Elements of Romanian Folkloric Musical Traditions and Narrativity in George Enescu’s “Romanian Rhapsody Op. 11, No. 1” and Béla Bartók’s “Romanian Folk Dances SZ. 56”
Iacob, Catalin Petrica
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The purpose of this paper is to investigate Romanian folkloric music from several points of view, historical and analytical. Analyzing music in terms of harmonic progressions, form and structure, melodic contour, etc., does not always access the emotional aspects of a piece. One way performers can discover a deeper levels of meaning is by including narrative elements in their analysis. This was a discovery I made in the course of my research. Narrative analysis assists the performer in creating a story in his/her mind, a story with emotional connection that may lead to a more impactful, historically accurate performance. This document is composed of three sections: 1) delineating characteristics of Romanian folkloric music, 2) examining ways in which narrative concepts in literature can be applied to music, and 3) analyzing the narrative and folkloric qualities of Béla Bartók’s “Romanian Folk Dances SZ. 56” and George Enescu’s “Romanian Rhapsody Op. 11, No. 1”. Part of the narratological perspective stems from the music’s connection to legends, myths, and social life of Romania. From a theoretical point of view, Byron Almén provides a model of integrating literary narrativity theory with musical analysis. His system will be used as the predominant vehicle for the analysis Bartók’s and Enescu’s works in this paper.
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