventh rtlations, dvding dle cle
into four equa par. Accordingly. CEtF"A belong to the
range of the C tonc. E--BCI to that of the domnant E
mun note, and AB-DF to that of the subdominant A
man Dote.
S, the tonal syltC reulting from a division oCthe chromatc
sale into equal parts agree completely with the system:
80800MkI T00 00M!kI

~~= ^^
d f b
rto. ig
l cooy, given twevetne Item and ttac three
fuoctoD Ute .n.l)t tat Cbrbmean of
Viewed WwD the system re8ccl the agld
stggle betwee te princple of Illi! aud tgtmMt with
the @adm cud@ of te laller which W reulted in
the fre a eua teaWt of chromatc twelve nOle!.
Here we have to draw.liDe btween Bk', lwelve-tone
sy1.em w te Zw6lftoDu m SDbug. Sch6nbrg
.n ale dWlvC tnity whereu Batk incorpratea
te priocpJa o mmg a pet aynthc. To
pnetrate into Bak', creatve genus i W diIover the
Ww m0 aud intc psibilite. inhereDt in the
musical materal
3mmo d wpwcwabut tbc mq
Iorm !rtnctpIcs
Golden Secton
Golden Section (".cetio aurta", and henceforh CS) means
the division of a distance in IUch a way that the proprton of
the whole length to the larger pat correponclgeometrically t
the proporton o the larger t the smaller part, i.e. the larger
part i the geom of te whole length and the .maUu
part. A simple calculation shOWl that if the whole length i
taken B unity, the value o the larger secton i 0.618

W0+ tq
T` x=x: (I-x)
(ICe upper formula on page 78), and hece te smaller part i
Tus, the larger part of any length divided into CS is equal
10 the whole length multiplied by 0-6,8 ,
Bak'. m, i h cntt ol W m bmmoay,
18 O y m wwth c lw o c . u a lorm
cWcat wh i alct N@0aali Bak'. mm0 lbc
9+1,g+g 0+0 bmgNomor tbcovcrloacbarmoaboai
c NcmO&Qc.
MCgc ct M W lbc mt mvcmloltbc &
b&gdavcformula-i @gxO010.c.1],
wh it t ct o gvt i t movcmcat: lbc
rccaglwadoa8W gmyW t a)]tb0.
movcmcal o C1.u cn.t o gg ban. aad u
[ggxo010j agaaWmcb gof UE gluaboa a
mcddco bmg.
movcml o tbc DW eonmt o g0g triplet urt
(the numbr of ban Uu Ocv&t owing to their varable time
signatures). c ol g0g [g0g>O010=g]0] again coincides
with the recapitulation.
In Vot. VI of MikrDMst the G of "Free Variations"
can be seen to touch the "Molto piu calmo"-82) O010g1.
c of "From tbc Diar ol a Fly" come al the climax:
the double WMMd (if the gj]i taken B a 11 bar, calculating
in a]] ban). In "Broken Chords" wc fnd the recapitulation at
the [0OO010=]g}, etc.
c 10 introductor ban of the SDMajDr TW PilRDS m
P,mmt repreent a model example of GS construction
or more precisely, b. a-1],because it is here that the organic
life ol the work begins.

IR. t@
Its fnt pari is in the sphere of the tonic (b. 2-5)
the second
within the dominant (bs. Bg) and the third part in that of the
subdominant (b. 12 on). This third part is thematically the
tNtt0 of the fnt two. So, to summarise:
Teme in r06l positon-tonic: FtC
Theme in t00lpsition-ominant: O-DU
Theme iltrttd-subdominant: Afr-D
Considering the change of time-signature, it is more practical
to calculate in units of 3/8 time. The whole form consists of
46 unit. Its OS is 46 0618 -28, and this covers that part
up 10 the inDn o the theme (see the main section of Fig. 16).
It can be observed that OS always coincides with the m0tl
signifcant turning point of the form.
Let us now separate from the whole the parts in root position,
i.e. the frst 28 unt. Now 28 7 0618 ..17'3. At this ver point
the tonic part ends-at the frst third of the 18th unit (see the
dminant entr in Fig. 16).
l l
iH +tt im
W = u w
1 J

W Mte
8eeti ve
Re t
OS division may be seen to follow one of two possible courses,
depending on whether the longer or the shorter section comes
tlrst. Let us call one of the possibilities ptitiw: long section
followed by the short one-and the other negativl: short section
followed by the long one.
In the structure of both tonic and dominant parts the cymbal
stroke creates a sharp duality. The position of the cymbal-stroke
is in both cases determined by the GS, but whereas the
tonic unit (at the sign "cym" in Fig. 16) is divided so as to make
it P03itiw (I
'3 xo6lB 11), the dominant pan. on the contrary,
becomes a rgaJivt division (it consi3ts of 10 units and is
divided 4+6). The positive and negative sections complement
each other as something with its own mirror-image. But the
meeting-point of the two (the dominant entry) has a positive
In other words, condensation and dispersal of the nodes cause
a longitudinal undulation, the wave-crests meeting in a positiw
section. Its rgative counterpart u found at the entry of the
tar-tar (in the inversion) so that the positive section of the
root and the negative section of the inversion arc again joined
Not only the entire formal arc but even the form-cells submit
entirely to the strictest geometric analysis. For instance, in the
dominam part. we fnd up to the cymbal.stroke, eleven eighth
note. I1 positive CS point (7+4) determnes the position of
the only musical stress in the unit-by means of elongating the
E note. This is soon counter-balanced by the negative section
point, at the side.drum beat, in ban 10-11.
Similarly, the positive section of the tonic part up to the
cymbalstroke is marked by the most important turning
point, by the third (Cn timpani entry-counted in eighths:
33 X061B 20. Precisely here, the thematic condensation
begins: also, with the 21St eighth. On the other hand, the
complementar, negative section of the part following the
cymbal-stroke is indicated again by the side-drum (see Fig. 16).
B.8-3 X
Summarising the abve, bth Uthe smaller and larger form
detaiu, there is a symmetric joining of the psitit and Igatitt
sections. From thee concatenations a single great "ptentia'"
fonn arise, wherein the smaller parts are fnally summarised
in a pnli" main secton. proces is therefore coupled with
a powenul dynamic increase, from pianisimo to forte-fortissimo.
Analytical studies permit the conclusion that the poitive
section i accompanied by intensifcation, dynamic re or
concentration of the material, while the negative section by a
falling and subsiding. The sections always follow the contents
and form-conception mthe music.
By way millustration let us subject Movement III of the
Sonata for Tr PitS m4 Pncssin to a detailed analysis,
Exemplary, is the unity of proprtions of the exposition: the
principal theme ha a psitive and the closing theme a negative
Iction, while the Icondary theme developed between the two
i symmetrically arranged,
Thus, the principal theme (43'S bn long) is divided a
follows: Al + J+ B, The psiton of B i determined by:
43'sxo618-27'S. while the two A's are rdated to each
other according to: 27'S 0,6,8 =tQ.

. ~.=.-- y_ =.~..

..W. w

ggg ,........
T incmpIctehb atte m age|mmovemtat1tte1takcn
The symmetrical division of the secondary theme can be
expresed as following: 12+17'S+17'S+U! (bs. 44-102). The
geometrical cenlre (b. 73) accords with the lonal construction
of the theme al.
The negative main secton of the closing theme (bs. 103-133)
is given in D. liS (see Fig. 18). Within this, b. IIS-133 have
a positive section in D. 127 because of the pwerful dynamic
ascent, and the static construction in 4+4+4 units of bs.
103-114 produces a solid bae for U rise.
D. t
Ukewise the proportions of the development are symmetreal
(bo. '
Its negative main section-countecbalancing the poitive
main section of the development of Movement I-is determined
precisely by the point of climax in b. 177 (F, tonic counter
Te pe:txsection of the part preceding the climax and the
iitgclw section after the climax indicate the most imprtant
turning point: U.160 the fugato of the principal theme, while
b. 20S the return of the frst theme of the development (xylo
phone entr):
tf M4

wo. t
The build.up (owards the climax is always marked by a
positive section:
from b. 140-159 it falls on b. 152 (psitive)
., b. 16-176 .. _ h. 170 ..
,, D 160-I6g ..
.. b. 166 ..
.. b.1 70-176 .. .. b.1 74 ..
From the point of climax on, however, the negative sections
show inverted proportions:
from b. 177-204 it falls on b. 18g (negative)
" b. 189-204 .. " b. 195
.. b. J950
4 .. "
b. 199
The climax itself i divided statically into 6 + 6 bars (m.
The negative main section of the recapitulation (bs. 248-350)
coincides with the watenhed, a it were, of the thematic
material, i.e. with U. 287. Bs. 287-350 form one single broad
wave, and it structural view usimilar to that of uebeginning
of Movement (cf. Fig. 16):
I ?I


. w< U

. .


FlC. 9U
The negative main section of the coda (bs. 351-20) coincide
with the thematic centre of gravity of the whole coda: at the
same time the return of the C tonic, in b. 379. Ugiven a greater
emphasis by 0 lengthy preparation. Corresponding to its
static structural character this thematic centre has an 8 + 8 bar
division (m. 37!-394).
The frst par. of the coda (b. 351-378) combines a positive
tat W 1
l1t M 49


t It

8u IB

E l .
MHI BfWM VE PsmY( + 8tW MI
N.D. T Wt ine o m .-.sW {qi t] i erroneou.
and a negative section in units of 9 + 5 and 5 + 9 bars. The
second part {m. 319-420). a shown in Fig. VIcontains at the
same time a pitve (b. 405) an a negative (b. 395) section.
Finally, the poitive section of 00. 395-404 (in b. 401) and the
negative section of b. 405-420 (in D. 411) are again sym
metrically related to each other.
At frst glance it may appear contradictor that the points of
lection determined by the laws of as can remain unfultd by
the changing tempi. phenomenon i easy to understand if
we consider that music breathe in metric pulsation and not in
the absolute meaurement of time. In music. pasing time is
made: realisable by beats or bar whose role is more emphatic
than the duration of performance. Subjectively we feel time
elapse more feverishly in a movement with a quick time-bcat
and more sluggihly in a slow puuaton.
Finally, let me give an eample to those who reproach
Bart6k for not having efected the "total and radical reorganisa
tion of the materal". The complete fonn of the 5enaloyerTw
PitS I Ptesin is divided into " slow-fast +.Jow-fUl t"
movementl. Te as may therefore be expected to aQQc.\t 0l
the beginning of the second slow movement. Our eXI.ectatiouJ
are wholly fulfled; the time value of the complete wurk is
6.432 eighth notes, and the as is at the 3,975th cghIh nu!c.
which is precisely where the movement begins .
Fibonacci Series
All of us who have played Al Barbaro, have been troubled
by the FI minor throbbing, extending over 8 or 5 or 3 or even
'3 bars. The proportion of
3 : 5 : 8: ' 3
contains a Lb sequence, approximately expressed in natural
numbcn: the Fibonaui numbers. A characteristic feature of tm
sequence i that ever member i equal to the sum of the two
preceding members:
2, 3. 5. 8, 13, 21, 34, 55. 89 . . .
and further, it approximates more and more to the irrational
key.numbcr of the Lb" (the Lb of 55 is 34. and that of 89
i 55).
Let U compare Um aequence with the proportions of the
fugue (fit movement) of Mw/or Slrings, P"nusion mCel,sla.
bar1ng pianissimo gradually rises to fortcfortissimo. then
again recede to piano-pianissimo. The 89 bars orlhe movement
WC divided into sections of 55 and 34 bars by the peak of this
pyramid-like movement. From the point of view of colour and
dynamc archtecture the form sub-divide into further units:
The aquare or mQnur Mequa to the prout oflhe preng
foBowmQDumbc, plu WWWOBc.
by the removal of the mute in the 34th bar, and its use again in
the 69th bar. The section leading up to the climax (b. SS) shows
a division of 34 + 21 , and that from the climax onwards, 1 3 + 21 .
Thus, the longer part comes fnt in the rising section, while in
the falling section it is the shorter part that precedes the longer,
so the section.points tend towards the climax. Positive ;lDd
negative sections ft together like the rise and fall uI R single

Po. 22
The proportions follow the Fibonacci serie.
lt is no accident that the exposition ends with the 21St bar
and that the 21 bars concluding the movement are divided into
1 3+8.
The proportions of Movement of Mwu ycr Slragt,
Immton ed LrOla also reflect the Fibonacci series (if wc
calculate throughout in 4/4 bars and consider the occasional
3/2 B I i ban). Its formal and corrCponding geometrical
structure is shown in Fig. 23
The mn Dthe mut D completed by a whole-bar ral, tn
accordane with the BUlow analy o BlhoYfl
@==WWW = .
g~~ ~~ ... ~...~
& APf#&W
lM W W M

sl ZWW

,..,, ... , ..:..
MC. 23
The Fibonacci series refects, in fact, the law of natural
growth. To take a simple example. If ever branch of a tree, in
onc year shoots a new branch, and these new branches are
doubled after two yean, the number of the branches shows the
following yearly increase: 2, 3, , 8, 13, 21 , 34
"Wt folow naturt in composition," wrote Bart6k, and was
indeed directed by natural phenomena to his discovery of thee
regularities. He was constantly augmenting his collection of
plants, insects and mineral specimens. He called the sunfower
his favourite plant, and wa extremely happy whenever he
found fr-cones placed on his desk. According to Bart6k "also
folk mwic is a phenomenon of nature. Its formatioru developed
as spontaneously as other living natural organisms: the fowen,
animals, etc." ("At the Sources of Folk Music": 1925).
This is why the form-world of Bart6k's mwic reminds w
most direcdy of natural pictures and formations.
The C5of a circle, having 360, subtends an anRle m 22g
on onc hand, and 137"5 on the othcr. It can wobered in a
large number of plant. c.g. pmpplars. catkns, etc., that
each bud, twig or leasubtends an anglc of 137'5 with the next

- '

MO. 2g
Al, each new branch divide the jortf feld of section
according to te rule of as: % twig 3 divide the right-hand
feld between I and 2; twig 4 the left-hand feld between I and
2; twig 5 does the same with the feld between 2 and 3, ad inf-
Te Fibi MWa@andOWwl:Ubwen 2 mgv
divide by,WW gamS b , WW @b I,. etc.
we r.onsidcl" lhc Qrocc ol the luguc o Music(r S ius,
rw 1n od CL/uta (analysed on pages 27-6) as a circum
volution, it structure wiU surpriingly correspond to Fig. 24-
Or let us examine the diagrammatic sketch of the chambered
shell of the cepalophod nautilus-J ule Vere was %intereted
in this sea shell that he named his famous Wcultut aer it.
The diagon.lIs drawn in any directon through the centre
provide a patl.!rn in which the centre always remains in the
positive or negative GS section of the felds marked A-B, BC.
C-D. D-E. E-F. F-G.
scheme is strikingly similar U the musical structures
illustrated in Figs. 16 and 22
te te W m tm c D 6frI A ctre
bk to the A ctre.
But Ihe most revealing example is presented by Ihe structure
of IheJr-colle. Proceeding from the centre of iu disc. logarithmic
spirals are seen to move clockwise and anticlockwisc in a
closed system where the numbers of the spirals 4/ws represent
values of the Fibonacci sre.
\'11 VIII
I'XII! taf
H jnta
(If we turn the cone upside down, we can als sce the system of
two spirals along the junction line of the scale). Each of the
spiral Iystenu contain all the scale of the cone. There are
cone in which the numben of the spirals present still higher
serie values: 3. 5. 8, 13, RI.

PO, 26b


Simlar anangemenu C be o1ered in sunfowen, daiie,
ananu, etc., in the convolutions of the stem of IcOlve on
numerous plant. Frequently the serial numben 21 , 34, 55. 8g
and even 14 and 233 are encountered in thee spiral sylcms.
For exampl, the sunfower has 34 pdals and it spirals have
the values of 21 , 3
, 55, 8
. 144.
It is interetng to nole that the as is alwayt usociated only
with O'IIU matter and i quite foreign to the inorganic world.-
Te irralional numbr in U6fmulaoG5proIudiuocurreace in
\sc oI
and !ntcrvaIs
Chromatic System
The study of thee proprtion leads us immediately to the
queton of Ban6k's ue of chords and interal. Hi chromatic
system i based on the laws of GS and epecially, Fibonaci's
numerical serie.
Calculated in semi-tones:
2 stands for a major second,
" JJ
minor third,
g_ perfet uuM
.. 9$
minor sxth,
an augmente otave, etc.
For the preent, the musical tisue may be imagined a buih up
exclusively of cells 2, 3, 5, 8, and 13 in sile, with sub-diviioD
following the proportion provided by the abve serie. Thus,
me 8 may D broken up only into 5 + 3. (Te posibility of a
diviion int
4 +4 or 7 +1 i preluded by the s)tcm.)
This cell division can b well obsered in the fnale of the
DiDtI;mu. The principal theme appears in the course of the
movement in fve variations: in Fig. 27 we have grouped them
according to size, and indicated with each variation the
characteristic division. The initial form oflhe theme is 3

g t

O. $
Since the ffth line (in Fig. 27) continues on the previous one,
in its fourth bar the melody rises not by a minor third (3), Win
the previous line, but by a perfect fourth (5), thus conforming to
a CS augmentation.
Fig. 28 gives the successive themes in the frst movement or
the Sonal for Tw Pianos m4 Ptrtwsion. The range of the
leitmotif is 8 semi-tones, divided by the fundamental note
C into 5 + 3 semi-tones. The principal theme compriso ' 3
semi-tones divided by the fundamental note C into 5 + 8. (Sec
also Fig. 6 .. . ) The frst phrae of the secondary theme extend!
1 3 semi-tone, from C down to F#i while the second phrase,
21 semi-tone from 8 down to D.
The melodie follow each other in CS order:
Principal theme
Secondary theme
5+8- 13
13. 21
rto z
From the point of view of haronic architecture. this expition
also bean witness to a systematic arrangement. The principal
theme gcu its magical tone-colour from a pmlalonic harmony
(see Fig. lga), the formula of which i Q+3 + Q. In the middle
of the principal theme there come & otinato built 3 + 5 + 3,
A major-minor (se. Fig_ 2gb): C-EIJAIJB, the fourth,
EIAb, i further divided by an FI into 3 2. Parallel fourths
(5) and minor sixths (8) join the sccondar theme (%Fig. lgc).
Ti i scen clearly also in the recapitulation from b. l92.
Finally (see Fig. lgd) the closing theme u accompanied
throughout by parallel minor sixth (8)
) (|t)

B# +B
110. 29
Tu each new harmony Donc Itep higher in the GS order,
principal theme
mddle part
secondar theme
closing theme
Asimilar correlaton of mot Mencountered Uthe MirdU/OUS
M .. .,:
H pp a i te my. n-9: AtFIEIDt ad
It U interestng to note that in Bartok's music, in spite of the
frequency of paraUet, major thrd and maor lixth parallels
seldom occur, beeaue such parallels cannot be ftted into the
GS system, being quite incongruous t it. We could even speak
of the pohibition of these parallels in the same sense that parallel
ffths and otave are forbidden in clasical harmony. On the
other hand we meet at every step with minor third (3), perfect
fourth (5), minor sixth (8)
, and even major second (2) parallels.
The major third ha no noteworthy mIe4t function either,
the more natural, almost selfevident i the motivic role of the
minor third:
$'1. i
This is the reason why, whenever llart6k uscd a triau in Q
ChrQ1tic movement, he placed the minor third evrr thc
fundamental note and the major third lr|eu it, the churd thus
acquiring the proportion 8:5:3.
O. za
From the synthesis of U two emerged the most typical
Bartok chord, the wellknown "majorminor" form, consisting
of B minor third-perfect founh-minor third (3 + 5 +3). TIlis
majorminor chord is often completed by the seventh of the
root, e.g. an E-G-C-Eb chord with a Bb {see al Fig. 2gb}.
major-minor chord ha a number of synonym for, to
whch we shall give (for want of a better term) the coUective
designation: type m0 {]_ and we shall call the different
sections of it by the letters 0rl0 [ gamm (y, d (I> and
r:lzn [t}. type occun as frequently in Bartok's music as
do the seventh-chords in nineteenth-centur muic:
These chords are exclusively bult up ofGS intervals (2,
5, 8),
a follows:
and do not contan the characteristic intervals of the overtone
system-fth, major third and the minor seventh.
From here arile the eblracteriltic "Slow " of the alpha harmoniC.
Pcthap the teNt chord in Baroue mwic wu the dimiliishf
Kenth. 3 Ie,on it increaed in &nk', 1p/ chorda throuah m
meig o tw dmmdcM
Type can readily D reduced t the relations oC the m
sst. In order to Cecl the tonality oC a chord. we need at leat
two notcs! in the simplet case the rot. say C. and H ffth G.
or jts major third E. when G or E respectively supprts the C.
Let M put relation in GS form:
%o gg
According to the axis system. tbe tone G (or E) may b
replaced by any other of the correponding axis (CE-BI:#)
without Changing the tonal character oC C. We can therefore
subtitute E. Bb or even Cl for G.
The four interals sounding together reult in the chord H
(). It should be noted that the combination of the fnt three
intervals is no novelty to us, since it i identical with the chord of
a major seventh: CE-G-B .
Tonity W oy be Umm tgh t mHdm dvbiono
Utolte; mD eua divuionwbubl t dcc
uc t
A similar substitution may be carritd out with the note
C without changing its function. We can thus replace C by E.
F# or A, all belonging to Ihe same .
" *

Ilo 36b
I n the form ofila the frst thrce intervals are summarised.
Chord alp"a is therefore practically an axis-like application of
the simple CG, or CEG relation, the only stipulation being
that the chord should be composed of tw IDYn("axes") : that
of the tonic and the corresponding dominant.
The two iayen (T and D)corepond to the Oand overtone rclilion
of mmLharmony. It pertinent that in U"aditional muic, funclional
aUr;ctiolU were D on thnc two layen. T authentic (e;delltiil)
connte chords require th . t the rot of the lnt chord bome an
ew of the chord following. (Chsical harmony can. these Ut1Iut1
nota.) Tw, in the prUrcs ion T to S, the rot of I (C) become a lifth
in IV. or Wxventh in 11. Connecting Sand Dthe rot of 1I (U) or I V (1-')
bc OUC ffth or KVenth in V. Cnnecting D and T the root of V lU)
become ffth in I.
m wq1h. N#q e.I.,
*w4# 4 q#., = _
$ I
L# M 49w

Type rytlea [t} u sddom used since its tonal character u
unstable, due to (he abence of G without which the root does
not receive sufcient suppon.
Certain sectons of the tp/ chord have been familiar to us
from cI:icil harmony: E-G-BtC is the C major seventh,
G-Bt-C-EI i the C minor seventh, Bb-C-EtFI (Gb) is the
C iCventh chord baed on a diminished triad. Novelty is
produced by the introduction of the relative A. and primarily
by the Cl. In fact the chord 0rlo is an inversion of the ninth
chord: C-FG-BD (Cll to C"E-CBC.
Essentially, type 0l]h0 uan axis harmony. A an example c us
take the simplest case. If the L major and its relative A minor
arc replaced by L mtn0r and A mjer,
and thae two chords are combined. then btta, mm and ll0
will be equally readable in the resulting harmonie!. This chord
bears a high counterpole tension due to the diverse tonal
character of its component, expressed by the diflcrence of six
accidenta-the three fat signs of the L minor and the three
sharp signs of the A major.
In accordance with the stratifcation of the 0l]0 type it u
possible to build up a still more extended 0l]0 pile:
From a succession of diminished triads a "closed" sequence i
derived since, by the periodic repetition of the intervals we arc
taken back to the starting point:
rto. qi
And now we come to the very gist! That CS is not an
external retriction but one of the most intrinsic laws of music
i demonstrated by ptntatD1perhaps the most ancient human
sound system-which may be regarded as a pure musical
expression of the CS principle. In the l0-1-m fgures of the
oldest children songs the notes of the mc10dy are tuned afer
the geomdric mean, i,e. afer OS. Pentalony, particularly lile
most ancient Cornu of minor pentalony (la and re), rets on a
patter refected by the melody steps of major second (2),
minor third <3) and fourth (_)
In tbe old.typ pntalonic meloiC witb a changing.firh .tructure
(wuaJly -& m+w l ot --m-w+M-H .caIe) the major third
plM y a ae ndary pri. To quote Koily: "It clmt that the pcntalul
w finh conttrction are indepndent. WTW 'lyliically "I'
According to Koly the railing minor third, M, rather thall 1.:..~iur
any other simple confguration Mwbat the child W fnt to fed W M UU1L
mwical relationhip-repreenting the mrlct muical exptniulI uf +f
human being.
rto. qz

This aspect of CS architecture is markedly evident in the DtJt
Suit which appropriately has been called the "Eastern
European Symphony". The make-up of the CS system can
here be (allowed step by step, for this work-a rich and complex
musical universe based on the primordial elements of pentatony
-reveals the evolution of this technique.
The frst movement arises from major seconds (2); the
second is built on minor thirds (3); lhe third summarises these
former elements (2 + 3 + 2 + 3 + 2), presenting a pure pentatonic
scale. The harmonies of this movement arc based on
5 + 5.
Finally, the melody of the fourth movement follows the patte
8=5 +3. where 5=3+2.
Type 01# can D derived from pt. Ti i how
Bart6k transfrms a pentatonic sale into trm and gmo
8 ? C w 8
This type of harmonies originating from folk song was suggeted
by Bart6k himself in "The Folk Songs of Hungary" (Pro
Mwica: 1928):-
tw wl 4 4R1 1l 44: ]wge


no. g_
AI 6ntiI may seem uloniJhinl thatin B6k'. muc pntatony iJ 2O
dO!y aie to chromaticim. But th rdation u ntura, u wuh 8rtok
te primordia attraction Dpntatony O Q ]mt tH teme:
fncb auate rorm or cpraion in hi G5sytw
We now mention a frequently recurring group of CS.type
chords which structurally n'prl'sl'nl intrrv"ls o t:. 1 :3 anU
I :2. The CS relation between thee three formulae reults from
the proportion gg2. Each of these 3rue from the periodic
repetition of intervals 1 :5. I :3. or 1 :2 respectively. Their
strcture i, consequently, B follows:
Motl ':5 alterating minor seconds and perfect fOllnh
e.g. C-C-F.-G-C #
Moc' 1:_ alterating minor seconds and minor thirds
e.g. C-C .. E-F-G .. A-C
Mot' JX alterating minor and major seconds
e.g. C-C .. EI-E-F .. C-A-BI-C . # .
and hereby, they form clearly dz:rdsystems.
MD. q
t: "'ODE
The iuccc o folk mu:i. pI ibly a mpmiMc0Mod t:5.
e.l. Movement III of 5uiu@. rq w iNpired by Arab folk muc. Perfect
example of t !2 an 1 g moel have beround ill compitioN of Lit
and Rinty.Konakov.
C_ WWJ wh@l
PlO. 4Gb
MM6M *

MHa_ ,l Ml

We attribute the greatest importance to Model 1 :2 since it

actually represents a scalc-group of the mushown in Fig. qQ
i.e. C-Cj-EIE-Fj-A-Bp.
P1O. gg
It can also he called the "basic scale" of Bartok', chromatic
system, with whose help the tonality of even his most cam
plicated chromatic melodies and chords can be determined.
And here we arrive at an important discovery.
There exists an organic correlation between the mu system,
the alpha chords and Models 1 :2 and 1 :5- If we detach the
upper C-A-FjEp and the lower G-E-CjBp lay ... of the
axis (see the centre part of Fig. 48) and pile up one on the
other. we obtain the aJpl chord (sec top le of Fig. 4). lwe
separate the pole.counterpole e1ations (C-F# and A-Eb.
repectively) of the axis, we have Moel 1 :5 (see right bottom
of Fig. 48). Ifwe combine the notes of the axs we get a Model
1 :2 (see top right of Fig. '8).
P &BL t2

In respect to tonality these formulae are inseparable. The

fundamental role of the I.9 model is only emphasised by Ihc
inclusion of all the potentialities of the tonic (J:I1F#A)
major, minor, seventh, and algha chords, as well as Models 1 :5.

These formulae merge into each other % that it is sometime

rather difcult to define where one of them ends and the other
begins ..
!t-_|. ,leI,
- VL^A

v:u. go
The tonal reting pint in Mod 1:2 always r uIb on the note of
the millor Kcond. which U the upper note Wthe major .ecnd. In the KWT
or Moel 1:$ on 1 lonie, it 1. or E, M }', or A. Thu the bu nOle
m Ihe minor accond, major third, ffth and millor ICvcnth Is alw:ys the
uwc lIote, while that of the major second, fourth, minor sixlh and major
iC\'cllth, is the upper nOte. In the LW of the minor third, ttitenc or m;jor
aiJth, .ny of the notes may Krvc a b:, at Ihey alI lie on tbe lame aw.
And this uthe reasn why the most characteritic meloie
in Dart6k are cxchuivcly ruled by CS principJ-s (sec bottom
ler, or Fig. 4).

Within the range of the twelve-tone scale three different .:2
models can bconstrcted:
a l u c. lEI-E-FlG-A-B;
a '.mi " Cl-D-E-F-G-AI-BI-B; and
a "bd,mi.,." D-EI-F-Fl-AI-A-S-C.
Everother form agree with one or other of the abve rormulae.
I would like to illustrate the interelations outlined abe. by
three bref Cple. Te Notllm in Mi,oo follows the
tonic-tonic-ominant-tonic structure of the new-type Hun
garian folk songs. So its nt,second, and fourth line ful tonic
functons. accentuated by the tune which corutitutc a ",nU
Mol l:2.
1tonal character is determined by the A-fourth step (E-A),
completed by the harmonie into a complete tonic !

The piece called FrDm ll Islad o B(/i (Mikrokomos No. tog)
rests on the G#-B-D-F axis. hs scale provides a full Moel I
(G"'A-B-C-D-EIF-G) which, as apparenl from Ihe fnal
chords can be considered B a B-flh {b-Cy=h-] and
GI-fth (G"'E=Ab-FO), and as a F1,",lh (C-F) and
D-(urtl (A-D), covering the complete axis.
W o.fV

MC. r _
Both right and left hands play separate I ._models (C#-A-D-Eb
and B-C-F-Gb) and these are characterised by ltlt'ir counltr
pole relations : left hand, GIfirth !D-fourth, right hand,
Abo the formal construction of the piece is adjuslt:d O the
lie,, we men1ion Iht problem o( d dD aher;uion. "It i. Ifi.hly
desir:lJh: Ih,., we have M 5yt.h:m U\ttuaun of Iwdve equiv .. klll lymbuls."
writc1 D!k, addiHIo thal lll. W :lways guid c Uby
uLtowof 1c:\+!u tJility
wllt'lI wrili"! his Wf = hat is the n::n why we (requelltly uU thr
(lIharmollic varillllS in Ihe Iano rWU(liolll mhi. orchetral worb. Ollr
methOt of lIul u tillll "ol;l;ill:11 in the Jiatonic system and tben:(ure it t
O utterly ules tol when it comn to recording twdvc-Ione music"
U;rll,k: 7mPrm}wWn mu:t(t920)
Thu by ahe merging WIW Moels 1 :5 we obtain moH I :z.
F-B-GI-D axs. The frst section closes in , ending at the
doublebar. The middle frst move around B, then G#, with an
extended D pedalpoint at the second doublebar. nle fnal
chord i a synthesis of D major and F minor. and may be
considered at the same time as type alpha (F#-A-C-D-F-At).
1U. __
Our third eXaDgIe is the recapitulation theme of the Violin
Conc,rto, representing axis E-G-A#-C#. Its scale is of Model
f (E-F-G-G#-A#-B-C#-D). Bars f and arc based on thc
l. E (melody) and G (harmon
) pole5 of the axis. Rar 6
circumscribes the .gamma chord (E maor-minor,
G#-E-G). and the melody or bars 5-13. the I ._ model

| r~ r
We have to mention a a third typ of chromatc chord
namely the chorW of tt mm. Its mot fruent fornu U
the GS system are the whole-tone Kale. chord of diminished
seventh, chord in founhs and the augmented triad. The last
has its justifcation in Bart6k's chromaticism only in so far a it
is built of minor sixths (8+8+8).
Whole-lone scale
Diminished aventh
Chord in fourths
Augmented triad
+++5 . .
In our tone systcm two whole-tone scale C be distinguished:
they are "geometrical dominant". complementar patter
of each o.her: C-D-E-F.-Gl-A. and Cl-E-F-C-A-B.
Aflwl=+ 0Jk,\8

l T
Bart6k liked to use wholelone chords hiort climtuu,
since it has the ef ct. a it were, of "melting" the sounds (ICe
Fig. 5
: Bluehtlrd's Castle No. 136, TI Woodn Pinct No. 123.
Muc Mov. I b. 48, Mov. 11 b.
6, Mav. III b. 14).
Harmonisation and theme construction in fourth chords are
strikingly frequent, due to the influence of Hungarian peasant
Chords 1n founhs generally aUow two combinations: un
according to the 2:3 pntatonic grnc:gc, the other after the I !_
(a) L the two fourth chords in the 2:3 scale wc can treat
the one, which cs a major second (o] higher ora minor tb|rd
(j) Vwcr Ihan thc ut hcr, us tuatr, unu Ius (;In ltt rcuut:tu U
the du-so_la cadence olthe older luk songs:
FlG. _g
(b) A good cxamgc of I . association M the closing theme
in Movement of the klwit for Strings, Percussion tJd Celesta.
The 1 :5 models are based on two fourth chords: D-G-C-F
and A-D-GI-Cl-F.
The GS chords and chords or equal intervals onen combine
together, in pracliee. Fig. bt shows an ostinato from Mov. l of
thc Scoa|ajor ! wePiaoatar:dPcra.ioi:.TII<: twtlvc tot:cs of the
ostinalo contain tbc cntrc chromatic scale.
MC. t
The upper part U baed on the A-B- Df-EI-F-G whole-tone
scale, and the lower on the complementar F#-G#-B-C O-E
whole-tone scale. Each part is composed or minor sixthsj the
upper of A-F-Ob and B- G-E augmented triads, and the lower
of F#-D-Bf and GI-E-C augmented triads (8 + 8 + 8). The
twO parts move in parallel minor thirds [
}. The ostinato U
characterised by the 1 :3 models and the amma harmonies
+ 5 +

The beginning and fnal notes asume a ple-counterpole

relationship: in the upper part, A and E. and in the lower, F,
and C. When viewed together they fonn an axial arrangement,
FIA--Eb. Ever compnent of the structure u of GS
Diatonic System
Bartdk'. matony M simply an exact and systematic ilsDr
of the laws of A chromatic tehnique, i.e. the CS rule.
I. The mt charactetic form of BartOk', "diatonic"
system i the ttwli (overtone) scale, C-D-E-FI-G-A-Bp-C,
and te IDdi cd (major tiad with minor sevent and
augmente (ourth, e.g. C major with B and F#). It is called
acoustic becaue 1U tones derive fom the natural ovetone
rIo. 6]
In the fnale of the Sonata for Two Pianos and Pmws;on, for
example, the acoustic scale C-D-E-F#-G-A-Bb enfolds itself
above the C-E-G (C major) chord: see Fig. 64. This scale is
dominated by the major third, perfect fifth, "natural seventh",
and further by the augmented (acoustic) fourth and the major
sixth (with D;rtok, the "pastoral sixth"). All chis in contrat
to the minor third, perfect fourth, minor sixth (3:5 :8,
C-Ei-F-Ab) milieu of the CS system.
Let us place the principal themes of the chromatic Firt
Movement and the diatonic Third Movement, side by side.
The "chromatic" theme is composed of GS cells, the melodic
line hinges on minor third, perfect fourth, minor sixth intervals
(3-5-8). The "diatonic" theme is D perfect acoustic scale.
FlO. 14
Te two sphere of harmony complement each other to
such meaure that the chromatic scale can be separated into a
OS sequence and an acoustic scale.
Ho. 6g
In the acoustic scale the major third replaces the minor tird
the augmented fourth replace the perfecl fourth (), and
the major sixth replaces the mnor sixth (8).
Incidentally. let me refer here to the la-sfmi fgures in the
oldet childrens' u@ and primitve folk music, whch, by no
stretch of imagination can be regarded as products of sme
delberate planning, though the notes accord with the "geo
metric mean". i.e. GS. Likewise, when ltenng to tradtional
muic, it seldom occun to us that the consnance of a simple
Wjor m mght result from the coincidence of the nearest
natural overtone: our ean limply register the fundamental
number relation in the vibrations of the perct fh and
major third.
In Movement I of the S01tafr TU P;aMs mdpssion, the
melodic and haronic devise are derived from the most
prmtive "taton;, elements, whle the principal theme in the
Finale limply evolve the natural overtone tcale over the C
tjor chord (ICe Fig. 6). Yet this major triad CUIDW as a
revelation. How can a simple major chord produce such BD
explove effect?
Lo ke at from another angle, may a comper with a
TB. Omticinlcr, ruir a chtc intcration,
pretence of being up-to-date avail himself at all of the major
triad, whose vital signifcance has long so worn ofT and became
an empty husk? Actually, the eitmtal efect of Bart6k'. music
is due, for the most part, to his method of reducing expression
to simple and primary symbols. The major triad may in itself
be a hollow cliche, but when brought into a polar-dual relation
ship with another system-as done by Bart6k-it may regain
its original and potent signifcance.
The explanation is that the GS between two points always
cuts into the most tenst point, whereas symmetry create balantt:
the overtone series is devoid of tension because its notes are
integer multiples of the fundamental note's vibrations. The
thrilling efect of the major triad in the Finale of the Sonata
is a direct r .ult of it being completely released from the
constraints of the GS system.
So the la-so-mi (pentatony) and the m)er triad are not only
symbols of the purest music but also elements of structre and
formation, which, in Bart6k's interrelation regain the fre only
they may once have possesed. This is what I would like U
denote as the elemental rebirth oCmusic through the reconstruc
tion of its means.
Let us set up the formula of the work:
ONNAMC proportion " GS-forms " pentatony -opening
5A3IC proportion -symmetry=overtones -closing
The cs epres tbe law or &he ,lOW mean, &he overtone reRct
tbe Law or &he mWUmean. we know, harmonic overtone @ prouce
by tbe vibration or atrinl, air in tub, etc.; thCe not only vibrate to ther
ul lenJth but nW in hVm. &hird., uMW. etc. of the ImBth-proudnJ
1_Uu noc on the .trinJ or in the tube. The overtonc combine with
the Uc note, ad the mm or the tone u determined by the etet to
which thce overtone moify the 80un0. We ,hero mB the bDrmoniC
of the acoustic system "colour chordt". It U no accidcnt that the w0UC
effect in Bart6k', compitioR origi nate primarily i &he colour chordJ m
French imprcionism. Bart6k himself use to to uu inpiration.
This implies that the 5ymmetrical perioisation of the
Viennese classical school and its harmonic system of overtone
rdations are phenomena not independent of each other; they
only represent diferent (horizontal-vertical) projections of the
same basic concept.
V- The two systems reOect each other in an inverse rdation.
ship. Through the inversion of CS intervals. acoustic intervals
are obtained-from a major second {] a natural seventh (e.g
from Bb-C, C-Bb). from a minor third (3
a major sixth.
from a perfect fourth (5) a ffth. from a minor sixth (8) a major
third-the most characteristic acoultic interals. Therefore nol
only do they complement. hut also rtttl each other organically
The opening and closing of the Call1ata Profana oilers a
beautiful illustration. two Kales mirroring each other note for
note-a GS scale (interals 2, 3, 5, 8 with a diminished lifth)
and a pure acoustic scale:
ttt 4 v
It is worth clarifying Ihis interrelation from another point of
view. The harmony which appears beneath the atowlu melody
of Fig. 64 produces perhaps the greatest surprise of the work,
obtained by means of a simple major chord: C-EC.
This consists or the closest overtonl relations. Le. a pcrrcct frth
and major third. In the chromalic First Movement the major
triad always emergcs in the 3 + _* 8 di\ision of thc OS:
The characteristic perfect rourth (5) ,,"d minor sixth (0) of this
CS chord have been transformed oy inVlrsi(ln into the Plift"
and major t
irJ of the acoustic chord rcspcctively.
Let us show these chords in their seventh forms too:
'10. 68
What is valid. relative to the C rot. in the OS system from
Obve downward is equally vOlid in the acoustic system in the
opposilt direction. It is thcrefore an "overtonc" chord. The cir
cumSlance that ollr ancient melodie hOve a desunding character
may perhaps be rdated to the fact Ihat pcntatony is &OS tone
_. Although thcse features seem to appertain O the outward
form. this no longer applies when it is considered that only
(unsunant inlclV;lls exist in the acoustic system (owing Oovertone
consnance) whereas the GS avails itself precisely of those
intervals which have been considered dis onant by musical
theor from the time of Palestrina. Incidentally, this diversity
accounu for the tendency of Wetern music to be acoustic and
of Easter to be pentatonic.
impJies that the relation of consonance and disonance
is thus inverted in the two harmony.worlds; the purity of "
diatonic consonance is in direct proportion to the overtones,
while the chromatic technique attains iu highet degree of
consonance when all the twelve semi.tones in the tempered
scale are made to sound together-" like the roar of the sea" . to
quote Bart6k. However incredible it may sound, in pentatonic
melodies baed on mi & a keynote (miso.l-doscae: interals
3,5, 8) belonging to the most ancient layer of folk music, the
geatest dissonance is represented by the pe:ect:):t (cf.
6) .
.. . A secnt of Bart6k's music, and perhaps the most profound,
is that the "closed" world of the OS is counterbalanced by the
"open" sphere of the acoustic system. The former always pre
supposes the presence of the ,ompleu system-it is not accidental
Ihal we have always depicted chromatic lormations in the Uv:J
circle offlfths. (See Figs. 2, q _ 46, 48.) In the lat, all relations
are dependent on one tone since the natural sequcncc uuvcr-
tone emerge from one single root: therefore it is Uptll.
5. Thus. the diatonic system has a fundamental, rool note and
the chromatic system a otunote. In the chromatic system all
relations can be inverted without changing the signifcance of
the central note. The principal theme of the recapitulation in
the Vi"lin C"nttrlo has a B tonality, in spite of the fact that the
B major tonic "stands on its head" (owing to the inversion ol
the theme) and our ears, accustomed only to overtone relations,
perceive it as having an "E minor" tonality. (The B centre is
aceentuated by a shimmering pedal-point too) :
It is this "mirror" (see Fig. 6g) which shows that the chromatic
technique leaves the requirements othe overtone system out o
consideration, and ideas like "up" and "down" become quite
meaningltSin it. The hannony which in the preeding Cple
sounds below the B centre, producc, by the negation of the
overtone system, an effect a if the objeu of the physical world
have suddenly become weightlCa sphere where the laws of
gravity are no longer valid (sce Mov. I, b. 1
6. And this is why Bart6k's CS system always involve the
concentric txpmon or tonlrali(1 of intervals which is as
consistent as to be virtually inseparable from the chromatic
For example, the quoted themes from the First Movement
of the S01t Jor Tw Fmt ad Fotm:en are constructed in
ever-widening orbiu (sce Fig. 28: leitmotif-principal theme
secondary theme 8-13-21). The principal theme is augmented
from bar t bar, from mnor third to fourth, sixth .d seventh
intervals. And the scope of the secondary theme expands
similarly step by step, frst with pentatonic turns, then with
fuurth and ffth intervals, fnally reolving in a broad sixth
(se, Fig. ,8).
Wc frequently fnd a "funne-shaped" (sec Fig. go) and
"scisr-like" movement of notes,
( t.O
tU. }0
and sequence proceeding by wider and wider steps:
Even these processes follow a planned course, every detail
showing augmentation up to the geometric centre ul the
movement (b. 21 7), after which they gradually contract .. gain.
On the other hand, in the diatonic Third Movcm('nt, such
progressions arc quite unima,rina6Ie. The diatonic harmolljt! nn
characteriscd by a 1Ialrr frmncss (e.g. the chord of rig. u) u
radiates its energy for a long period of time with a motiuultss.
unwavering constancy) i n contrast to the CS system, which is
always of a dynamic character.
7. Bartok's closed (chromatic) world may well be symbolised
by the circle, while his open (diatonic) systcm, by the straight
line. Like in Dante's Di\'ine Comedy the symbol of the Inferu
is thc circle, the fIng, while that of the Paradiso, the traight
line, the arrow, thc ray. hc rings of the Inferno unucrg0 a
concentric diminution till they :lrri\'c at the "Cucitus",
whereas those of the Paradiso widen into the infnite
n Bartok's "cosmos" the (hrmes fullow a similar pattern;
chromaticism is most naturally associated with the "circular"
while diatony with Ihc "straight line" of melody: sce Fig. )z.
8. The idea of "open" and "closed" is also expressed by tu:
organisation of the themes in relation to linu. The basis of
rIo. )z
a classical melody is the ptriod. As a rule, the themes i n the
music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven arc divided into 8 + 8,
and 2 2 bars: the frst two bar "question" being followed
by a two-bar "answer"; these four bars may then be considered
as a single question, the answer to which being given in bars
5-8. Thus the form dcvelopes: this simple O-har sentence ends
in :, half-close and corrtponds to the tonic, full.close cnding of
the 16-bar period. Thi s principle of symmetrical pcriodisation
is readily discerned ill Bart6k's diatonic mode of writing as well.
In contrast to this, in hjs OS technique. positive and negative
sections constitute quite U different system of "questions" and
"answers" (see Figs 6 and 22). Here the law of h:llancc and
symmetrical periodisation is replaced by regularities of Itme
:mmtt). Positive and negative sections embrace each other
like the ascending and descending parts of a wave.
The conditions of organisation in the CS system are inversely
related to those in the symmetrical pcriodisation: one providu
or a proces of merging, the other for dividing its constituents;
the former emphasises the orgallic Ulli in time, the l:ler
snrveys the material in space. The CS forms assume the
character of an uninterrupted time proces, revolving in the
;lrc of a wave, while the symmetrical periodisation breaks the
material into metrical components of lines, rhyme and
strophes, W in the construction of a verse.
9. And what do the two sy.tem lok like when examined in
number relations? The keynumben of the overtone system are
wlwlt numben: those of the octave-2. 4. 8 j of the fh-3, 6,
J2j of the major tird-5, 1o. etc. While in the OS !ystcm the
key number U inatiana/:

-=0.618034 . .
The irrational character become still more explicit if the
formula is written B follows (which again conceals the
Fibonacci series):
The acoustic system rats on, the O system on
gtOmlmal proprtons. (Sce App. 111.) The characteristic
3-5-8 proportion w only approximately correct and w expres
sible only in ilational numben (e.g. 5:8'0906J # # ). The
minor third in pcntatony can be proved to be somewhat larger
than it W in the tempered system.
10. It may be symbolic that in the diatonic system the partial.
toncs range abD while in the chromatic Iystem btlow the
fWdamental note (see Fig. 68). It is of sme interet that
Remann derives the minor triads from "under" -tones and the
major um from "over" -lone.
In the case of CS alp44 chords U relaton is also valid,
inversely; the minor third falll abve and the major third
below the key-nole. Although Riemann's concept may be
The ordernubr Wthe minor third in Ihe lempre .yatem it I " 9
in the pnlatonic .)tc:, 1 $t. (3 t o t .k Trans
m ubuptatony coe clo to te mr third,)
contetable it u still worth considering the fact that the lwo
mosl inltnse GS intervals produceable within the compass of an
octave are identical with the chord Riemann produced by
inverting and projecting the major triad in the lower range
(C-AI-F) : 8 C-A. 5
The leitmotif of the r0m0w 0nd0rn" receives U
intensity fom just these CS intervals: Ap-F-GI-F. (See
Fig. 31.)
In the Kore mthe fmM muudunu each person urepretental by a
tone.symbol with whoe aid may weU "read" the plol mthe pantomime.
The Mandarin may U rec08ni,aI (rom the note G'-I: (Ap-F); tw Girl
tuu the nula J:;--Op T l.-b 1 {DgAg M O'-A' I)--W W the very
beginning of the work. The (act that the complimena mthe Old Gallant
are intended (or the Girl i. shown also by the music: Ihe basic chord 0the
Old Gallant, more than thirty time, leads to the Girl', symbl:
Wc mentio only three brief ampJe, After the entry o( the Mandarin
the pntatonic ostinto undulate from the Mandarin', G'-I note to the
Girl's tone.,ymb.:
or later when he Wtrying to reach the Girl:
We the mimof the two .ymblt at Ihe W m Mdwok:
A detaile analya o the ptomime publbe by d author in
5twu mwlu (Vo!. No. R pp. ))-{)a.mGa).
A particularly efective application of these inverted relations
can be observed at tbe climax, in the C.major sccne or BIut-
',ard's C4lt, when the nage i plungcd into darknes:
WO. )
.It i eay to sec that the symmetry centre of the penta
tonic scale U the re:
Similarly, de!ree re constitutes the symmetr centre of the
major and minor scaes - ad that of the acoustic scae, too.
The atithetic relationship of the two systems becomes evi
dent it wc rcaile that the basic step of pentatony. the plagal
IIlmi cadence
and the baic step of clasica hanony: the dominanttonic
sO-do cadence
ate precise mi"or images of each other, related to the f'
symmetr centre:
so do re mi /a
Bartok's chromatic system results in puet,while his diatonic
sYltem in authentic, hamonic interconnectionl: the baic ste
of the fonner being T-S-T and that of the latter, T-D-T
(sec App. 11).
In traditional music the motifline usualy attains itl most
tcnsc grunt un Uu s|xtb ]tptrftt fotth]::fthttn|t.!|u
dimax of the sixtLil baicaly a pruperty olclassical music
where it functions W the subdomimmt.
FIO. 74
Actualy, the most intense hannonic function in classical
music is represented by the subdominat, but it comes as B
surprise that the minor subdomnant, being the in tensest of
m subdominat chords, is essentially a characteristic Conn of
"CS tension" (intervals 2,3,5,8):
ric. ]g
and conversely, the dominant harmonies arc built on deJ'ccs
of the nearest overtones IC, E, 8 I. U means nothing less
than that the technique of tension-relaxation in classica music
is closely related to the dual principle of CS and acoustic cor
relations: subdominant tension is, in fact, a CS tensio", while
dominant-tonic presems an overtolle relationship.
The S-T tur in the CS system can be reduced tothe lami
or rc-Iu close so frequently found in ancient pentatonic
melodies. Compare with the " changing fifth" and six-four
types of old Hungarian peasant songs:
J J =J _
#8M+ }
J 2. Baf6k's diatonic mwic is always inspired by an
optimism and sCeniQ, h chomatc muic by a dark, moreover
irrational and demoniac passion. This involuntarily bring! to
mind te chromatic experiments of Liszt and Moussorgsky,
probing the gloomy depths of life. Let U recall the lte piano
piece of LisZt Gre Cl"uds, UnJueStas, Ptludi" Funebre, the
deathmusic R. WQgntr, Vene<ia, the ghostly Lgubre Gondola, all
these are written in a tone-system of distance modcs. Or the
scene of 0rU Godnov's nZy. where Moussorgsky avails
himself of a perfect "axis system".
All in all, the Chromatic and diatonic systems form a
coherent wmN representing two sides of the same coin, one of
which negates and at the same time complements, the other.
They constitute contrast in unity: afrm and deny, presuppose
and exclude each other.
The ame duality appear in the frequent M Wthe ttl ltl keys.
Two triads which merge Stita9 diMlve m other bc aUe the eui
distance creata foating tonality, W anihilAte U. prograne W
the ?Ut! SlriI C/-"iIInc" and "recovery"-i mW the duality
ofF minor ad A major. TheJe two mmcomplement each other, meeting
in a Umdistance moel (I: ] moeJ): F-Ap-C
A-Cf-E F-Ap-A-C

N ' +
fw w # A =g-
In the piano piece "Se saw, dckor)-aw" the foating 8 elprecd
by the combination of E mino Ab major (E-G-B+Ab-C-J: b givC
In some ofhil works Bak @so far in the plaritation and
reduction of hit material, that form and content, means and
meaning, W to constitute an almot inseparable entity.
From tbe preceding principle ever further dj(J njc formaton
become self-evident. The main diatonic intervals. i.e. the
and majM tird, & mphwby major chord, built
up m succesive thirds, every second degree of which rhymes
in perfect mU.

Ho. ])
W $1@moel). Slly & nut Ka E mmAp mor pan"
the hS W the 6BwlfW: "A bit drnk" (I FiS. 4b
). P
Im&m4'tUrcmrC0aCthe fth dor it dCwyed by cminor
.t & q0c bm -m. A,dmplan or the opra i built up
0Ncte.rti. nght Wrete by FI minor. Mdayli,hl
by its cwlerpc cm]m. 1 major try b nuti by Al minor.
thUl the lattu ban a "dcth"-ymblm in t wgrk. while t c
plementar key of F# minor-BP major-u &I tc with the "'ovc"
scenc. 'hae rour t includc ever dqec 0t twdve-note .le:
Here we have the origin of the well. known Bart6k "signi1lurt".
wo. )
(Cf. Two Portraits, Swiss Violin Concerto, Bagatelles Nos. 1 3
and Iq Ten easy piano pieces: "Dedication" and "Dawn",
Mikrokosmos No. 10, etc.)
This type, combined with Uic acoustic fourth (e.g. C major
chord with B and F#), appears at the most splendid moments,
as in thcflowcrgardcn of Bluebeard') Castle, or as thc symbol
of the "faming. golden-haired noon" : Fig. 79 .
Tu chord has a counterpart: the minor chord with nujor JeveluJI.
e.g. D-F-A-C" which ;uwys asi:ued with pain ;md Jloion ill
Hart6k', dramatic work and songs ("Your leitmotif" wrote Bart6k u
Slefi Ceyer). We giyc three brief examples from Mw0Of4! w
wJ8= 18 M 41@ M +I1 4 $f4< +t.w+t1t +. t g.... ,",,', ,i,. ,,", I . "
his 1ot<11l" At the <ud mMlw0rmd'1 41t M <t Qt t +otl 1 I: ^ L
the nwu= u Ihe tonic leitmotif C-E;-O--U, Py .he iuven;'JI Il,e .. .
C-Ep-G minor chord M u m into the C-A-F m:aj(r cUutU, U
on the augmente triad C.-F-A: (rom here die dglIjlinJ ml o: ariv.

Since the acoustic system u merely an inversion of the CS, we
can obtain diatonic harmonies by rrwzn_ the layers of the dlpld
10. 80
Te diatonic effect is due to the alpha-inversion being govered
by perCect firths, major thirds ad minor sevenths (i.e. the
nearest overtones -which were exclude4 oythlj/rhr4tI
Ho. &b
However paradoxical it may seem. the chord which has a major
third above the key-note and a minor third below it. makes the
most "diatonic". most opened impresion in BartOk's music:
Y H M l
{ lL&

And to complete the concatenation, it should be poillll'u out
that the inlersion of alpha contain the very kernel of the muuxlc
FO. z
t happens frequently that an ambiguous bass i sometimes
represented by C and sometimes by F,:
Th is me cae in the "axis melody" ofthe theme in Movement
III of Muic/or Strings. PtCS;OI ant Ctleta:

We may summarise these analyses follows:
(chromatic system)
Alpha chord .
:9 1:3. 1 :5 models
Forms of equ;J interals: .
whole-lone scale
diminished seventh
chord in fourths
augmented tiad, consisting
of minor sith
Acoumc TPES
(diatonic system)
Overtone chord and scale
Invcrsion or alpha
Succesion or thirds and
frts with major char
Fomu of equal intervals:
chord in frths
augmented triad. con
sisting of major thirds
Particular signifcance may be attributed to the fact that
J"1tatrJlY is most characteristic of Bart6k's chromatic (CS)
system while altrtone chords prevail in his diatonic system.
This duality, in our opinion, would seem to express the two
most ancient endeavours of music. The physiological apparatus
of our ears (with the logarithmic structure of the cochlea)
enables us most readily to perceive the sl-la-so-mi (2:3:5)
relations at the earliest stage, of which both primitive folk
music and our simplest children's songs provide unequivocal
In primitve musie-cultures the sense for major tonality and
functional attractions arc quite unknown. The devl"lupmt

of Iron;c thinking derives from a quite different sourCe,
namdy the overtone series. This could only have COlRe into its
own with instrumental music, and it is no accidt'nt that
functional musical thinking is hardly more than a few cellturirs
old. Pentatony may be deduced from the Pythagorc;m tonal
system-grouping the nearest fifths and fourths-harmonic
music from the overtone serie.
Incidentally, pentatony is of mtlodi" linear origin, being of
"horizontal" exlent (in time) while the overtone system is of
harmonic origin and has a "vertical" (spatial) dimension.
Would it be too daring to suppose that the rots of pentatonic
and acoustic thinking were the two points of origin of all
music.. (If so, then Bart6k hpenetrated to its inmot cor(.)
"Pentatony doe not .uler the dominant-tonic cadence:' (Bart6k:
Hungarian Folk Music. 1933). "In this scale the ffth ha no prevailing
role" (BMI6k: Hunguian .olk Music and WC Hungarian Muic, 19:0).
On 1c uIm hand "the frequent use 0Ihe fourth interab in our meloie
sU88n1cd to w the of fuufth-chords" (Bart6k: c influence of peaant
muic on moern music, 1920) .
BatI6k himlr IlOnily believtd that "il .. iII be pble to trace baCk
m tc(olk mwlc on Ihe flce of the Slobc enli.Uy O few parent-fotm.,
archetyp, ancient Ityle" (Bart6k: rearch and nationalislll,

The frst is justifed by "inner" hearing, based on the ,,, riD

[olicm structure of the ear; the second by "external" hearing,
controlled by the physical of consonance. The former is,
therefore (ense, expressive and emotionally charged, the latter
colourful, impressive and :tmuem.
The above claim u supported by the scientifc observation
that GS is to be met with in organ;c matter only. Pcntatony,
with it tension, could nddler have come into being wiloUl
the aid of human emotion. The acoustic harmony on the other
hand, may develop independently of the phenomenon of
human life or of human intervention-a vibrating column of
air in a pipe (or a string) is enough to bring it about.
Pentatonic and acoustic trends follow contradictor coune,
Physiological eforts tend to organist and create tmsion, while
physical efforts disorganise by striving to aboJish tension. Here
the thesis may b advanced that the OS creates a dostd world
and carries an inner tension, white the acoustic system is e]ttt
and strives to release tension through its overtone consonance.
It may be added that this closedness is an organic feature of
GS (see Figs. 24, 25 and 26 for examples independent of
Bart6k's tone-system) and this quality is responsible for the
capacity of GS t organise. an illustration: CS can be easily
brought about if we bind a simple "knot" with a paper ribbon;
without exception, every proportion of this knot will display
geometric golden secdon. Fig. 85 .
It m no accident Ihat penl_S0n.. 1 common in living nature, arc
roreign 10 mc inorganic world.

4:rw:m b:e * ,:o

no. 85
It i t property of the pentagram that wM aUudes to in
Faust, Part I:
MPH.: Let me admit; a tiny obstacle
Forbids my walking out of here:
It i the druid's foot upon your threhold.
F AU: The }mrmdistreses you?
But tell me, then, you son of hell,
If this impedes you, how did you come in?
How can your kind of spirit be deceived?
MZPH.: Observe! The lines are po rly drawn;
That one, te angle pointng outward,
Is, you see, a little e] 4
Although the important question ofthythm and metre cannot
be dCultvthhcre utut|ylcngth, few Ouutuudnglc.tturcswill
be pointed out. Bartok's rhythm governed by Bstrict laws as
has been shown to rule his form and harmony. The drcfar
character of Movement 1 of the Sonala jor T U'0 Pianl and
Ptreion U in no small degree due to the "absolute" odd
metre, 3 times 3 eighths, while the Finale owes its static
character to its "absolute" even metre, 2 times 2 eighths. In
Movement M even and odd bars are intentionally alternated.
(Bartok was very much interested in the potentialities of
"even" and "odd" metres. In the SrCru Pano Conctrlo, Mov. 11
of Music, Violin Crlo, Diverlimenlo, Mikrokosmos Je. t_y
themes presented in evenmetred bars return in odd rhythms,
or vice versa.)
The rhythms with a "strong" ending in Movement I have
counterparts with "weak" endings in the Finale (see Fig. 87).
MU. 6
Consequently the theme of Movement I constitute a dosrd,
and those of the Finale an oJn form.
But the polar principle prevails also within the even and odd
metres: ++ and '+ unit are periodically alter
nating in the odd-metred theme, while an alternation of
"+-+-" and `++ umU provide the rhythmic
pattern of the even-metred tune.

^ ,
M0VENfhT |
+ ~+

+ + ~ ~ H ~ $ ~ q ~ ~
w ~ > V
* + + .\ ._

c1 w w
PlO. ]

That is why we feel the following idioms to be 6 revealing of
rto. M
As a fnal example. let W compare the opening and closing
bars of the Sonata for Jma1 and Pemus;on.
l 0 twl m tiI mW
a1rk8 4q+ +
PIO. 8
The opening bar give the impresion of decent, as it were ,
into &well "which is immensely deep, or should we say. has no
bottom at all" (Thomas Mann). The low shivering sound of
the timpani really seem to emanate from the negative pole
of life, from a phase of precontiousnes-the key of which is
, the lowet point in the circle of ffths.
Towards the close of the work, the "flliped" cymbal
sounded with the nail and the light stick dancing on the n`m
of the side.drum, produce ostinatos which gambol joyfully over
the work, with "slender anklc" on the paths of |kl: in C
major, the highest point in the circle of m and counterple
of F#.
In this way the extreme points of the comption may b
regarded a negative and positive pote so that the analogy of
a magnetic field offers itself, a current being develope betwen
two opposite pole. The Lento-with its utterly iI ral
now-is represented by the lowet, the Allegro-with U
articulated rhylhm-by Ihe rughel drum effect. On the onc side
a linear, on Ihe olher, a rhythmic-spatial clement.
Nevcrlheless, the mosl interesting circumstance is thal Ihe
dimensions of the comple" work were not accidental: it reRccts
unilY of Ihe correlated principles of the closed circle and
open snutr. 11,e symbl oflhe circle is _ while the laller can
be expresed by Ihe powers of2 ('=4, 4'= 16, 16'=256; Ihe
next power is already too large).
Te time-value of the whole work (the above-mentioned
6432 eighths) is 804 whole notes, and this is precisdy the
proucl of:
It can be deduced from Ihe foregoing Ihat onc and the same
regularity is established throughout many different dimensions
of the work, through form, key, harmony, proportions, rhythm,
dynamics, colour, etc.
Considering the date (1937) and olher particulars, one may
risk the supposition thal Banok probably intended the vnuld
for Tw Pianos and PnCion to be a crowning piece: the
Makrokosmos of the Mikrokomos (19237).
What role did Bartok's art play in the music of our centur?
His chromatic system has its roots in Eastern folk music and in
pentatony; m acoustic Ifstem he owed to Western harmonic
thinking, He himlelf admitted his indebtednes to folk music
and Ihe French impressionists as the IWO most descisivc
inRuences on his an.
"The two W Uor our ut ogin . ta in folk muic and the new French
mutic," wrote &.16k ("Zohn Koly": 19:U).
Thi decluatton dccr attention fo it u well known th . t he rarely,
ever, eomrlle hinuclr W hi, own eompitions-Ihouah he liked to
emphuile their relation to rolklore, mainly .. ith the Intention of pro
pal&tingfo mlDic. "Lt my music lpak ror itlf, I lay no claim to any
lanation or my worb'"
Should his posltlon in music be summed up in a single
sentence it might run as follows: Bart6k achieved somelhing
that had before his time, the symbolic handshake
between East and Wet: B synthesis of the music of Orient
and Occident.

This esay is the introductory part of the author's book,

"Bart6k's Style" published in Hungarian in 1953. A following
chapter tackles the "dramatic" principles of Uart6k's music,
especially of his instrumental works. We must not forget that
Barl6k is, in fact, a dramatic temperament, as all creative
genius in whose character the bents for logic and heroism, arc
Referring to the &1ta JM Tw PialS aM Pert;oT, it is of
intCrtst to point out a few particulan of Movement In
hs. 35-247 wc again notcc thc two-ot aOillity othc axis;
on the one hand the G# otinato running through the gtand
the D counterpole. and on the other hand the constricting
funnel-shaped motivic progressions, wedged in the D-GI
principal branch and later in the F-B secondary branch.
: = bqt

WO. @
The four sections of the seondary theme in the recapitulation
(bs. 292-33) are based on the four poles of the IoniC axis M
that their Outer and inner parts, repectively, correspnd with
each other in their pole-countcrpole relations.
FIC. 91
The axis construction of thC ca is equally unambiguous
(bs. 41 7-431 ). In accordance with the polar chcmc the
augmented QtncgI theme appears in E\, then in A, and
fnally in Eb A, over the disjointed Eb-Gb-A-C major-minor
(gamma) accompaniment chord5.
L *l " Al 5
FIO. 92
3Lcdevelopment in Movement 11 uMu for Slrings. Percsion
and Celesta preents an exemplary axis cutuUuctun!
rIc. g
The appearance of the Et-F#-A-C is always ;ccenluated by
the bass drum, The Iccomplnimcnt, which rcmainJ unclumged
throughout, stresses the A and E coulllcrpolc (blla chords):
MD. @
.a. lOl
It U evideot bth from the accompaniment and the dynamics
that the ElA polarity fornu the backbne of the structure.
And fally Fig. 95 gives some strongly marked melodies.


A few examples are given to iUwtrate the interrelations
expunded in connection with Fig. 13.
The order of keys of the Fi,sl ROMc i W follows: C tonic, E
dominant, A subdominant and C lonic.
Movement I of the ctt i subdivided by the fvefold
recurrence of the principal theme:
F tonic (expoition) h. 76
D subdominant (fnt part of development) h. 231
A dominant (second part of development) h. 31 3
F tonic (recapitulation)
h. 386
F tonic (cod.) h.
A similar arangement i to be seen in Movement of Sonl
IQr Tw Pims mPecssion:
C tonic (expsition) h. 32
E dominant (fnt part of development) h. 161, 195

subominant (second part of development) b. 232

C tonic (recapitulation) b. 27.
In the tlUrd example of page 45 thee relations are: D-AJ-F#.
The principal theme in Movement 11 of Mwit jor Stngs,
c:l::teUparticularly cogent, because here we fnd
the cupla-structure and tonic-tonicominant-tonic con
struction of the new-type Hungarian folk songs. The tonic i
represented by te C-F# counterpole, the dominant &Bb
counterle (not by G). The second ent of the tonic provide
the exact "tonal answer" of the C-FI . G-C tone change
into Cand CF into F#-C#.
A similar & ialion of dominant and Ionic is evident in bs.
1,1-1,8 of Movement 1 or the Diu" ilf/oj the E(-A dominant
counterpole correspond to the F-8 tonic counterples:
mo. p)
or at the recapitulation:

The lower majur second degree (e.g. Bt in C tonality) might
justifably be ( alled the "bart6kcan dominant" owing O its
rrequent occurrence in his music:
Ho. @
whch can again be explained by the regularities dealt wilh
The opening bars of the Mirtu/ol Mandarn illustrate how
the tonic and subdominant are linked; the D# tonic swings
towards the subdominant F and B counterpoles:
It is interting to note that, in Bart6k's music, the three
functions play a symbolic role too, particularly in his stage
works. In Bluebeard's Castle this sign-language always goes hand
in hand with the plot and contents of the drama. The sub
dominant has a negative meaning being reserved for the expre
sion of fever and passion. All positive movements start with the
dominant. The static pillan of the opera and the pointJ of rest
are based on the tonic.
The downward pull of the action in the MirDtulow Mllwin
is also expressed by the functional relations. The dominant
start of the pantomime (in C) reflects the throbbing excitement
oflife. whereas the subdominant end of the work (in F) depicts
the death of the Mandarin. The intermediate scenes-nearly
half of the music-especially where the Mandarin satisfes
his desire, are written in the tonic C.
The succesion of scenes follows the same descending order _ a
triple descent from the dominant heights to the subdominant
depths, as if expressing the idea that the work moves towards
a "fateful" abyss:
I. Viaitor (Old Callant)--I. Visilor (Youth)--3. Vililor (Man)
+ WalZ_2. W.ltz- uu
+ Murder _2. Murder -3. Murder
It is for this reason that the scenes, situated one below the
other on the above plan, are varianls-devcloped from the
same material; e.g. the music oflhe First Murder originate in
the basic chord of the Fint Visitor (Old Gallant):
-- -
W * f
Pt0. 1Q$
In thl" plot of Ihe Hdrn rmr all this is inversely IM1C. `h r
scenes follow an u1rm n

line, incessandy going up thc

T-D-8-T grades:
Prelude TONIC
Forest TONIC
Making of the doll SUBDOMINANT
Dance of the Wooden Prince TONIC
I. Scene (No. 120)
2. Scene (No. 128)
3. Scene (No. 1 32)
RECAPITULATION" end of exposition
Wooden Prince (No. 1 4
Princess and the Stream
For example, here follows the aiS structure of l:c frst
scene-Dance of the Princes:
A detaile analysu or the wrk published in the author's " Drllk's
Dramaturgy": Stage wrks and Can.ata prorana (Editio Muic: lJlltlapol.
L ~ Lr6 AX| 5
sgR mx B lh p Y ir r "
&> Codrm
no. ioz
Bexact golden section can only he constructed gemctrically
it cannot be obtained matheDatiClly_ i.e. by means of rational
numben. The key-number of the CS i irrational (similar to T).
Here i & example m the uEudoxus" construction, with
square and semi-circle.

IU. 103

M.. `
and another based on the Pythagorean proporton.
MU. tog
The hypotenuse <Il of the Kepler triangle subtends a "golden
angle" to the shorter perpendicular (0.618 . . . } : 51 49' 38- #

?lO. ID
and a chain of golden sections can Dbrought about B follows:
zo. to6
t I
The members of the OS chain can be obtained by subtraction
Thus the OS of I is 0618, that of the latter: 1 -0.616=0'382,
dc: 06,8 "0'382 " 0'2,36; 0'382 -0'236 ('146, C1C. But thc
sanuOS chain can also be obtained by involution .0.6,81 = 0618;
6182-0'382; o618's0236; 0.6,8-=0' 146, etc.
The sine ad cotagent cures meet in one definite point.
and precisely in the g0drn0ngrThe vaue pertaining to it is:
v0618 . . .
no. 10}
With the aid of compasses it can be shown that the radius goes
6 times, while its CS 10 cimes into the circumference oucircle.
The Cheops Pyramid in Egypt reveals the following structure:

no. 10b
and so U sloping sides subtend a golden angle .
crK.Kcppiscb an E. Bindl.
The dynamic quality of the Parthenon in Athens owes much to
its OS dimensions, and that is why we feel the building soaring
upwards, as it were.

P1U. 1U@
While Gothic architecture favoured angle of 45, Renaissance
art, following the Greek models, showed a predilection for the
golden angle. The circle had been given a "heavenly" symbol
ism, while the square R "earthly" onc. Because the Gothic
concept subjected earthly affairs to heavenly concerns it
forced the square to fnd a place witin the circumference of
the circle. ncontrast to U matters of heaven :md earth had
an equilibrium in Greek and Renaissance art, therefore, in
geometric terms, the circle was coupled with & isoperimetric
Hence the triangle no more subtended B angle of 4o,
but rather the golden angle:
U:r:| m d Ktm:u R
and the ratios between the three circles in the above Jetter
symbols show OS relations.-
Zeising derived OS from the proportions of the human body,
and 1",ld the Ilt:Ivl'dere AI)(lto t
)Cr[i:cl l"mbfldimt:nt ut.
Eisltcin planned his flm, "Potemkin", in such a way that
he placed point of uperfect inactivity" in the negative goldC
section of each act and thoe of "highest activity" in the
positve sections.
According to Einstein, OS pTvidC a ratio which opposes
the bad and fadHtates the development of what is good.
"No element can be properly joined without the aid of a
third one, for the two can only be united by the mediation of &
link ]but of all the links that one is most beautiful which makes a
complete whole oritself and of the elements united by it."
Plato: Timau .
L. Otto Shubrt: Getz d BUkUNt (Scn -Lipig iy).