Bartok - Mikrokosmos Book 1 - 91)* Syncopation(1)

What's the meaning of the notes in between the Grand Staff?

Bartok - Mikrokosmos Book 1 - 9<

1 Answer 1


The star in the middle of the staff actually points us to a footnote given at the end of this first book. In my edition (Boosey & Hawkes), the footnote states:

The rhythmic feeling of the suspensions should be emphasized by some energetic movement such as tapping with the foot in the places marked by rhythmic signatures between the staves.

From a pedagogical standpoint, this helps the performer place the next pitch accurately within the measure. Young musicians often speed through long held notes, so forcing a young player to think about beat 1 of the second measure will help them more successfully play beat 2.

  • 3
    "Young musicians often speed through long held notes" Good point. Also relevant here is the related flaw that shorter notes following longer notes can be accelerated: long waits make for impatience. Classic example: the Bb minor fugue in WTC Book 1. This gets a rant in Neuhaus' book.
    – user48353
    Commented Mar 30, 2019 at 21:26

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