Primitivism is a musical style






Primitivism is a musical style that unlike other musical styles uses clear and well defined musical elements. This musical element depends on the assertion of a specific note to be more important than the rest. This is different compared to other musical elements. Notes are formed through the integration of two simple notes to create one complex one. Primitivism uses materials from other cultures, uses materials from specific cultures, and from various European ethnic groups.

The Rite of Spring was a song written by Igor Stravinsky which was performed first by Ballets Russes in the 1913 in Paris. The song used primitivism as a musical style that incorporated the Russian culture. The song’s features irregular rhythm which makes the song violently awesome and breaks the monotony of regular rhythm. The music starts with a series of identical chords hence providing a steady beat but in between the rhythm or beat he adds six accents dividing the pulse into an irregular pattern.

The music uses an enormous orchestra using unusual instruments. A small list of some of the instruments used in the orchestration of the song are; woodwinds, alto flute, bass clarinet, contrabassoon, trumpets, bass drums, cymbals, tambourine among many other instruments. This provided a blend of great rhythms in the music.

Ostinato is a musical characteristic that features the repetition of a certain phrase over and over again throughout the song. The Ostinato pattern in the song is maintained by the violas and the basses. The bassoons also maintain the Ostinato just as the violas and the basses. This provided a rhythmic pattern that takes place in a time space of less than sixty seconds.

Composers are important figures in the music industry as they develop great styles that are implemented in future generation music. However, most importantly their contribution maintains music history. From various great composers such as Igor Stravinsky, George Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, and Johann Sebastian Bach came up with new aspects and concepts that gave importance to music. In their memory music’s history is still remembered. It has become an inspiration to other composers that are coming up. Through studying the history of music upcoming composers are able to implement knowledge from past music which helps maintain music’s history.

Bela Bartok began playing the drum and piano at an early age. He was born in Hungary and attained his musical education from various schools through scholarships. Early in his musical career he was identified as an atonalist but he gradually adopted the love for folk music. He would often ask a peasant to sing a folk song for him while he would record it in an audio recorder. For a while he studied these songs until he understood their style and from then he began composing his own unique styles. His concept of Concerto for orchestra was a type of music that included several instruments playing in the orchestra to provide rhythm in music (Stevens, 67). His greatest piece began with low brass which consequentially grew to poor energy symphony with the orchestra’s harmonic and musical tools in full energy. The use of English horns, drums, and violins brought out the folk tunes in the orchestra. The concert for orchestra was premiered in the year 1944 by the Boston symphony. There was great similarity in Igor’s orchestration instruments and Bela’s.


Stevens, Hasley,. The life and music of Bela Bartok. New York: Oxford University Press. 1953.