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Allegro Barbaro (arr Wallace)

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Béla Bartók

Béla Bartók (arr. Tom Wallace)

Subtitle: Adapted from Allegro Barbaro (1911) for Solo Piano

General Info

Year: 1911 / 1995
Duration: c. 3:05
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Arrangers Publishing Co.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $80.00   |   Score Only (print) - $12.50


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Floor Toms
  • Gong
  • Ratchet
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks
  • Triangle
  • Woodblocks
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Allegro Barbaro, BB 63 (Sz. 49), composed in 1911, is one of Béla Bartók's most famous and frequently performed solo piano pieces. The composition is typical of Bartók's style, utilizing folk elements. The work combines Hungarian and Romanian scales; Hungarian peasant music is based on the pentatonic scale, while Romanian music is largely chromatic.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Allegro Barbaro was composed in 1911, but the first performance didn't occur until 1921. According to Maurice Hinson, editor, Bartók premiered the piece in February 1913 in Kecskemet, Hungary. Like many of Bartók's compositions, there are several different editions of Allegro Barbaro. The piece was performed in private by Bartók many times by memory before he even started to notate the music. In many early printed versions of the composition, the tempo markings were indicated at a much slower speed. These indications would confuse musicians because the recordings of Bartók performing his own composition were much faster than indicated. Also, many times certain accents and dynamics would be performed by the composer but would not make it to paper because each performance was different. The publication of the composition that took place in 1918 in Vienna has become to standard and final edition. Allegro Barbaro is a frequent choice of students to orchestrate, in particular for their college studies.

With apologies to the Bartok purists, this transcription for winds and percussion has been described by different reviewers as everywhere from "heavy metal: classical style” to a rather succinct “terribly awful”. But I wonder, if Bartok had had the modern wind and percussion ensemble at his disposal, would the “barbaro” have become more “barbarous” than ever?

- Program Note by David Holsinger for the Lee University Wind Ensemble concert program, 30 November 2016


State Ratings

  • Mississippi: V-A
  • North Carolina: IV
  • South Carolina: IV
  • Tennessee: IV
  • Virginia: IV


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Allegro Barbaro (Bartók), Wikipedia
  • Wallace, T.; Bartók, B. (1995). Allegro Barbaro : Adapted from Allegro Barbaro (1911) for Solo Piano [score]. Arrangers Publishing Co.: [Nashville, Tenn.]