Traditional / folk music of Hungary
Hungary is a small country with about ten million population, but it has big signature and influential folk and traditional music. Folk music of Hungary has a big role in Hungarian life and it consist of various themes and songs which also accompanied by various dances. The folk music of Hungary describes people joy, love, sadness, talks about nature or any elements in daily life.
Hungarian composers were pioneers of distinguishing importance of folk music in rural areas. Béla Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly were two composers who started to collect folk songs and doing field recording of folk music from Hungary, while Béla was also interested in other folk music nations of east Europe like Romania and Slovakia. They used lots of folk themes and songs in their compositions. They are considered as pioneers of ethnomusicology. Maybe one of reasons which folk music of Hungary became popular in the world was because of effort of these two composers by their early recording of folk music and also use these elements in their compositions too. Of course beside the own power and beauty of this folk music itself.
During the history, Hungary was under the rule of both west and east. For many years it was part of Turkish Empire and later aligned with Austrian Habsburg Empire. After the World War II the political borders and situation changed a lot in the region and Hungary became a Communist country under the influence of Soviet Union. Gypsies also came to Hungary from India with their unique style of music hundreds years ago. The language of Hungary is not the same as its neighbors and it is more tightened to language of Finland. These combinations made huge, strong and unique folk music culture in Hungary.
Many different folk dances are important part of folk music of Hungary. Some of them has been performed for hundred of years. Ugrós is of those old dances which can be performed as solo or couple. It is similar to polka and its origin comes back to middle age. Karikázó is a circle dance performed by women. Csárdás is a famous style which developed in 18th and 19th centuries. It is national dance of Hungary which is also popular in other neighboring like Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, etc. It is very energetic. It is characterized by a variation in tempo: it starts out slowly and ends in a very fast tempo but also it has other type of tempo variation.
Verbunkos is a popular folk music and dance style. Maybe the most popular one. This genre of folk music is movements between fast and slow tempos. The fast parts have rhythmic patterns. These patterns and movements are important part of character of Hungarian folk music. One of the famous family who plays this genre of folk music is Lakatos family which has many musicians who played verbunkos. Many of famous compositions of verbunkos are done by gypsy musicians. One of the most notable one was János Bihari who was a great gypsy Romani violinist and composer. He was one of the founder of verbunko music. His melodies used my many great composers like Liszt and Beethoven.
There are different type of musical instrument which are used in folk music of Hungary. Cimbalom is a hammered dulcimer. It was brought to Hungary by gypsies who came from India. It is also used in different European countries from Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and etc. Tamburica is a popular lute style instrument popular in Balkan countries. Cobza is a multi-stringed instrument of the lute family of folk origin popular in Romanian, Moldovan and Hungarian folklore (it is considered the oldest accompaniment instrument in the region). Tárogató is a woodwind instrument commonly used in Hungary and Romania. Its roots comes back to the Middle Eastern zurna, Different type of drum and percussion are used like tambourine and davul. Duda is the Hungarian bagpipe. It is more related to shepherds and pastoral life style in Hungary. And beside all mentioned violin has the most significant role in the Hungarian folk music with its happy, fast and energetic melodies.
If you have more information about the Hungarian folk music, its genres or instruments or you know specific song on each genre, please kindly contact us and let us know about it or send them through “Post a Song” link on top of the page. Also if you see any wrong information about the song tags on the list below please kindly let us know.
Traditional / folk songs for Hungary
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