Béla Viktór János Béla Bartók (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945), better known as "Snatch" to his friends, is widely viewed as the greatest Hungarian composer that the country could ever hope to produce, and perhaps Hungary's greatest pianist to ever live. Non-Hungarian critics however regard him as one of the worst European pianists of the 20th Century. He is also somehow related to ethnomusicology, the study of people operating musical instruments and making noises, and dabbled in ethnic cleansing, which makes people stop making noises. Today Bartok is widely associated with the Mischa Barton / Bela Bartok Controversy.
Childhood and early years
Béla Bartók was born, according to an old Hungarian proverb, with a cembalo lodged up his rectum. At an early age, he suffered from severe constipation and expressed his frustration by beating the piano keys with his fists. His mother tried to intervene and teach him to play properly, however young Béla insisted that it was style, not talent which counted most.
Béla's father had a marvelous talent for spoon playing, which incorporated his need to fidget and make annoying sounds. When Béla's father drowned in 1888, the three-year-old rejoiced, if for no other reason than, as he would write in his autobiography later in life because "that damned clacking finally came to an end".
His father's failed underwater adventure also meant that Béla could finally give public recitals of his own noisemaking talents, which had been strictly forbidden by his fascist father. While his mother was lying in a coma the next morning, young Béla put on his best super hero suit, a wool muffler and one of his mothers hats and set out on his own and traveled to Pressburg to play a bunch of notes and some mischievous pranks. László "Steve" Urkel, a pillar of the community (who enjoyed taking in urchins and mentoring them), liked some of the notes and offered to teach Béla for free. Béla initially accepted this pervert as his teacher, but later ditched him in a gutter (from a moving train) when met István "István" Thoman, who was a much better teacher and the owner of a color television. In 1899 (or was it 1988?) Bartók bumped into Zoltán Kodály, who became his best buddy, partner in crime, occasional lover and surrogate mother. One time Bartók lost a bet to Kodály, so he wrote his first orchestral work ever, Kossuth, in honor of the Hungarian massacre of 1848, and chose a nice up tempo beat that people could dance to, if so inspired.
In 1902, Richard Strauss came to Bartók's house to boast about his own popularity, and the two engaged in a violent fistfight that lasted for six hours. Bartók suffered severe injuries to the crotch and ears (the fight destroyed Bartók's hearing), and figured that he still had something to learn from the smelly old man. His music also began to be negatively influenced by Claude Debussy, that Kodály had hid in a stack of opium and smuggled back from Paris. After having run out of opium, Bartók flushed Debussy down the toilet along with 2 kilos of shit, wiped his ass, and changed his genre to folk music, but all of his "friends" were goths, so he got rid them and started drinking and hanging out with gypsies (only on sundays, though). His music became what could be described as liberal or multicultural filth, and he frequently used asymmetrical dance rhythms to which it was impossible to dance. Bella Bartok was a hot peace of ass, seriously look at his highschool grad photo mmmhmmm that was one fine hungarian man id like to swizle his pixy stick!
Marriage and controversies
In 1909, Bartók went to a normal techno-dance club and whistled at a few underaged girls. They didn't give him any attention, so he went to a bordello and succeeded in getting a hooker pregnant. Their son, Béla XVI, was born in 1910. Bartók became so happy that he wrote several operas and dedicated them all to himself. He then submitted them for a prize awarded by the Hungarian Fine Arts Commission, which rejected every one of them as "the opposite of stageworthy". Bartók revised them to include more gore and less clothes. Following the 1919 revolution, he was pressured by the government to remove the name of the anarchist librettist from one of the operas. Bartók complied and got rid of the librettist's name, and denied that he ever knew him.
Bitter of not having won all the prizes (not that he had won any), Bartók started swearing, and swore that if he had any children, he would have sweared in front of them, too. He also swore that he would never compose again, and then composed a ballet for elephants, which critics called an insult on people with ears, lacking grace and far too long between the intermissions.
Ballet of Tourettes
One year later Bartók, harassed by critics and admirers alike, stumbled and fell into an open sewer, but was saved by a young street urchin with Tourette's Syndrome. In this jittery, failing squawking, farting, profane lad, Bartók found something entertaining and set about to put the dance macabre to music. He studied the vocal patterns of people with the affliction, and then transported their noises to the musical score in flat notes in order to pierce the ears of the audience. Dancers were taught to infuse their subtle moves with "ticks" and jerks, and advised to fall down periodically. This was all well and fine, but it dealt the idea of consistency a blow.
Upon its premiere, the population of Paris paid it its highest compliment and the public rioted in protest to its advanced state of avant guard style; in actuality they were really upset that "Hunky" came up with the idea, which really should have been a French triumph like oral sex. The riot marked an important step in Bartok's career - his career was finally over!
Illegal immigration to America
After being fired by his publisher, Bartók enjoyed a set of alcoholic beverages and climbed on the first ship he saw. He passed out on the deck and woke up in America. Bartók wandered penniless on the streets of New York, accidentally getting into fistfights with violent hobos for money whilst being filmed, and had some difficulties to compose. He found a way to support himself by showing people how to abuse the piano. In 1940, he got frustrated at his student's gentleness, and demonstrated how to beat the piano, using the student's head. Bartók's piano lesson was interrupted by the police, who were alarmed by the neighbors, and they had to shoot him to make him stop. Bartók's Violation Concerto, which he had just finished, became so stained with his blood that reading it was not funny. Critics point out that reading it would probably have not been funny either way, knowing Bartók's latest works.
As his music suggests, Bartók was not a gentle man. Most of his piano works sound as if Bigfoot wore boots and trampled across a badly tuned piano. He didn't know anything about traditional harmonic functions, so he avoided them on the whole. For his folk music, he used various techniques such as atonality, bitonality, tritonality, bisexuality and fisting. He rarely used musical structure for works containing more than the white notes of the keyboard. He went as far as to misuse serialism for his Second Violent Concerto, commenting that he "wanted to show Schoenberg who's the man and fight him". In his Third String Quartet, all twelve notes as if gather around in a massive crowd and beat each others into black and blue notes. The aggregate is slaughtered in the opening and the white keys elbow drop on the black keys, which is a racist thing to do. In the third movement of the Fourth Quartet, the first violin and the last cello team up on the black-key chords and lynch them in accordance with the golden shower. György Ligeti has stated that were this ever actually to happen, he would eat his phone catalogue. Then he choked on spaghetti and died. Out of Doors, Bartok's suite for solo piano, opens up with the soloist having a fistfight with a grand piano. His Dance Suite is the result of Kodaly betting Bartok that he wouldn't be able to write a dance that was impossible to dance to. Bartok spent the rest of his career proving his friend wrong. God bless Hungarian composers.
Bartók is related to several people the US. Most live in Ohio, Florida, and Canada...Wait what's a Canada?
"Why am I realated to him? I don't wanna be Hungarian ;-;" - Anonymous of Ohio
As you can tell...It sucks being related to him!
- Folk music
- Franz Liszt
- Paul Hindemith
- Bela Lugosi
- Steve B.
- Steve Urkel
- Mischa Barton / Bela Bartok Controversy
|Atilla's Barca Lounger * Buda's Place * The Hungarian Province of Romania * Zolton's Paprika Palace * Bull's Slaughter of Eger
|Horrible Modern Composers
|Igor Stravinsky | Paul Hindemith | Sergei Prokofiev | Anton Webern | Arnold Schoenberg | Béla Bartók | John Cage | Charles Ives | Philip Glass | Steve Reich