Hungarian folk music is a prominent part of the national identity and continues to play a major part in Hungarian music. Traditional instruments are often used in playing folk music. For example the flute. Their sound depends on the area where they were made. We also have some instruments, that don’t have any English name, like the instrument “gardon”.
Music has changed in Hungary. In the past music was played at home or at special events like weddings or community work (harvest). Now there are plenty of opportunities to listen to music, such as concerts, festivals or even competitions.
Musicians realized the importance of our musical heritage and they decided to preserve folk music. Musicians started to travel around and record music in different parts of our country using the Edison phonograph. One of them was Bartók Béla, composer and pianist. He was born in 1881 and died 1945. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of ethnomusicology.
Kodály was a composer, ethnomusicologist, and an educator. His famous method, the co called Kodály method is used in many countries today in the musical training of children. It includes hand signs and old traditional folk music to improve the rhythm skills, intonation and music literacy of learners.
It is very important for Hungarians to keep folk music alive. This is the reason why there are several music competitions, and there are plenty of art schools as well, where students can learn to play traditional instruments when they are still very young.
Nowadays there are plenty of bands and singers whose music is quite popular in Hungary. Young people enjoy taking part in music festivals, where the most famous performers introduce their songs. There are different festivals depending on the type of music that is played there. Balaton Sound is one of Europe's largest open air electronic music festivals. It started in 2007 on the southern bank of Lake Balaton. It features live concerts and DJ's from all over the world, from famous starts to new names.
Another popular festival is the Volt festival. It is the second-largest music festival in the country, held each year in Sopron. Its popularity grows because of the colorful mix of musical styles. Sziget Festival is the largest festival of all, with close to 400 thousand visitors each year.
Information about Hungarian bands and singers; the first one is Quimby, an alternative rock band. Enjoying large crowds across the nation, they have had successes at music festivals such as the Sziget Festival.
The next one is going to be Kispál és a Borz, an alternative rock band. The group is still regarded as one of the most influential alternative bands in the country. Their singer got the Kossuth Prize, which is a prestigious award in Hungary.
Kiscsillag is an alternative rock band, founded in 2005.
Kállay-Saunders András is a Hungarian American recording artist, songwriter and record producer. He will represent Hungary in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Running".
Péterfy Bori, a singer and actress. She is the singer of Péterfy Bori and the Love Band.
Csík Zenekar, another band with the Kossuth Prize. They play an important role in cherishing traditional folk music.
Paddy and the Rats is a punk rock band. It was founded in 2008, by a couple of Irish people living in Hungary.
Compiled by: Emma, Rebi and Timi.