Tempo (New Series)

Research Article

Birds in concert: North American birdsong in Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 3

Maria Anna Harley

On 22 April 1944 Béla Bartók wrote to his son, Peter:

Spring has now indisputably arrived. A kind of ‘kutyafa’ (dogwood) is in bloom, like acacias flowering at home. The birds have become completely drunk with the spring and are putting on concerts the like of which I've never heard. They start with puty-puty-puty ./../../. and end up with various new bird sounds (clearly from later arrivals). The keeps on creating more and more variants.