This may be a subject that has been widely discussed since I was in grad school, I dunno, I don’t ride the theory circuits much. But does anyone know why Bartok so meticulously put timings on each section of his scores, showing exactly how long they were supposed to last? Joseph Szigeti asked Bartok about it, and he evidently replied, “It isn’t as if I said: ‘This must take six minutes, 22 seconds…’ but I simply go on record that when I play it the duration is six minutes, 22 seconds.” I can buy that with Bartok’s piano pieces, and there have been studies comparing the timing of his recordings with that given in the scores. But with ensemble works like the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, or even an orchestra piece like Music for SP&C, how did he know? I’ve read that he timed his performances, divided by the number of beats, and used the timings to set the metronome markings. What, did he look at his watch while conducting? Anyone know more than I do? It seems totally crazy to me, and students will ask again this year, as they do.