Hungarian mode [Hungarian scale].
See Gypsy scale.
Hungarian Quartet (i).
String quartet. It was founded in Budapest in 1909 by Imre Waldbauer (b Budapest, 13 April 1892; d Iowa City, 3 Dec 1953), János Temesváry (b Szamosújvár, 12 Dec 1891; d Budapest, 8 Nov 1964), the composer and musicologist Antal Molnár (b Budapest, 7 Jan 1890; d Budapest, 7 Dec 1983) and Jenő Kerpely (b Budapest, 1 Dec 1885; d Los Angeles, 1954). Known locally as the Waldbauer-Kerpely Quartet, it had some 100 rehearsals before giving the premières of the first quartets of Kodály and Bartók in Budapest on 17 and 19 March 1910. Later that year Debussy's Quartet was performed with the composer present (his only Budapest concert) and in 1911 the ensemble toured the Netherlands. In 1912 Molnár was replaced on viola by another musicologist, Egon Kornstein (b Nagyszalonta, 22 May 1891; d Paris, 3 Dec 1987). The Hungarian Quartet became its country's leading chamber ensemble, performing the standard repertory as well as introducing home audiences to a wide range of new music. Its other premières included Bartók's Second, Third and Fourth Quartets and Kodály's Second. After 1923, when Kornstein emigrated to the USA (changing his name to Egon F. Kenton), it had difficulty in keeping a regular violist and its playing slightly declined; but Temesváry stayed until the mid-1930s and the leader and cellist (who both taught at the Liszt Academy of Music) remained constant throughout. Its last concert, including the Hungarian première of Bartók's Sixth Quartet, was given in 1946. Waldbauer and Kerpely then emigrated to the USA. Although of enormous significance both locally and internationally, the quartet made no recordings; its playing style reportedly continued the tradition of emotional warmth and Romantic verve established by its teachers Hubay and Popper.
Hungarian Quartet (ii).
String quartet. It was founded in 1935 in Budapest as the New Hungarian Quartet by Sándor Végh, Péter Szervánszky (soon replaced by Lászlo Halmos), Dénes Koromzay (b Budapest, 18 May 1913) and Vilmos Palotai (b Budapest, 21 May 1904; d Switzerland, 1972). In 1936 it gave the Austrian and Hungarian premières of Bartók's Fifth Quartet. In 1937 Zoltán Székely (b Kocs, 8 Dec 1903) – a close associate of Bartók – became leader, Végh replacing Halmos as second violinist for a year before giving way to Alexandre Moskowsky (b Kerch, Crimea, 22 Oct 1901; d Manchester, 1969). Trapped in the Netherlands under German occupation during World War II, the group's members played in orchestras and made an intensive study of Beethoven's quartets. After the war they re-emerged as the Hungarian Quartet, made their US début in 1948 and based themselves at the University of Southern California from 1950. Gábor Magyar (bBudapest, 5 May 1914) took over as cellist in 1956 and Mihály Kuttner (bBudapest, 9 Dec 1918; d Bloomington, IN, 1975) as second violinist in 1959. In its final phase before disbanding in 1972, the ensemble played in an even more homogeneous fashion, with a warmer, less tense approach than hitherto, winning plaudits for its 1961 recording of Bartók's quartets. The Beethoven cycle was recorded twice, with more profundity in 1965 than in 1953. Celebrated for playing Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Brahms, the Hungarian Quartet gave the premières of works by Alan Bush, van Dieren, Pijper, Veress, Milhaud, Effinger and Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
D. Legány: A magyar zene krónikája [Chronicle of Hungarian music] (Budapest, 1962), 426ff, 446ff
P.P. Várnai: ‘Hungarian String Quartets’, New Hungarian Quarterly, iv (1963), 225
C. Kenneson: Székely and Bartók: the Story of a Friendship (Portland, OR, 1994)
Country in Central Europe. It was settled in the late 9th century by the Magyars. The introduction of Christianity was completed in the early 11th century by Stephen, who took the title of king. In the 14th century, under kings of various dynasties, its territory included much of central Europe; however, in the 16th century it was invaded and partly conquered by the Turks. By the end of the 17th century the Turks were expelled and the country was united under Habsburg rule. In 1867 the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy was established, but after World War I the Habsburgs were dethroned and the territory of the monarchy was divided; large parts of Hungary were lost, Transylvania being ceded to Romania and the area now known as Slovakia becoming part of the new state of Czechoslovakia. The communist People's Republic was established in 1949 and dissolved in 1989. For a map of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, see Austria, fig.1.
I. Art music
II. Folk music
JANKA SZENDREI (I, 1), DEZSŐ LEGÁNY (I, 2–4), JÁNOS KÁRPÁTI/MELINDA BERLÁSZ, PÉTER HALÁSZ (I, 5), BÁLINT SÁROSI (II, 1, 2, 4, 5, 7), IRÉN KERTÉSZ WILKINSON (II, 3, 6)
I. Art music
1. To 1500.
2. 16th and 17th centuries.
3. 18th century.
4. 19th century.
5. 20th century.
Hungary, §I: Art music
1. To 1500.
The Hungarian tribal alliance first occupied the sparsely populated Carpathian Basin in 895–6. Christianity was adopted there by Prince Géza after 970 and was fully established by his son Stephen (St Stephen), who was crowned king in 1000 using a crown sent by Pope Sylvester II. This date marks the beginning of the Hungarian state and of the recorded history of art music in Hungary. The musical life of the preceding period is only hinted at in historical sources, although analysis of folk music has revealed musical styles which may be remnants of that Eastern heritage.
The adoption of Latin Christianity brought with it the Roman liturgy and liturgical chant, while the introduction of the school system of the Western church created a solid institutional framework for their cultivation. A report of choral singing and instruction is found in the description of the visit to Hungary of the Benedictine Arnoldus of Regensburg (Arnold von Vohburg) in about 1030, and Bishop Gellért of Csanád (d 1046) requested a teacher from Székesfehérvár to share the duties of singing and reading instruction in his newly established school at Csanád. King Stephen had issued orders that every ten villages build a church, and on the basis of early registers it seems that these churches were provided with liturgical chantbooks.
The earliest surviving documents of Gregorian chant in Hungary are the codices that Ladislaus, King of Hungary, donated to the bishopric of Zagreb on the occasion of its establishment between 1090 and 1095. The earliest complete musical codex is the Codex Albensis from the first third of the 12th century, an antiphoner that was probably made for the church of the bishopric of Gyulafehérvár in Transylvania, and that also contains the earliest antiphons in honour of King Stephen. These codices were all written in German (mostly southern German) neumatic notation, but in one early 12th-century manuscript a diastematically-arranged mixed notation assimilating Messine signs can also be observed.
On the evidence of the late 12th-century Pray Codex (H-Bn Mny 1), the introduction of staff notation to Hungary occurred during the mid-12th century. The signs put on the staff were not the German neumes which had been used until then, but an independent set of neumes showing Messine, Italian and German influences. This ‘Esztergom’ or ‘Hungarian’ notation is found in documents from the mid-12th century to the 18th, and the scriptoria devoted to its cultivation were exclusively in the territory of medieval Hungary. It emerged along with liturgical and musical developments through which a characteristic Gregorian repertory, including a system of melodic variants based on earlier traditions, was established in the archdiocese of Esztergom; this use of Esztergom was later adopted by the archdiocese of Kalosca, to which Transylvania, Várad, Csanád and Zagreb also belonged in the Middle Ages, and the thus established mos patriae remained virtually unchanged until 1630.
Chant composition in Hungary goes back to the 11th century, and the creative process continued uninterrupted well beyond the Middle Ages in almost all genres. The most distinguished item in this repertory, by virtue of its literary and musical merits, is Raimundus's rhymed Office for St Stephen of Hungary, composed in the 13th century.
Bendictine monks had played an active part in establishing the Hungarian church, and maintained a school at their monastery of St Martin (now Pannonhalma), which was well provided with books in the 11th century and which also gave instruction in musica theoretica. Nonetheless, of their subsequent musical practice only sporadic documents survived. The Dominicans, Franciscans and Augustinians, on the other hand, continued to cultivate their own repertories and chant variants, assisted by their own musical notation, even in their Hungarian monasteries; thus their liturgical musical activities were not influenced by Hungarian musical customs.
In the later Middle Ages social development, trade relations, visits to universities, urbanization and settlement policy led to changes in liturgical musical culture within the Hungarian diocesan structure itself. The influence of the liturgical chant repertory, melodic variants, and notational practices of central Europe first affected liturgical singing in urban parish churches, especially in regions with mixed populations. By the end of the Middle Ages traditional notational practices had declined in rural regions of Hungary as well. The old Esztergom notation became a cursive script for everyday use widely practised in schools (see Szendrei B1983, B1988 SMH), but was preserved as a codex script only by extremely conservative scriptoria. For notating ornamented codices, a new neume mixture was developed in the 15th century which combined the Esztergom and the gothicized Messine-German mixed notations; this was stylized in the course of the century in accordance with Renaissance tastes.
The cathedral, parish and monastic schools remained the chief institutions of music education until the end of the Middle Ages. Chapter statutes fixed regular times for practising Gregorian chant and for learning to read and write it. All students sang with a Gregorian choir at church every day (selected choirboys excelled in polyphonic singing and provided music for the most important masses). László Szalkai's tract with tonary of 1490 documents the high level of instruction in music theory and notation at the school in Sárospatak. Conclusions for the teaching of musica theoretica in Hungary can be drawn from medieval book-lists and fragmentarily surviving sources. Apart from the studium generale of the Dominican friars in Buda, studies at universities abroad (Paris, Padua, Prague, Vienna, Kraków) offered the best possibilities to pursue higher music theoretical studies.
Polyphony may have started with binatim singing, which is mentioned from the 13th century onwards, although the first extant records with musical notation are later. Some fragmentary 14th-century sources survive (e.g. H-Bs S.Fr.1.m. 146, Mezey L. 1988), and examples from all over the country and from a variety of social settings crop up in the 15th century (H-Efkö I, Efkö 178, Bn clmae 366, etc.). The next group of polyphony is made up of two- and four-part cantiones, conductus-like Benedicamus tropes and rondelli, some of which are also known from sources copied outside Hungary. This repertory, in which some pieces show the indirect influence of the Ars Nova, belonged to the urban litterati. The two most essential (though fragmentary) sources emerged in Kassa (now Košice) (Bn clmae 534, SK-BRu Inc.318-I and BRmp Inc.33).
From the end of the 14th-century there survive an Italianate cantelina mass and a fragmentary polytextual motet, and from the second half of the 15th century there are three-part liturgical compositions which elaborate a cantus firmus with two rhythmically more complex parts. Some favourite western European items of this kind, such as Walter Frye's Ave regina celorum, were also known in Hungary. The most important sources for this tradition are the so-called Kassa fragments now preserved in Bratislava. There are two fragmentary sources of secular polyphony, one each from the 14th and 15th centuries, and some examples of the four-part Renaissance motet based on common chord foundation surviving in peripheral or occasional sources. It is confirmed by various witnesses that polyphony was widespread by the end of the Middle Ages; for example, Szalkai's tract discusses cantus planus and mentions musica composita, cantus organus and mensuristae. According to a sermon in Hungarian from the same period, the saints sing praises in heaven with tenor, discantus and contratenor.
In the 12th and 13th centuries the royal court of Hungary at Esztergom frequently welcomed musicians from abroad. (In earlier times the order of singers known as the regösök or combibatores had played a decisive role at court and had kept alive the ancient eastern traditions.) At the turn of the 12th century the two famous troubadours Gaucelm Faidit and Peire Vidal were in King Emerich's entourage. A steady court chapel was established in the 14th century, by which time Buda was the seat of the royal court (the Angevins entertained German Minnesinger like Peter Suchenwirt, Heinrich der Teichner and Heinrich von Müglen at their court). Members of the court chapel of Sigismund of Luxembourg, who reigned in the early 15th century, are known by name, as are other Hungarian-born and immigrant singers. In the same century Oswald von Wolkenstein and later Michel Beheim were the guests of and worked for the Hungarian kings. During the reign of King Matthias Corvinus (1458–1490), who married Beatrix of Aragon in 1476, the choir of the royal court could vie with the best European ensembles, as the papal legate Bartolomeo de Maraschi reported. According to the historian Bonfini, the king engaged singers from France and Germany for his famous ensemble. In several descriptions of court ceremonies and festive masses, mention is made of the high standard of polyphonic music provided by the court chapel. Its repertory comprised polyphonic music from the Netherlands, Burgundy, Germany and Italy. At the court of King Matthias and his successors singers and instrumentalists from all over Europe enlarged Hungarian musical horizons, among them Master Philip of Holland, Georg Kurz, Johannes Stockem, Erasmus Lapicida, Verjus, Sandrachino, Jacobus Barbireau, Johannes Bisth, Thomas Stoltzer, the organist Grimpeck and Wolfgang Grefinger. However, sources emphasize the activity of native Hungarian choirboys too. The radiating force of the musical culture of Buda Castle is borne out by reports saying that in Buda and in other Hungarian towns students greeted prominent guests by singing Gregorian chant or mensural polyphony.
Evidence of instrumental music can be found only in charters and chronicles. The earliest surviving information concerns the organization of court musicians (wind players and drummers): the kings of the House of Árpád settled the musicians and their families in separate villages and organized them in military structures. Chronicles repeatedly mention the excellent performance of Hungarian military bandsmen when they marched up as members of the royal escort abroad, or welcomed foreign visitors to Hungary.
The charters mention organists next. The first reference to an organ dates from the end of the 13th century. Later, in the course of the 14th and 15th centuries, a number of town churches had organs built, renewed or extended. The Pauline friars gained particular distinction in organ building and playing.
From the 14th–15th centuries information on instrumentalists survives from almost every region of the country: in the more traditional regions pipers, violinists and bagpipe players are mentioned most often, while in towns in the process of modernization lute and virginals also appear. Evidence of virginals studies at a school towards the end of the Middle Ages can also be found. The high standard of lute playing in Hungary can be inferred from the international success of Hungarian-trained lutenists such as Valentin Bakfark.
The highest level of instrumental culture was that of the royal and pontifical courts. At the end of the 15th century excellent instrumentalists, often of foreign origin, were active primarily in the queen's entourage (for example, the lutenist Pietrobono de Burzellis in around 1486); there is also evidence of domestic music-making. It seems that these instrumentalists performed the most advanced vocal polyphonic items of the time in a chamber music-like manner.
Written evidence on singing in the vernacular can be found in two areas. Indirect evidence on the popularity of epic singing (‘heroic songs’) survives from the age of the Árpáds; the 15th-century chroniclers added some particulars about vernacular singers. Bonfini stressed that there was no essential difference between reciting a song at the royal court or among the people. An ancient epic-singing tradition seems to have survived until the end of the Middle Ages and to have been enlarged by topics from the Christian tradition, recent Hungarian history, and European mythology, as well as by European-style musical elements. The few poetic works written down around 1500 may be expressions of this epic tradition, which survived, though in a transformed state, in the ‘historic’ poetry which emerged in the mid-16th century. Its literary style can be reconstructed, by and large, by means of the latter, while the melodies associated with some texts (for example, the song of praise of King Ladislaus) can be determined fairly precisely.
Another important sphere of vernacular song was congregational singing in church. As elsewhere in Europe, the pieces in question were mostly used at the periphery of the liturgy (sermons, processions) rather than during the liturgy itself. Although this repertory was not large, it spread throughout the country. The majority of pieces were translations of cantiones known in other countries as well, but there are also Latin-Hungarian or exclusively Hungarian songs documented from Hungary alone. Within this group there survive also a number of Latin-Hungarian songs known only in a narrow circle and sung for the most part in devotional societies influenced by monks, and some songs known exclusively in the Hungarian language. Some of these pieces were later more widely distributed, and became popular sacred folksongs of the 16th century.
The only written document of secular vernacular song is a fragmentary virág-ének or ‘flower song’ (so called because of the subject matter of its refrain) from Sopron. However, folk music research has traced 20th-century remnants of a rich medieval secular musical culture by looking at texts, functions, musical styles and parallels from other countries. The first group is constituted by ancient ritual songs associated with the calendar year (for example, the summer solstice, 26 December and the beginning of the year, Pentecost etc.). The second group consists of court or middle-class musical customs: indoor games accompanied by singing that found their way to the general populace and became transformed through use by them (elements of dramatic games, the songs associated with certain children's games, verse recitation at school, the cries of nightwatchmen etc.). The third group comprises remnants of the medieval virág-ének, which survives in peasant wedding and matchmaking songs. The fourth and final group incorporates the music of entertainments and medieval dance melodies, and can be reconstructed by means of the bagpipe songs and swineherds' dances of Hungarian folk music; it has several counterparts in the ‘lower-style’ European material which survives in written notation.
A characteristic of these musical genres is that although they can be clearly separated from the ancient styles of Hungarian folk music and are presumably of western European origin, they have survived in the process of assimilation to a continuous musical taste. Their range is narrow, usually no more than five or six notes, modal melodies are used, though sporadically, and the tonality is variable. As far as form is concerned, a striking feature is the frequency of two- and three-line forms, asymmetric structures, pre-strophic formations and forms with refrain, as compared with the typical isosyllabic-isorhythmic four-section structure of Hungarian folksongs.
Hungary, §I: Art music