While this set of six folk tune arrangements can generally be performed complete in less than five minutes, it is still a significant collection in the composer's large canon of folk music adaptations. Certainly Bartók thought so since he orchestrated the whole group in 1917, and allowed several musician-friends to fashion additional versions: one each for string orchestra (Willner), violin and piano (Zoltan Szekely), and for chamber orchestra (Wilke). No. 4, Dance of Buchum, offers one of the more exotic and memorable tunes in the set.
Its music is mysterious and subdued, gently playful and lonely, having a mixture of many moods in its exotic allure and straightforward expressive manner. The charming melody comes from the Buscum people from Torda-Aranyos. As was Bartók's practice in the arrangements in this set, the harmonies he creates are simple but atmospheric and quite appropriate for the ethnic flavors of the tune. Lasting less than three-quarters of a minute, this delightful piece will linger in the ear long after the first or second hearing.