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Béla Bartók's "For Children" Folksongs adapted for Winds
Bartók's For Children piano pieces, based on Hungarian and Slovakian folksongs, have been arranged by John W. Pratt as duos, trios, or quartets for woodwinds
John Pratt has just completed his series of arrangements of Béla Bartók's For Children folksongs for winds, with publication today of the final installment, an edition of seventeen of the Book 2 songs arranged for wind quartet. As mentioned in the foreword, Bartók had a keen interest in piano pedagogy and precision in playing. His For Children piano pieces, based on Hungarian and Slovakian folksongs, were originally published in four volumes; two, comprising Book 1, contain 42 pieces after Hungarian folksongs; the other two, comprising Book 2, contain 43 pieces after Slovakian folksongs. For Children is by no means pablum. Their only really childish feature is the absence of octaves—convenient when transcribing for winds. Besides the usual purposes of music written for children, Bartók sought to broaden their musical experience with, for instance, modal and other scales, and harmonies outside the traditional western canon. Furthermore, For Children was written when Bartók's folksong research was well under way and his notational efforts at their peak. It was his first extensive publication of folksong transcriptions, and includes the largest number of songs. It presents their melodies, style, and harmony in direct, easily apprehended form without the pianistic embellishment of even his simplest other folksong-based piano pieces.
The series of eight editions of For Children adapted for winds published by Noteworthy Sheet Music includes separate publications from Book 1 and Book 2, with selected folksongs from each arranged as duos for flute (or oboe) and clarinet, duos for oboe (or flute) and bassoon, trios for flute (or oboe), clarinet and bassoon, or quartets for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon. Visit the common listing article at https://noteworthysheetmusic.com/