The source from which Hungarian composer Béla Bartók drew his musical language was south-eastern European folklore, which he collected and studied along with Zoltán Kodály. On the basis of this folklore, Bartók developed a Hungarian idiom of modern music, in which he used rhythmic and harmonic structures that vary from the traditional European musical language. "This is why the study of so much peasant music was so decisively significant for me, because it gave me the possibility of liberating myself from the autarchy of the previous major-minor system”, said Bartók in his autobiography, explaining his interest in folklore. Bartók, who emigrated to the United States in 1940 to escape right-wing, nationalistic oppression in his homeland, ranks today among the most-performed composers of the 20th century. His series of educational piano pieces Mikrokosmos set new standards in music education.
born on March 25,1881 in Nagyszentmiklós (Hungary, today: Sînnicolau, Rumania)