"It is of great importance," Bartók wrote, "that anyone who is involved with music should be able to obtain [composers'] works in editions which interpret the author's intentions, not of such kind that may have been arbitrarily modified or forged by some adapter." Bartók's wish has finally been realized in his own work. This collection of early piano music is the second volume in the Bartók Archive Edition, the only edition of the great Hungarian composer to be based on corrections from his memorabilia or original editions in the New York Bartók Archive. Comparison has also been made with Hungarian editions published since 1951, which are based on holdings of the Budapest Bartók Archivum. It is appropriate to continue the Bartók Archive Edition with a second volume of piano music, for, as Grove's Dictionary notes: "The pianoforte was his most natural medium of expression. It was the pianoforte that made Bartók express his harmonic thought with such directions." This volume emphasizes Bartók's lifelong work both with East European folk music, and with music for children and student pianists. The 85 short pieces in For Children (1908/9) offer melodies and lyrics from Hungarian and Slovakian folk songs. The piano pieces in this volume and in Series I offer young or beginning pianists material that is at once instructive and eye-opening to the sounds of modern music. Benjamin Suchoff, trustee of the Bartók Estate and professor at the Center for Contemporary Arts and Letters of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, edited this Archive Edition and provided the Introduction, translations of the folk-song texts, and musicological scholarship that will ensure definitive status for this edition. Bartók is a keystone composer of the 20th century, especially for the piano; with this edition, music buyers have the composer's authentic, authoritative last word.