Haack [Haacke, Haak, Haake], Friedrich Wilhelm

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II. Folk music

The Hungarian people, who belong to the Finno-Ugric language group, arrived in their present homeland from the east and occupied it definitively in the 9th century. Earlier, their residence on the borders of Europe and Asia had brought them into contact not only with closely related peoples (the Vogul and the Ostyak in western Siberia, the Mari in the Volga valley) but also with many other groups, especially Turkic peoples. The roots of Hungarian music go back to this period of direct contact with Asians. In their new central European home they adopted Christianity during the 10th century, and thus came into closer touch with the musical life of Europe. This had an increasingly decisive influence on the later evolution of their music.

According to the definition of Kodály and Bartók, Hungarian folk music is the unwritten music surviving in the peasant tradition. It is generally distinguished from those melodies created in the 19th century (mainly in the second half of the century) by middle-class amateur composers which also spread largely in unwritten form: in contemporary collections these songs were also called folksongs. The modern specialist term for them is népies dal (‘song in the folk style’), though they are also known as nóta (popular melody) or magyar nóta (Hungarian melody). As Gypsy bands led the way in popularizing them, they are also referred to as cigányzene (Gypsy music). The musical aspect of Hungary’s working-class folklore – apart from its obvious international connections – is related partly to the folk tradition and partly to popular art song.

1. Vocal music.

2. Bartók’s classification of musical style.

3. Roma music.

4. Instrumental music.

5. Instruments.

6. Recent trends.

7. Collectors, collections, research.


Hungary, §II: Folk music

1. Vocal music.

Children’s songs and some ritual songs are performed in rhythmically inflected speech. The most characteristic tonal system of such songs is that of the major hexachord, although two-note, three-note, tetrachordal and pentachordal melodies are also common. The pentatonic system is not found in children’s songs and regös songs. Units of two 2/4 bars, or motifs, are repeated in varied form according to the rhythm demanded by the text, and are supplemented by fresh motifs according to the demands of the action (in children’s games). Among ritual songs, similar in structure to the children’s songs, are the regös songs. The regölés ritual takes place between Christmas and the New Year (preferably the day after Christmas Day): a group of older boys or men go from house to house, greeting the villagers with the good wishes expressed in the regös song. Like the Slav koleda and the Romanian colindat customs, the regölés once formed part of fertility rites performed at the winter solstice.

The only totally improvised genre in vocal Hungarian folk music, the Lament, is performed during mourning of the deceased by the adult female relatives. They use traditional formulae, improvising both text and melody in recitative style. Descending melodic formulae used in laments are either penta/tetrachordal or pentatonic. In a considerable number, a descending melody based on a major pentachord is repeated a variable number of times arriving by irregular sequence on the second or first note of the pentachord. This melodic pattern may be extended downwards through the whole octave (ex.1). The pentatonic model in its wider form may fall by a major 9th and in its narrower form by a 5th or 6th. In laments with a wider compass, recitation generally takes place between the third degree and the tonic, whereas in those with a narrower compass it tends to occur on the fifth and fourth degrees below the tonic.

Folksongs not linked to specific occasions, together with some of the ritual songs (mainly wedding and matchmaking songs), are strophic in form. With relatively few exceptions the verses consist of four lines and are mostly lyrical. The loosely connected lyrical verses can be sung to various melodies. The songs – as is usual in Hungarian folk music – are monophonic. In traditional Hungarian singing there is no shading of dynamics except in the laments. The ideal voice is steady and vigorous, slightly harsh or tense (as if forced from the throat), free of sentimentality, chiefly male and high in register.

Hungary, §II: Folk music

2. Bartók’s classification of musical style.

Bartók distinguished two main styles of Hungarian folksong, the ‘old’ (‘class A’) and the ‘new’ (‘class B’). However, according to Bartók’s statistics, these two types comprise barely 40% of the corpus of songs. The most distinctive features of the ‘old style’ are the anhemitonic pentatonic scale and a descending melodic structure, in which the second half of the melody is a transposition (if not always exact) of the first, a 5th lower. Following Bartók and Kodály, it has been speculated that the 5th-shift structure was a result of direct contact between the Hungarians and ethnic communities from East Europe, such as the Mari and Chuvash of the Volga region. This remains speculation.

Recent research indicates that even in Bartók’s ‘old style’ diverse strata may be discerned. In addition, 60% of vocal melodies referred to by Bartók as a mixed class (‘class C’) could be arranged in definite style categories. In his work A magyar dal könyve (‘An anthology of Hungarian songs’, 1984), László Dobszay distinguishes about 17 style-classes of Hungarian melodies including orally-transmitted hymns. These style-classes include the diatonic lament, ‘psalmodizing’, descending (5th-shifting) pentatonic songs, bagpipe and ‘swineherd’ songs, ecclesiastical and secular songs from the 16th to 18th centuries, 18th-century student songs, 19th-century popular art songs and Bartók’s ‘new style’ songs. The diatonic lament and the pentatonic lament with its ‘psalmodizing’ parts relate also to strophic songs (ex.2).

Similarities with Gregorian chant are found in the ‘old style’ which may stem from an earlier common source. The roots of folk hymns also lead back in part to Gregorian chant. The folk hymn, which has not yet been adequately investigated, basically followed the same path of development as the folksong: if the texts of the hymns were to some extent laid down by ecclesiastical practice, their melodies varied considerably, intermingling with secular tunes over the centuries and repeatedly coming under new influences. In this way not only did a specific Hungarian repertory evolve, but (as with secular folk music) distinct regional dialects developed within it.

The musical currents and fashions of western Europe from the Middle Ages onwards also influenced Hungarian folk music (ex.3 shows a volta tune printed in 1588 and its variant as a Hungarian children’s song), as did the music of neighbouring peoples – Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, South Slavs, Romanians and Germans. The sparse and largely incomplete written records of Hungarian music history can be supplemented or even reconstructed with the aid of folk music (in ex.4 for instance, a 17th-century melody is shown in its early 18th-century notation and in the version that has survived in oral tradition).

A decisive majority of more recent Hungarian folksongs can be classified in Bartók’s ‘new style’. According to his calculations some 800 groups of variants, or basic melody types, belong to it. The chief characteristic of the style is the repetitive, arched melodic structure. The main types of structure are AA5A5A, ABBA, AA5BA and AABA (A5 indicates an upward transposition by a 5th). In this style the rhythm is almost exclusively of the rigid, dance-like variety, adapting to the text as it goes. The modes may be pentatonic, D, A or G mode, or even the common major scale. At the beginning of the 20th century Kodály and Bartók witnessed the flourishing of the ‘new style’, particularly among the young villagers. The style’s roots, however, reach far back into European and Hungarian tradition. The upward transposition of a 5th and the symmetrical, arched melodic structure probably belong to the European tradition; there are examples to be found in the sequences and hymns in Hungary from the 12th century onwards. The upward transposition of a 5th can also be considered a reversal of the downward 5th-shift structure of the ‘old style’. Pentatonic patterns, common in ‘new-style’ folksongs (ex.5), similarly provide an organic connection with the ‘old style’.

An important part in the definitive evolution of the ‘new-style’ folksong was played by the popular art song, the magyar nóta, which was a characteristic urban song of the second half of the 19th century. It is distinguished from the folksong in musical approach rather than form; its melodic figures are determined by the system of functional harmony based on the major–minor system (ex.6). In practice, however, there is no sharp division between folksong and popular art song. A number of these popular art songs have spread into rural areas, have been altered and simplified, have been adapted to traditional folksong patterns and have merged into the mass of newer folksongs; they have also influenced traditional folk music in moving towards the major–minor system and they have accelerated the development of the ‘new style’.

Hungary, §II: Folk music

3. Roma music.

Vlach Gypsies migrated to Hungary in large numbers after the abolition of bond-serfdom in Romania in the mid-19th century. There they encountered a substantial population of Romungre Gypsies, who had become partly or ostensibly ‘Magyarized’ during four centuries of settlement in Hungary. Many of the Romungre were already professional music-makers celebrated by their Magyar ‘hosts’ as active participants in the creation of Verbunkos instrumental music, a key element in Hungary’s emerging national culture and music after the 1848 Revolution. In this more Westernized cultural milieu, the still Romany-speaking Vlach Gypsies, who chose to continue their Transylvanian Hungarian- and Romanian-influenced vocal traditions each of which were complex fusions, were marginalized. This produced at one level in Hungary a strong cultural–musical division between three main Roma groups: the Romungre, who play instrumental music; the Vlach Gypsies, with their fusion of vocal traditions; and the Boyash, who entered Hungary at around the same time as the Vlach Gypsies but were more strongly linked to Romanian culture, language and musical traditions. However, as recent research into the domestic traditions of the Romungre and Boyash Gypsies show, these three practices overlap at another level.

(i) Boyash.

The Boyash Roma of Hungary, who divide into three groups – Ard’elans, Muncans and Ticans – speak an antiquated Romanian dialect in addition to Hungarian. Available information predominantly concerns the Ard’elans. As with the Vlach Roma, their society is structured in endogamous ‘clans’ and order is maintained through their own community laws. There is, however, no trace of Romany in Boyash language. The traditional economic occupation of the Ard’elans centres around making wooden tubs for household use, which ties them more than the Vlach Roma to land. Boyash song lyrics and life stories tell of hard labour for no reward, a topic which is absent from Vlach or Magyar Roma song lyrics, and which suggests a closer relationship to the experiences and ethos of peasant cultures.

The Boyash Roma repertory includes a diminishing number of Christmas carols in a narrow pentachordal range (variants of Romanian colindas ), children’s songs and lullabies. Their ‘slow song’ repertory, called ‘listening songs’, ‘sad songs’, ‘tearful songs’ or ‘modest songs’, is performed parlando rubato and differs from Vlach and Romungre repertories. It comprises ballads and lyric songs. Ballad melodies consist of five descending lines of eight syllables; the older lyric songs have three descending octosyllabic lines, often with a cadence of VII, which is characteristic of Romanian music. Four-line melodies relate to laments and are in pentatonic, Aeolian or Mixolydean modes originally with a descending contour, but this has increasingly changed into an arch form under the influence of ‘new-style’ Hungarian songs.

Boyash dance tunes include some Romanian material but the majority are linked to the ‘new-style’ Hungarian folksong genre. The ‘rolling’ typical of Vlach Gypsy performance is found only among the Ticans who live close to the Vlach Roma. There is usually one textual verse; the rest of the melody is hummed. A selection of Romanian and Hungarian songs (magyar nóta) is also used, the latter with texts translated into Romanian and, in southern Hungary, adaptations from southern Slav materials.

Traditionally, the Boyash distanced themselves both culturally and musically from other Roma groups, but following the political changes of 1989 and in response to calls from Roma politicians for unification of all Hungarian Roma, they have joined the Roma political organization. The popular Vlach Roma group Kalyi Jag included a Boyash song on their LP of 1987, followed by two more in 1989, one of which became the Anthem for Hungarian Roma. As a result, several Boyash popular groups formed, such as Fracilor (‘Brothers’) and Kanizsa Csillagai (‘Stars of Kanizsa’) who fused Vlach Gypsy material and elements of performance style with their own in acknowlegment of the newly-found unity.

(ii) Vlach Gypsies.

Vlach Gypsies divide their repertory into slow-songs (loki djili), also more recently referred to as listening- or revelling-songs (halgatośo or mulatośo djili), and dance- or cracking-songs (khelimaski or pattogośo djili). In the slow genre, they differentiate between their own Gypsy songs (Romani djili) and other songs (Ungriko djili), which are largely comprised of Hungarian nóta but include some Romanian and Serbian folk and Gypsy songs. In predominantly Romany contexts, they prefer to sing their own songs in Romany. This language choice, together with performance styles and Romany subject matter, are essential elements of what they refer to as ‘true speech’.

The tonal structure of their songs is diverse: not just major and minor scales are used but also modes akin to Aeolian, Mixolydian and Dorian and their reduced hexa- or pentachordic equivalents, though not the shifts of a 5th associated with older pentatonic Hungarian songs. Contours are mostly descending but individual performances may feature ‘octave breaks’ that create a much larger tonal space. The rubato tempo used is common to lyrical songs of Hungary and other parts of eastern Europe. However, there is a trochaic lilt within the poetical line and in the pauses before the last tones of the second and especially fourth cadences (ex.7) that relates to the Romany language and its concept of ‘silence’. Cadences are marked tonally by a characteristic descent from the fourth to the second to the tonic, and a lower leading note before the tonic may be used as ornamentation. The melodic structure is harmonically based rather than based on the traditional Hungarian structure of 4ths and 5ths. These overall features of traditional Vlach Gypsy songs are also incorporated into adapted songs.

The performance style of Vlach Gypsy loki djili in Hungary is predominantly unison singing in subtle heterophony with a lead support structure, which near the Ukrainian border changes to partial polyphony at the cadences of ‘lead’ and ‘chorus’. In the last decades of the 20th century, professional urban Vlach Gypsy performers developed this into full polyphony. Performance roles are interchangeable, with leaders taking supportive roles in turn, as in Flamenco. Some Vlach Gypsies suggest a parallel between their own performance structure and that of professional Romungre instrumental playing, which calls upon the band (banda) to follow the leader (primás), a practice also discernible in the Manush and Sinti jazz tradition with its alternation of solos within a piece and change of instrumental lead in different compositions. A similar concept of group support has also been noted in the solo-dominated Irish Traveller tradition in which group members hold hands during the performance.

Hungarian Vlach Gypsies, like other Roma, seem to be less concerned with distinguishing ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’ in dance-songs (fig.1) as both the performance and the dancing transform what are frequently adapted Hungarian songs into forms closer to their own Romany aesthetics. Performances of khelimaski djili include a strong emphasis on quaver divisions of a 2/4 or 4/4 metric structure, with a vocal accompaniment that uses various techniques on the off-beat. Most prominent of these are the szájbőgő (‘mouth bass’), which incorporates aspects of the bass and/or viola parts of Romungre instrumental traditions, and pergétes (‘rolling’), which metrically divides longer values into smaller ones, using slight alteration of the melody and accentuation of off-beats. Additional sounds created by dancers reinforce or counterpoint the vocal metrical structure (ex.8): men slap their bodies, women snap their fingers (pittyegetés), and both shout exclamations, chant rhythmically (with vocal encouragement from the audience) and stamp.

The overall effect of these Hungarian Vlach Gypsy dance-songs is similar to that of the chico genres of flamenco, such as alegrías or rumba flamenco, where zapateado (‘foot-work’), palmas (‘clapping’), pitos (‘finger-snapping’) and jaleo (‘shouts of encouragement’) add an orchestral dimension to the performance of the cantaor and guitar. Both in Hungarian Vlach Gypsy and Spanish Gitano genres, this results in an emotionally intense performance similar to that of ‘sad’ songs but which by contrast affirms extreme joy and happiness. The provision of rhythmic accompaniment to dance-songs by using household utensils such as spoons, water-cans (fig.2) and table-tops among Hungarian Vlach Gypsies or baking pans (tepšija) among the Balkan Roma, also has echoes in the flamenco tradition, where an anvil, box or box-top may be struck to provide the pulse for the otherwise solo vocal performance of the tonás and martinetes.

(iii) Romungre (Magyar Gypsies).

For centuries, the Romungres have performed for the dominant society, playing primarily instrumental rather than vocal music. However, their in-group practice comprises predominantly vocal music accompanied by acoustic or amplified guitar(s). Synthesizers are becoming popular and fewer musicians are playing traditional instruments such as the violin or double bass.

The Romungre vocal repertory comprises a mixture of Hungarian and Gypsy songs (nóta), which the older generation clearly differentiate from one another. Some Gypsy songs are the same as or similar to those in the Vlach Gypsy repertory. Dance-songs are similar to Vlach Roma songs but less ‘rolling’ and mouth bass is used. A selection of current popular hits is performed, with an underlying rhythmic pattern, beguin (similar to the ‘tango’ among Vlach Gypsies). In this genre, unlike Gypsy dance proper, couples hold each other as they dance. The basic steps are simple and executed on the main beats with off-beats marked by subtle body movements. The dance includes quasi-choreographed turns or half turns. This type of song may also be danced by couples individually in a traditional ‘Gypsy’ manner, with hands held high, and rapid footwork by both women and men (the latter using more elaborate figures). Romungre dance is similar to Vlach Roma dance in that both emphasize quaver pulses and off-beats with light steps; they differ in that Romungre men do less jumps, thigh- or heel-slapping.

Singing in 3rds (terc) – which also involves parts in lower 3rds, 4ths (quarts) and 5ths (quints) thereby creating a whole ‘choir’ to accompany the main melody – is a feature that Romungres emphasize as uniquely their own. Singers cite traditional string bands as the conceptual model behind their polyphonic singing, pointing out that the guitar accompaniments of the younger generation alter the 3rds. In both generational sub-traditions, however, a good singer must be able to deliver the main melody well and provide a good 3rd when others are singing, an aspect which correlates with the performance practice of the Vlach Roma. In the north-eastern community, the term ‘viola third’ (brácsa terc; referred to as ‘a “minor oriented” third’) supports a relationship with the Gypsy band tradition. Some professional instrumentalists, however, feel that there is little correlation between the harmonies of traditional Gypsy bands and vocal polyphony.

Romungres, like Vlach Romas, shape their musical practice according to their social structure. Social division among Romungres is expressed by localities, including the town or village in which they reside and their own Roma settlement. Community members are divided according to extended families, marked by a specific name or characteristics of an ancestor (e.g. the Puci family) and trace their lineages both matri- and patrilineally. The kinship system also regulates who is invited to social gatherings.

In contrast to Vlach musical practice, performances usually start with a period of discussion without verbal signalling to begin or end. However, both Romungres and Vlachs require that participants behave respectfully towards each other, that all may be allowed to take their turn in lead singing, that a performance is not interrupted by taking over the lead, and that 3rds should be supplied. Taking the lead without knowing all the lyrics is frowned upon because there is a strong link between a particular melody and its text. A new combination, which is one of the attributes of a good singer among the Vlach Roma, is reprimanded among the Romungre.

The musical practices of north-eastern Romungres are similar to those described above with three main differences: they have an adapted genre of religious songs, some of which may only be sung at wakes; they perform a few regös songs; and, being poorer than south-eastern Romungres, they use a smaller range of accompanying instruments.

Hungary, §II: Folk music

4. Instrumental music.

Traditional instrumental music, used in village communities mainly to accompany dances, is played by shepherds, agricultural labourers and village craftsmen. During the 20th century the Moldavian Csángó (a Hungarian ethnic group in Moldavia-Romania) used the flute to accompany dances, while dances performed on the farms of the Hungarian Plain were accompanied by a zither played by each dancer in turn. In the early 20th century those performed at weddings and other major events in the Hungarian Plain were accompanied by a single reed instrument (clarinet) and hurdy-gurdy.

In addition to Gypsy bands, ‘peasant bands’ were fashionable in all parts of Hungary during this period. These were mostly brass bands comprising six to eight members, but many also incorporated the string instruments of Gypsy bands. Professional Gypsy musicians replaced the bagpipe, the traditional dance instrument of past centuries, with the violin. The bagpipe is known to have survived only in northern Hungary, where it was still being played in the period between World War I and II to accompany wedding dances. An ancient melodic motif occurs in the bagpipe repertory: an interlude called aprája (‘diminishing’) in which loose two-bar structures are repeated at random (ex.9). Most instrumental melodies are based on vocal tunes. Some vocal melodies, such as duda nóta (‘bagpipe song’, ex.10) and kanász nóta (‘swineherd song’, ex.11), are also used to accompany dances.

Knowledge of dissemination of the Gypsies in Hungary prior to the 19th century is incomplete. According to the adventure story Ungarischer oder Dacianischer Simplicissimus (Konstanz, 1683), almost every Hungarian nobleman in Transylvania (now a Romanian province) had a Gypsy violinist or locksmith. Kodály’s comment that at the beginning of the 20th century a Gypsy fiddler, also the blacksmith of the village, was the only musician at a Székely-Hungarian wedding in Transylvania, suggests that these two skills were probably combined in a single person. Gypsies also performed as duos.

Transylvanian village Gypsy bands performed dance melodies that have been influenced by 18th- and 19th-century verbunkos music as well as by ancient Hungarian melodies. In the second half of the 18th century, the influence of 18th-century Viennese serenade ensembles is evident in the instrumentaion of the Gypsy bands, to which extra bowed instruments and, from the third decade of the 19th century, one or two clarinets were sometimes added. To satisfy the demands of the developing Hungarian bourgeoisie and particularly the Hungarian nobility, who were the promoters and patrons of Gypsy orchestras, an increasing number of musicians acquired skill in western European musical styles, learning to read music and to apply the rules of classical 18th-century functional harmony. By the end of the 18th century verbunkos (derived from Ger. Werbung: ‘recruiting’), a new genre of instrumental music, had developed. Of the many verbunkos composers the following three are considered most outstanding: a Hungarian nobleman János Lavotta (1764–1820), the Gypsy virtuoso bandleader János Bihari (1764–1827) and antal Csermák (c1774–1822), presumably of Bohemian origin.

From the mid-19th century, the instrumental verbunkos fashion was succeeded by a vocal one: magyar nóta (‘Hungarian song’), also referred to as népies dal (‘popular song’) or népies műdal (‘popular art song’). Like verbunkos music, it was composed, produced by amateurs, and disseminated mostly by Gypsy bands. Consisting of the slow, rhythmically free hallgató (‘for listening’, see ex.6) and csárdás with duple-metre dance rhythm, this genre made up the bulk of the ‘Gypsy music’ repertory until the late 20th century. The best known composers are Béni Egressy (1814–51), Kálmán Simonffy (1831–88), Elemér Szentirmay (1836–1908), the Gypsy Pista Dankó (1858–1903), József Dóczy (1863–1913), Lóránd Fráter (1872–1930) and Arpád Balász (1874–1941).

A Gypsy band consists of at least four members: two violins, one double bass and one cimbalom. The prímás (‘leader’) plays the melody on the violin, while the kontrás (a violinist or more recently a viola player) adds part of the harmonic accompaniment by double-stopping in the required rhythmic pattern. The cimbalom is used primarily as a harmonic instrument, although it also lends itself to playing the melody or a virtuoso variation of it. A representative Gypsy band, however, has at least seven or eight members, including a clarinettist and cellist. The composition of the Gypsy band established in the verbunkos period is characteristic of late 20th-century village Gypsy bands.

In Central Transylvania, three-member ensembles were established consisting of a violinist, a kontrás player (using a viola rather than a violin) and a bass (mostly the size of a cello). The harmonization used by these ensembles is, however, not functional as with urban Gypsy bands but by a modal succession of chords that allows retention of old, even pentatonic melodies. These bands have preserved the style of improvised dance music to a greater degree and have been used as a model for the ‘dance house movement’ of urban youth (see §7 below).

Hungary, §II: Folk music

5. Instruments.

This section considers instruments that played a role in traditional musical life, whether home-made in the traditional way or manufactured commercially. The simplest and oldest instruments (such as the reed-pipe, flute, bagpipe, wooden trumpet and the swineherd’s cow horn), which were easily made at home, were played mainly by shepherds. Day labourers, farmhands and poor peasants (the poorest social stratum of the villages) also used the most inexpensive means of music-making, from improvising rhythmic accompaniments (by tapping or rubbing pots or furniture), to playing the citera (zither), furulya (shepherd flute) and the gombos harmónika (button accordion).

(i) Idiophones.

The facimbalon (‘wooden dulcimer’ or xylophone, fig.3) is primarily the instrument of cimbalom players. The position of its keys is like that of the cimbalom, hence its name. It is chromatically tuned, with a range of g'–a'''. Some simpler and more developed types of struck idiophone are also used, for signalling and for frightening away animals. Of these the kalapácsos kereplő (hammer-clapper, fig.4a), a wooden hammer swinging in a shaft and banging on a wooden board, is used in Catholic church services. The szélkereplő or szélkelep (wind-clapper, fig.4b), used to frighten birds, is operated by a wooden propeller, and its clappers can be made of metal or wood.

Jingles fastened to a stick are sometimes used by shepherds for frightening away animals and are also included in the regölés ritual (traditional New Year greeting; see §2 above). Copper bells and all kinds of iron cattle bells were especially important in the days of extensive animal husbandry. They had not only a signalling but also an aesthetic function: bells of varying shape and size, hence of different pitch, were hung on the animals’ necks, giving an idea of harmony. Cog rattles of different size and shape are used as ritual instruments in the Catholic Church before Easter, as a means of frightening away animals and as children’s toys. The jew’s harp (doromb) was used by country children at the beginning of the 20th century. In regions where the population was poor, troughs were used as scraped idiophones for the accompaniment of dances.

(ii) Membranophones.

Smaller double-headed cylindrical drums (dob) are used by the public announcer to attract attention in villages. The nagydob (bass drum) with cymbals is used in country brass bands. Traces of the zörgősdob (frame drum with jingles), the successor to the shamanic drum and used for ritual purposes, have been found by ethnographers among peasants even in the 20th century. There are two types of friction drum: the köcsögduda, consisting of a pot (köcsög) with a wooden stick that pierces the skin; and the bika (‘bull’), the size of a bucket, with a horsehair cord. The latter is used only by the Csángó people, a Hungarian ethnic group living in Romania. Friction drums are mainly restricted to rituals of the New Year greeting. Mirlitons are usually children’s toys and include a reed tube about a span long, whose hard covering is cut off at one side so that only a thin layer remains underneath, and the tubular part of a hollowed-out gourd with one end covered by a membrane and a round opening at one side serving as a mouth-hole.

(iii) Chordophones.

The kukoricahegedű or cirokhegedű (‘corn fiddle’) is an idiochord instrument about a span long (with one to three strings) made of sorghum stalk or corn stalk, serving as a toy for children. Two are used together, one as the ‘fiddlestick’, the other as the ‘fiddle’ itself. The citera (zither; fig.5), the most widely used instrument among Hungarian peasants, is closely related to the 17th-century German Scheitholt, the Swedish hommel or hummel and the Norwegian langeleik; diatonic variants have a single row of frets, while chromatic variants have two. The strings for the drone accompaniment are tuned to the note of the melody strings, and to the 4th above and the 5th below. The cimbalom (fig.6) is the same type of instrument as the santūr of the Middle East, the German Hackbrett and the English dulcimer. Its use in Hungary may be traced back to the 16th century. The present type of cimbalom used by Gypsy bands was established by Schunda, a manufacturer of musical instruments, in about 1870 in Budapest. The range of this chromatic instrument, equipped with a damper pedal, is usually D to e'''.

The tekerő (hurdy-gurdy; fig.7) became popular in the central regions of Hungary, on the Great Plain, most probably in the 18th century. Semi-professional peasant musicians play mainly traditional dance music on it, either as a solo instrument or, more often, with a melodic instrument (usually the clarinet). If its melody string is tuned to f', the tuning of the two accompanying strings, which provide a drone accompaniment, is B and b: characteristic ‘brayed rhythm’ tunes are produced using the b string (ex.12).

Hungarian peasant or Gypsy violin players in Transylvania sometimes fit on to their violins (of standard shape and tuning) a sympathetic string tuned to a'. Gypsy bands also use the viola, cello and double bass (tuned to standard pitch). Central Transylvanian ensembles put a flat-cut bridge on to the viola performing harmonic and rhythmic accompaniment, so that a triad can be played on its three strings at the same time. In this case the tuning of the viola is g–d'–a.

The gardon, a cello-like instrument, is used as a percussion instrument, with a violin performing the melody, by the Székelys, a Hungarian ethnic group in Transylvania (fig.8); its three or four strings, in most cases tuned to d and D, are on the same level and are sounded with a stick (not a bow), providing a rhythmically articulated drone accompaniment.

(iv) Aerophones.

The pliant ‘bark whistle’ or ‘leaf’ (the leaf of a tree, a piece of birch bark, a piece of celluloid etc.) is used as a melodic instrument mostly by shepherds: the leaf is placed against the lips and blown on its edge. The bullroarer (zugattyú) is a children’s toy. The tube formed by removing the bark of willow branches in spring is used by children to make an end-blown duct flute without finger-holes. Some of the small pottery globular flutes (cserépsíp) made by potters are provided with one or two finger-holes: most of them are in the shape of animals, such as birds or bulls.

The duct flute (furulya) with six finger-holes is the flute most often used to perform melodies: it is 30–50 cm long and its diameter is 14–18 mm. It produces a diatonic major scale. The rarely found double flute (kettős furulya) consists of two pipes, one like that of the furulya and the second of the same size and structure but without finger-holes. The long flute (hosszú furulya; fig.9), the instrument of Trans-Danubian shepherds (i.e. from south-western Hungary) and a characteristic member of the family of fipple flutes, has five finger-holes, a diameter of 16–18 mm, and is 90 cm long. Its basic scale is fga (or a)–bbc'.

Apart from its blowing mechanism, the side-blown flute (harántfurulya or oldalfuvós furulya) has the same structure as the furulya with six finger-holes. Instruments more rarely found are the small peremfurulya or szélfurulya (rim-blown flute) with six finger-holes and, among the Csángó people, the larger rim-blown flute with no finger-holes (‘overtone flute’). In the south-east of the Great Hungarian Plain notched flutes were found, made of calabash or sunflower stem.

Children make single-reed idioglot instruments from a goose feather or reed. The nádsíp (reedpipe with a single reed) with six to eight finger-holes is used as a melody instrument by shepherds (fig.10). Modern A and B clarinets are favoured by Gypsy bands while E clarinets are preferred by peasant brass bands. The Tárogató is an instrument similar to the ordinary clarinet in structure but with a conical bore and accordingly overblows at the octave. It was constructed by Schunda at the end of the 19th century. The Hungarian duda (bagpipe) with three pipes is also a single-reed instrument. Its melody pipe can produce a mostly diatonic G mode with an octave range. If its basic note is g', the one-holed second pipe, called kontrá (with the melody pipe forming a double chanter), sounds g' and d' alternately; the note made by the separate bass pipe (called the bordó pipe) is G. Mouth-blown bagpipes are played in northern Hungary, while bellows-blown types are found in southern Hungary and the Great Hungarian Plain.

The end-blown cow horn (tülök or kanásztülök) and the wooden trumpet (fakürt) – 1·5 metres or more in length – are chiefly a means of signalling for shepherds. The fakürt was also used, again for signalling, by isolated peasants on the Great Hungarian Plain. Of the brass wind instruments manufactured in factories, peasant brass bands mostly use the B saxhorn or trumpet, the B bass saxhorn, the euphonium, the E trumpet and the F helicon.

Hungary, §II: Folk music

6. Recent trends.

(i) Dance house movement.

The early 1970s gave birth to the ‘dance house’ movement, which aimed to revitalise the Hungarian folk music tradition. Its name is rooted in the Transylvanian tradition, where ‘dance house’ refers both to the occasion of dancing and its location.

The movement emerged as young intellectuals and artists searched for modern Hungarian expressions to resist the materialistic and individualistic ideologies accompanying the recent socioeconomic changes. Groups such as Illés and Omega fused Western pop-rock music with Hungarian folk melodies and lyrics, creating local permutations of an international form. Amateur folk dance groups, although initiated during the 1950s ‘revival’ movement under the political terror of Stalinist cultural policies, also remained popular among the urban population. Other ‘official’ Hungarian popular musics included magyar nóta, enjoyed by the older lower-middle classes and urbanising rural audiences, and Hungarian folksongs, which had been taught in a simplified way by the Kodály method of music education (emphasizing musical structure rather than performance) and had consequently not become widely accepted.

The two originators of the dance house movement, Béla Halmos and Ferenc Sebő, were trained musicians who experimented with different musical styles. Initially, Sebő set the poems of Attila József to his own compositions for guitar. Halmos researched into László Lajtha’s pre-World War II collections (mostly transcriptions) from Szék in Transylvania, encouraged by the Transylvanian musicologist Zoltán Kallós, the Hungarian dance researcher György Martin and the musicologist Bálint Sárosi. Sebő and Halmos then spent long periods in Transylvania with musicians (mostly Roma) whom they regarded as respected teachers, a practice followed by succeeding dance house musicians.

In Budapest, Sebő and Halmos accompanied the dance groups of the choreographer Sándor Tímár, and in 1972 Ferenc Novák with the Bihari Dance Group created the first dance house in association with other folk dance ensembles, which later opened to the general public. The first two dance houses were accompanied by the Sebő-Halmos duo, later joined by the Muzsikás, Jánosi, Téka, and the south-Slav group, the Vujcsis. The ensemble of three string instruments, Szék, became the model for dance house, achieving an ‘avant-garde’, ‘exotic’ and ‘modern’ musical expression which was nevertheless Hungarian. Dance house also encouraged collective music-making and dance which entailed years of committed learning rather than instant, passive consumption.

Although the aim was to maintain the genre’s rural form and function, the move to an urban environment necessarily involved change. For instance, the onus of decision-making for music-making, repertory and teaching methods moved from dancers to musicians. Dance house musicians, as with their Transylvanian equivalents, are mostly semi-professionals but are Hungarian rather than largely Roma as in Transylvania.

Most of the initiators of the early dance house movement continue to combine field and archival research, performance, dance and music-making, teaching and analysis. In the early 1990s, the Muzsikás recaptured aspects of an extinct tradition through their study of old Roma musicians (who played for Jewish communities in Transylvania). In their recent musical activities, inspired by the relationship between Bartók’s composition and his folk music research, they have been joined by the Romanian born violin player Alexader Balanescu. In 1985, Sebő edited Lajth’s collection from Szék; in recent years, Halmos has made documentaries (in co-operation with the film director György Szomjas) on Transylvanian musicians, such as the Hungarian Márton Maneszes, the cantor and prímás from Magyarszováta, and János Zurkula, the Roma prímás of Gyímes.

In contemporary Budapest, dance houses are held daily for Hungarian, Transylvanian, Romanian, Bulgarian and even Irish and Scottish dances. In the mid-1990s a new dance house venue, the Fonó, was established. It launched ‘Last Hour’, which invited musicians from Transylvania and other Hungarian-speaking parts to play for Budapest dance house enthusiasts. Many of these were produced on CD by Fonó.

The flourishing of the dance house movement into the 21st century has fulfilled the aspiration of Bartók and Kodály to create not only a Hungarian or central-eastern-European tradition but one that expands beyond national and geographical boundaries. Its success lies in making a rich local music and dance tradtion the basis of an urban and international form that allows the participation of all.

(ii) Lakodalmas (wedding rock).

If the dance house movement is a continuation of Hungarian folk music by the urban intelligentsia, wedding rock is a continuation of the magyar nóta tradition by ‘ordinary’ Hungarians. This genre originated in 1985 in the Hungarian-speaking areas of Vojvodina (Serbia) and quickly spread to Hungary by the late 1980s. It forms part of an urban tradition of mixing and modernizing popular vernacular musics and is comparable to wedding music genres found in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and other parts of the Balkans.

Older Hungarians enjoy its nóta-based repertory and young people its synthesizer and drum instrumentation. Its thick sound texture is similar to that of the traditional Gypsy band, with bass lines moving in glissandos, and chordal portamente filling the musical space with ornamentation. The melody may be provided by a singer or additional keyboard instrument; a traditional clarinet or violin may also be added. Dance-songs are accented on the off-beat. Although it shows some affinities with the in-group practices of the Romungro (see §4(iii)), lakodalmas rock, mostly performed by and for Hungarians, is a distinct genre. Song lyrics range from sex to computers and black-market activities resulting in the genre being excluded from the state run radio and recording industry for over a decade. It was propagated entirely through privately recorded cassettes sold at local markets and by band performances at concert venues, restaurants and weddings. Political changes since 1989 have had little effect on the attitudes of cultural bureaucrats; it is only in recent years that one of its long-ignored proponents, Lagzi Lajcsi, has been granted a weekly television programme on which wedding rock is performed by himself and invited musicians.

Hungary, §II: Folk music

7. Collectors, collections, research.

Interest in folk music in Hungary developed in roughly the same way as it did in western Europe. Before the 19th century Hungarian folk music was noted down infrequently and haphazardly, although there are a few printed collections of religious songs including folk hymns from the 16th and 17th centuries – some of them Hungarian in origin, some of foreign origin but adapted to Hungarian taste. Dance melodies noted down and published at the end of the 16th century by foreigners, following the west European fashion for Hungarian dances under such titles as Ungarescha, Heiducken dantz or Ungarischer tantz, show striking resemblance to Hungarian bagpipe melodies collected in the 20th century. There are also miscellaneous Hungarian manuscript collections from the 17th and 18th centuries with notations or tablatures. In terms of vocal folk music, the student songbooks that have survived from the end of the 18th century are important; these were compiled in simple notation by students for their own use. In its melodic scope and its method of notation, Ádám Pálóczi Horváth’s great manuscript collection of 357 melodies, completed in 1813, can also be classified among these student manuals. Besides the fashionable Hungarian songs of the period and Pálóczi Horváth’s own compositions, it contains many songs from previous centuries, and can thus be considered the first great achievement in Hungarian folk music collection. Information about the wealth of songs current in the first half of the 19th century, mainly in middle-class circles is, with the exception of that noted by János Arany (Kodály and Gyulai, 1952), still found only in manuscript collections such as those of István Tóth, Sámuel Almási, Dániel Mindszenty, Dénes Kiss and János Udvardy Cserna.

Since 1832 the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has undertaken the collection and publication of folksongs. The most impressive 19th-century publication was the seven-volume Magyar népdalok egyetemes gyűjteménye (‘Universal collection of Hungarian folksongs’, 1873–96), prepared by István Bartalus. This extensive collection contains some 730 melodies; most of them are 19th-century tunes, including recent popular Hungarian ones by known composers. Earlier, in 1865, Károly Színi’s collection A magyar nép dalai és dallamai (‘Songs and tunes of the Hungarian folk’), containing 200 melodies, had appeared. It presents a range of songs without piano accompaniment. Only Áron Kiss’s Magyar gyermekjáték gyűjtemény (‘Collection of Hungarian children’s games’, 1891) was a pioneering work.

Béla Vikár (1859–1945) was the first to collect folksongs with a phonograph, starting in 1896. János Seprődi (1874–1923) began noting down folksongs methodically in 1897. Modern Hungarian folk music scholarship commenced with the systematic collecting trips of Kodály and Bartók in 1905 and 1906 respectively. The recordings and original transcriptions of Vikár, Kodály and Bartók are held in the Ethnographic Museum in Budapest. It also holds the only collection of Hungarian folk instruments that can be considered complete. They divided the area geographically: Kodály was concerned primarily with Hungarian musicological considerations while Bartók dealt with international comparative study. After they jointly edited a collection of ‘old-style’ Transylvanian folksongs (1923), Bartók summarized the results of their joint collecting; in his work A magyar népdal (‘Hungarian folksong’) of 1924, he gave a methodical exposition of the vocal material. Ten years later, after a thorough observation of the music of neighbouring countries, he wrote a detailed analytical account of the relationship between Hungarian folk music and that of neighbouring peoples (Népzenénk és a szomszéd népek népzenéje). Kodály’s study A magyar népzene (‘Hungarian folk music’, 1937), besides presenting the various branches and strata of Hungarian folk music and their interrelationship, also illuminates the most important links that connect Hungarian folk music organically with Hungarian and international culture: it remains the basic textbook of Hungarian folk music. According to a plan outlined in 1913, between 1934 and 1940 Bartók completed the editing of Hungarian folk melodies (about 14,000) collected up to that time on behalf of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; publication of the general edition (as A Magyar Népzene Tára/Corpus Musicae Popularis Hungaricae) was delayed until after World War II.

In 1953 the Folk Music Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was formed under Kodály’s leadership. Since January 1974 this institution has continued its activities as the Folk Music Research Department of the Institute for Musicology, publishing among other things the Corpus Musicae Popularis Hungaricae. The first ten volumes, completed by 1999, include children’s songs grouped according to melodic motifs, together with their related games, songs connected with folk customs, and folksongs grouped according to melodic contours.

The archives of the Folk Music Research Department have expanded rapidly and now contain about 150,000 melodies. It is still possible to gather substantial amounts of rural vocal and instrumental music in Hungary, Hungarian-speaking Transylvania and Romanian Moldavia. The Institute of Musicology also contains a department of dance research.

Since 1950 research perspectives have included the history of Hungarian folk music (by Rajeczky, Dobszay, Vargyas, Szendrei); the systematization of folk music (Járdány, Dobszay, Szendrei, Sárosi); and study of instrumental folk music (by Lajtha and Sárosi). Outside Hungary intensive research into folk music has been carried out notably by the Romanian Hungarians, especially in the 1950s, at the Cluj section of the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore under János Jagamas.

The first series of Hungarian folk music discs, the Patria series, began to be produced in Budapest in 1936. Under the original direction of Bartók and Kodály, and later of Lajtha, 250 discs in the series had been completed by the end of the 1950s. The first disc for widespread distribution was issued in 1964 in honour of the conference of the International Folk Music Council held in Budapest; this disc was followed by three series, edited by Rajeczky, to give a cross-section of Hungarian folk music styles and genres. An anthology from material in the Institute of Musicology began to be published in 1985 representing the musical styles of the Hungarian language area accompanied by informative multilingual documentation. By 1992, four series had been issued, a further two series followed in 1993 and 1995, and one more series is intended to complete it.

Hungary, §II: Folk music


and other resources

ZL (‘Magyar népi hangszerek’ [Hungarian folk instruments]; B. Bartók)


K. Színi: A magyar nép dalai és dallamai [Songs and tunes of the Hungarian folk] (Pest, 1865)

I. Bartalus: Magyar népdalok egyetemes gyűjteménye [Universal collection of Hungarian folksongs] (Budapest, 1873–96)

E. Limbay: Magyar daltár [Hungarian song collection] (Győr, 1879–88)

Á. Kiss: Magyar gyermekjáték gyűjtemény [Collection of Hungarian children’s games] (Budapest, 1891)

B. Bartók and Z. Kodály: Erdélyi magyarság: népdalok [The Hungarians of Transylvania: folksongs] (Budapest, 1923; Fr. trans., 1925)

B. Bartók: A magyar népdal [Hungarian folksong] (Budapest, 1924); repr. in Ethnomusikologische schriften, ed. Bartók (Budapest, 1965–8); Eng. trans., 1931/R

P.P. Domokos: A moldvai magyarság [The Magyars of Moldavia] (Csiksomlyó, 1931, 5/1987)

Gy. Kerényi, ed.: Gyermekjátékok [Children’s games], Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, ii (Budapest, 1951)

Z. Kodály and Á. Gyulai, eds.: Arany János népdalgyűjteménye [The folksong collection of János Arany] (Budapest, 1952)

D. Bartha and J. Kiss, eds.: Ötödfélszáz énekek: Pálóczi Horváth Ádám dalgyűjteménye az 1813: évből [450 songs from Pálóczi Horvath’s collection of 1813] (Budapest, 1953)

Gy. Kerényi, ed.: Jeles napok [Tunes of the calendar customs], Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, ii (Budapest, 1953)

J. Faragó and J. Jagamas: Moldvai csángó népdalok és népballadák [Moldavian Csángó folksongs and ballads] (Bucharest, 1954)

L. Lajtha: Széki gyűjtés [Collection from Szék] (Budapest, 1954)

L. Lajtha: Szépkenyerüszentmártoni gyűjtés [Collection from Szépkenyerüszentmárton] (Budapest, 1954)

L. Lajtha: Kőrispataki gyűjtés [Collection from Kőrispatak] (Budapest, 1955)

L. Kiss, ed.: Lakodalom [Wedding songs], Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, iii (Budapest, 1955–6)

P.P. Domokos and B. Rajeczky, eds.: Csángó népzene [Csángó folk music] (Budapest, 1956–61)

Gy. Kerényi, ed.: Párosítók [Matchmaking songs], Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, iv (Budapest, 1959)

L. Lajtha: Dunántúli táncok és dallamok [Trans-Danubian dances and melodies] (Budapest, 1960)

P. Járdányi: Magyar népdaltípusok [Hungarian folksong types] (Budapest, 1961; Ger. trans., 1964)

Gy. Kerényi: Népies dalok [Popular songs] (Budapest, 1961; Ger. trans., 1964) [collection of 19th-century Hungarian popular songs]

L. Kiss and B. Rajeczky, eds.: Siratók [Laments], Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, v (Budapest, 1966)

B. Rajeczky, ed.: ‘Magyar népzene’ [Hungarian folk music], Qualiton-Hungaroton LPX 10095–8, 18001–4, 18050–3 [disc notes]

P. Járdányi and I. Olsvai, eds.: Népdaltípusok [Folksong types], Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, vi (Budapest, 1973)

J. Jagamas and J. Faragó: Romániai magyar népdalok [Hungarian folksongs from Romania] (Bucharest, 1974)

P.P. Domokos: Hangszeres magyar tánczene a XVIII században [Hungarian instrumental music in the 18th century] (Budapest, 1978)

I. Almási: Szilágysági magyar népzene [Hungarian folk music from Szilágyság] (Bucharest, 1979)

J. Szendrei, L. Dobszay and B. Rajeczky: XVI–XVIII századi dallamaink a népi emlékezetben [Melodies of the 16th–18th century in the living tradition], i–ii (Budapest, 1979)

L. Vargyas: A magyarság népzenéje [Folk music of the Hungarians] (Budapest, 1981)

L. Dobszay: A siratóstilus dallamköre zenetörténetünkben és népzenénkben [The melodic sphere of the lament style in Hungarian folk music and music history] (Budapest, 1983)

L. Dobszay: A magyar dal könyve [An anthology of Hungarian songs] (Budapest, 1984)

G. Papp, ed.: Hungarian Dances 1784–1810 (Budapest, 1986)

P. Járdányi and I. Olsavi, eds.: Népadaltípusok [Folksong types], ii, Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, vi (Budapest, 1987)

L. Dobszay and J. Szendrei: A magyar népdaltípusok katalógusa [Catalogue of Hungarian folksong types], i (Budapest, 1989)

M. Berlász and O. Szalay: Moldvai gyűjtés, Gyűjtötte Veress Sándor [Moldavian collection, Sándor Veres’s collection] (Budapest, 1989)

L. Dobszay and J. Szendrei: Catalogue of Hungarian Folksong Types I (Budapest, 1992)

L. Vargyas, ed.: Népdaltípusok [Folksong types], iii, Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, viii (Budapest, 1992)

S. Kovács and F. Sebő: B. Bartók: Magyar népdalok, Egyetemes Gyütemény [B. Bartók: Hungarian folksongs, complete collection], i (Budapest, 1991; Eng. trans., 1993)

I. Pávai: Az erdélyi és a moldvai magyarság népi tánczenéje [The folk dance music of the Transylvanian and the Moldavian Magyars (Budapest, 1993)

M. Domokos, ed.: Népdaltípusok [Folksong types], iv, Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, ix (Budapest, 1995)

K. Paksa, ed.: Népdaltípusok [Folksong types], v, Corpus musicae popularis hungaricae, x (Budapest, 1997)


G. Mátray: ‘A magyar zene és a magyar cigányok zenéje’ [Hungarian music and the music of Hungarian gypsies], Magyar- és erdélyország képekben, iv, ed. F. Kubinyi and I. Vahot (Pest, 1854)

F. Liszt: Des bohémiens et de leur musique en Hongrie (Paris, 1859, 2/1881/R; Eng. trans., 1926/R, as The Gypsy in Music)

E. Major: Bihari János (Budapest, 1928)

E. Major: A népies magyar müzene és a népzene kapcsolatai [The relationship of popular Hungarian composed music to folk music] (Budapest, 1930); repr. in Fejezetek a magyar zene tőrténetéből, ed. F. Bónis (Budapest, 1967)

B. Bartók: ‘Cigányzene? Magyar zene?’ [Gypsy music? Hungarian music?], Ethnographia, xlii (1931), 49–62; Eng. trans., MQ, xxxiii (1947), 240–57

B. Bartók: Népzenénk és a szomszéd népek népzenéje [Our folk music and the folk music of neighbouring peoples] (Budapest, 1934); Ger. trans., Ungarische Jahrbücher, xv (1935), 194–258; Fr. trans., Archivum europae centro-orientalis, ii (1936), 197–232 and i–xxxii (1935)

Z. Kodály: A magyar népzene [Hungarian folk music] (Budapest, 1937, enlarged 3/1952 by L. Vargyas, 6/1973; Eng. trans., 1960, enlarged 3/1982/R)

L. Vargyas: Áj falú zenei élete [The music of the village of Aj] (Budapest, 1941)

P. Járdányi: A Kidei magyarság világi zenéje [The secular music of the Hungarians of Kide] (Kolozsvár, 1943)

B. Szabolcsi: ‘Adatok az új magyar népdalstilus történethéhez’ [Contributions to the history of the new-style Hungarian folksongs], Új zenei szemle, i (1950), 13–18; 9–13; 40–51

B. Avasi: ‘A széki banda harmonizálása’ [The harmonization of the Gypsy band of Szék], Néprajzi értesítő, xxxvi (1954), 25

L. Lajtha: Széki gyűjtés [Collection from Szék] (Budapest, 1954)

E. Major: ‘A galanti cigányok’ [The Gypsies of Galánta], Magyar zene, i/1–6 (1960–61), 243–8; repr. in Fejeztek a magyar zene történébol, ed. F. Bónis (Budapest, 1967), 125–8

L. Vargyas: ‘Folk Music Research in Hungary’, SMH, i (1961), 433–49

A. Hajdu: ‘La loki djili des tsiganes kelderas’, Arts et traditions populaires, xii/2 (1964), 139–77

Gy. Kerényi, ed.: Szentirmay Elemér és a magyar népzene [Szentirmay and Hungarian folk music] (Budapest, 1966)

B. Sárosi: Die Volksmusikinstrumente Ungarns (Leipzig, 1967)

B. Sárosi: ‘Instrumental ensembles in Ungarn’, Studia instrumentorum musicae popularis II: Stockholm 1969, 116–36

G. Martin: Magyar tánctípusok és táncdialektusok [Hungarian dance types and dance dialects] (Budapest, 1970, 2/1995)

L. Dobszay: ‘Comparative Research into an “Old Style” of Hungarian Folk Music’, SMH, xv (1973), 15–78

I. Almási: ‘Bartók és az erdélyi magyar népzenekutatás’ [Bartók and folk music research in Transylvania], Bartók dolgozatok, ed. F. László (Bucharest, 1974), 103–9

A. Benkő, ed.: Seprődi János válogatott zenei irásai és népzenei gyűjtése [Seprődi’s selected writings on music and folksong collections] (Bucharest, 1974)

I. Szenik: ‘Kutatás és módszer’ [Research and method], Bartókdolgozatok, ed. F. László (Bucharest, 1974), 111–37

L. Dobszay and J. Szendrei: ‘“Szivárvány havasán”: a magyar népzene régi rétegének harmadik stíluscsoportja’ [On the ‘Mountain Rainbow’: the third style-group of the old stratum of Hungarian folk music], Népzene és zenetörténet, iii, ed. L. Vargyas (1977), 5–101

J. Jagamas: ‘Adatok a romániai magyar zenei dialaktusok kérdéséhez’ [Contributions to the question of the Hungarian musical dialects in Romania], Zenetudományi írások, ed. Cs. Szabó (Bucharest, 1977), 25–51

B. Halmos: ‘Közjátékok egy széki vonósbanda tánczenéjében’ [Interludes in the dance music of a string band of Szék], Zenetudományi dolgozatok, ed. M. Berlász and M. Domokos (Budapest, 1981), 191–220

B. Halmos: ‘Tizenkét széki csárdás’ [Twelve csárdáses from Szék], Népzene és zenetörténet, ed. L. Vargyas (Budapest, 1982), 157–224

L. Dobszay: A siratóstílus dallamköre zenetörtébetünkben és népzenénkben [The melody-circle of the lament style in the Hungarian history of music and folk music] (Budapest, 1983)

K. Paksa: Magyar népzenekutatás XIX században [Hungarian folk music research in the 19th century] (Budapest, 1988)

B. Halmos: ‘A táncházmozgalom jővője’ [The future of the dance house movement], TÉKA Nomád Nemzedék [Nomadic generation], ed. J. Molnár and D. Virt, ii/13 (Budapest, 1992), 5–10

F. Sebő: ‘A rivaval-mozgalmak és a táncház Magyarországon’ [The revival movements and the dance house in Hungary], ibid., 17–19

I. Kertész Wilkinson: ‘Genuine and Adopted Songs in the Vlach Gypsy Repertoire: a Controversy Re-Examined’, British Journal of Ethnomusicology, i (1992), 111–36

K. Paksa: A magyar népdal díszítése [The ornamentation of the Hungarian folksong] (Budapest, 1993)

J. Frigyesi: ‘The Aesthetic of the Hungarian Revival Movement’, Retuning Culture: Musical Changes in Central and Eastern Europe, ed. M. Slobin (Durham and London, 1996)

K. Kovalcsik: ‘Roma or Boyash Identity?’, World of Music xxxviii/1 (1996), 77–93

B.R. Lange: ‘Lakodalmas Rock and the Rejection of Popular Culture in post-Socialist Hungary’, Retuning Culture: Musical Changes in Central and Eastern Europe, ed. M. Slobin (Durham and London, 1996), 76–91

B. Sárosi: Sackpfeifer, Zigunermusikanten … die instrumentale ungarische Volksmusik (Budapest, 1996)

I. Kertész Wilkinson: ‘Musical Performance: a Model for Social Interaction between Vlach Gyspies in South-Eastern Hungary’, Romani Culture and Gypsy Identity, ed. T. Acton and G. Mundy (Hatfield, 1997)

B.R. Lange: ‘“What was the Conquering Magic”: the Power of Discontinuity in Hungarian Gypsy Nóta’, EthM, xli (1997), 517–38

M. Stewart: Time of the Gypsies (Boulder, CO, 1997)

I. Kertész Wilkinson: The Fair is ahead of me: Individual Creativity and Social Contexts in the Performances of a South-East Hungarian Vlach Gypsy Slow Song (Budapest, 1998)


Magyar népzene [Hungarian folk music], various pfmrs, Qualiton-Hungaroton LPX 10095–8, 18001–4 (1972), 18050–3 (1982) [incl. notes by B. Rajeczky]

Hungarian Instrumental Folk Music, various pfmrs, Hungaroton LPX 18045–7 (1980) [incl. notes by B. Sárosi]

Hungarian Folk Music from Szék, coll. L. Lajtha, Hungaroton LPX 18092–4 [incl. notes by F. Sebő]

Anthology of Hungarian Folk Music, i: Dance Music, various pfmrs, Hungaroton LPX 18112–6 (1985) [incl. notes by Gy. Martin, Y. Németh and E. Pesovár]

Anthology of Hungarian Folk Music, ii: The North, various pfmrs, Hungaroton LPX 18124–8 (1986) [incl. notes by L. Tari and L. Vikár]

Anthology of Hungarian Folk Music, iii: Transdanubia, various pfmrs, Hungaroton LPX 18238–42 [incl. notes by I. Olsvai]

Anthology of Hungarian Folk Music, iv: Great Hungarian Plain, various pfmrs, Hungaroton LPX 18159–63 [incl. notes by K. Paksa and I. Németh]

Anthology of Hungarian Folk Music, v: East 1 (Western and Central Transylvania), various pfmrs, Institute for Musicology [incl. notes by E. Sárosi and I. Németh]

Anthology of Hungarian Folk Music, vi: East 2 (Székelyland), various pfmrs, Institute for Musicology [incl. notes by B. Sárosi and I. Németh]

Meg van még a szívemben [It still lives in my heart], Göess Film, dir. B. Halmos and G. Szomjas (1994) [documentary on János Zerkula, prímás of Gyimes (Transylvania)]

Rabja vagyok az életmnek [I am a prisoner of my life], Göess Film, dir. B. Halmos and G. Szomjas (1994) [documentary on Márton Maneszes, prímás of Magyarszovát (Transylvania)]
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