Bartók's Mikrokosmos is comprised of six volumes of progressive piano studies. He began writing Mikrokosmos in 1926 and meant it to be an exercise book for his son, Péter. The collection grew to six volumes in total. The third and fourth contain moderate to advanced exercises, while the final two volumes are considered to be for the professional pianist and often appear on recitals and concerts.
Bartók seems to be an unavoidable pedant. He is considered to be one of the founders of ethnomusicology, the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts. With Zoltán Kodály, Bartók would go into the Hungarian countryside and collect the local folk music. Each would later incorporate elements of native folk music into their own compositions.