From the Publisher
Béla Bartók's series of piano pieces For Children, based on folk melodies, was written around the end of the first decade of the 20th century. The pieces were published shortly afterwards by the Hungarian publisher Károly Rozsnyai. That first publication was in four volumes, the first two containing a total of 42 pieces based on Hungarian folk tunes, the third and fourth containing 43 pieces based on Slovakian folk tunes. In 1943, whilst in the United States, Bartók prepared a revised version of the collection for the publishers Boosey & Hawkes. The revisions were minimal: two Hungarian and four Slovakian songs were eliminated, there were a few minor alterations incorporating new ideas, some of the pieces previously written with accidentals had key signatures added, a few pieces were rewritten with changed meters; some fingerings were added or changed. The composer prepared the revised 1943 edition by using copies of the first edition on which he marked minor changes; where the changes were more extensive, fresh manuscript was written and a new version engraved. However, much of the engraving of the first edition was preserved in the 1943 edition. Publication took place in 1946, after the composer's death; it is not known if he saw final proofs prior to printing. The revised edition was published in two volumes, which now have been published together as one volume for the first time.
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).