Bartok went out, he travelled to a significant portion of eastern Europe actually.
He roamed the countryside and listened to the music heard in the small towns and in all sorts of celebrations.
He attended weddings, dances and religious ceremony where he heard a very different sort of music from the romantic stuff being played in the concert halls in the cities.
The music he heard is what we were considered folk music.
And any of those same songs played in the concert halls?
No. At first, he went around to document the folk music.
He really wanted to make sure that folk songs were written down before they disappeared.
In fact, Bartok didn't start out a trip thinking himself as a composer.
He was an ethnomusicologist, and he studied the traditional music of the region.
But it turns out that what were later had a notable influence on the European music on the whole was the way Bartok used the elements he heard in folk songs in his own compositions.
He adopted a number of elements from what he heard, like unusual rhythms and he liked to use glissando as his hallmark,
which you probably got from listening to Croatian folk music.
A glissando is...well, I've got a recording of Bartok here.
Let's wait until the music is fresh in our minds.
Susie, do you have something you want to ask first?
Yeah. Before, you mentioned nationalism, and...
Ah, right! Yes.
When Bartok kept new pieces performed, their folk music roots made them instantly popular.
It happened to be a time of strong nationalism in Austria-Hungary.
So his composition came just at the right time. It became very successful there.
Particularly, when Bartok's ballet The Wooden Prince opened, there was great excitement for music that included musical elements from local folk songs,
music that reflected the region's musical traditions.
However, as popular as Bartok was in his homeland, he did not get much international recognition during his lifetime.