Adam Filaber

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Palestrina Meets Bartók? A Modal Counterpoint Approach to Analyzing the First Movement of Béla Bartók’s String Quartet no. 1

I have discovered that an effective method for interpreting the harmony in the fugato at the beginning of the quartet is not by assessing chord types and their potential tonal functions but rather by observing the intervallic relations between the voices. When doing so, it can be observed that, in spite of the dense chromaticism, the majority of the two-part counterpoint is treated according to the principles governing late sixteenth-century ecclesiastical polyphony.