Bartók’s Mikrokosmos: An Alternative Piano Approach for the Modern Era
Béla Bartók’s Mikrokosmos, one of the most prominent keyboard compositions of the 20th century, was composed as a pedagogical tool for piano students of all levels, from the most fundamental to the advanced. Aimed for the improvement of the students’ pianistic techniques, along with their understanding of 20th century music. This collection of piano pieces comprises various musical styles, ranging from those by the previous masters to Bartók’s influential contemporaries. The main objective of Mikrokosmos is to improve on piano pedagogy by utilising the style of folk music, which provides a variety of contents and flexible elements, together with developing the students’ aural skills. In this collection, Bartók demonstrated his compositional techniques and musical style prolifically, rare only for large-scale forms and structures. Therefore, it may be argued that this collection of piano pieces contains nearly all of Bartók’s pianistic and compositional techniques. Naturally, it is regarded as not only one of the most valuable pedagogical tools for piano studies, but also a significant device that bridges the music of the past, present, and future. As a result, this composition may be regarded as a new alternative for piano practice and piano study from the 20th century onwards; both teachers and students will have an opportunity to broaden their scopes and horizons in piano studies in order to comprehensively further their abilities with efficiency.
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