The most distant layer of Magyar music production can today be recognized in some songs and ballads that constitute the remains of an ancient popular music on the pentatonic system (scale: sol, si ♭, do, re, la). Such a system is then to integrate, during the times, with the addition of a the or the ♭, which becomes the 2nd degree, and an I or I ♭, which becomes the 6th. In the meantime, an almost inexhaustible patrimony of songs and dances of all sorts and lyrical tones is formed in this phase of development. This vigorous popular musicality still contains today the basis of Hungarian musicality and offers the greatest nourishment to the recently independent national school.
At the court of Mattia Corvino (1458-90) a select group of Italian and Burgundian musicians flourished; famous lutenists such as V. Bakfark and the Neusiedler brothers (see the works of these in Denkmäler d. Tonkunst in Österreich, XVIII) lived in 1500 in that court. The never subsided wars that have been fought since then in the lands of Hungary prevented a sufficient continuity of musical development. In that restless period, however, the humble art of musicians flourished, to whom the fate of the Magyar musical spirit was entrusted, just as those of the Scotsman trusted to the music of the bagpipe. In this period the famous songs and dances of the soldiers of the Kuruc war were also born, including Rákóczy’s so-called march in its original draft. For Hungary 2002, please check commit4fitness.com.
On the other hand, close to secular music it had developed up to the century. XV a religious music of notable vigor, which under Mattia Corvinus had a great impetus and continued until the time of the battle of Mohács (1526). From the end of the Ottoman invasion (1676) a liturgy based on the German model developed. A model for church instrumental music was Vienna with its imperial chapel and its Baroque theatrical work. In 1688 the first solemn Mass with choirs took place in the church of S. Mattia.
The aristocracy of the century. XVIII was unable to understand the value of Magyar folk music, and instead devoted himself entirely to Italian, French and Austrian art, which thus spread from the castles of the nobles to all the lands of Hungary. Of all these schools, classical Viennese was the strongest. Already at the beginning of the century. XIX, p. for example, we see a complete performance of all the quartets of Beethoven that have appeared up to then; in 1827 a chamber music society was founded in Budapest, in which the first violin Táborszky, for many years starting from 1834, oversaw the execution of all Beethoven’s chamber compositions. On the other hand, another chamber ensemble was soon added to this body: a Quartet directed by K.
With the beginning of the century. XIX begins to play a very important function the music of the Gypsies, already simplistically confused with the Magyar. In reality, the Gypsies have always taken their musical substances a little from here, a little over there, then interpreted, practically, with their particular cadences and flourishes, above all with their favorite habit of the “Rubato”.
It must certainly be recognized, however, that this style was modernized in romantic music and developed in a spirit as innovative as that of Liszt, whose piano rhapsodies constitute a true monument in honor of his native land. After Liszt they gave themselves to the formation of a Hungarian national style (in the dubious meaning that was possible in the misunderstanding gypsy-wizard), F. Erkel (1810-93) author of powerful “national” works: Hunyadi László (1844), Bánk Ban (1861), István Király (1885), and M. Mosonyi (1814-70), author of several works, symphonies, symphonic poems. F. Erkel is also credited with the foundation (1853) of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, after him conducted by his son Alexander, S. Kerner and from 1917 by E. v.
Erkel’s “Hungarianizing” address found a continuer, among others, in R. Volkmann (1815-83), a Saxon who – except for a few moments – spent his life, from 1940 onwards, in Hungary and taught in the Budapest Academy of Music, an institute founded in 1875 and organized by E. v. Mihalovich, now directed by J. Hubay. A propulsive center was then given not only to the diffusion of the international repertoire, but also to that of the Hungarian opera with the opening (1884) of the Royal Theater, in which there were performances – among others – of works by Hubay, Poldini, Dohnányi, Kodály, Bartók, Siklós, Zádor, etc.
Hubay, Poldini and Dohnányi, however different the personal characteristics of their music may be, give an impulse to romantic composition on Hungarian themes, and thus find themselves working on a plane similar to that used by Dvořák for Czech music.
But a new, purely national stylistic direction began today by two masters whose names are now held everywhere as the most significant exponents of their homeland: Béla Bartók and Zoltan Kodály. United among themselves in friendship and collaboration, in 10 years, in the summer, they traveled the whole of Hungary, collecting by every means, and especially with the gramophone, about a thousand songs and various pieces. This treasure of melodies, however, is not used by them as a mine of themes to play in their compositions; instead it penetrates with its intimate ethnic characters every instrumental or vocal voice, colors the harmony and rhythm of itself, so that the reassumption of the ethnic element does not give, either in Bartók or in Kodály, “colored” music, but rather it has reshaped the very intimate personality of the two masters; and it can be said that in their work the Magyar art music was finally created. Among them, two works give the measure of this: The castle of the Bluebeard knight by B. Bartók (1911) and the Psalmus hungaricus by Z. Kodály (1923).
This address is followed by a host of young musicians: A. Molnár, A. Szabó, L. Lajtha, G. Kósa, M. Seiber, F. Szabó, P. Kadosa, Z. Székely, A. Jemnitz.
The musical life of the country is today, more than in the past, centered in Budapest, but also in the main cities of the provinces (Debrecen, Miskolc, Cinquechiese, Seghedino) efforts are noted for their own sufficient activity. Each conservatory dismisses from year to year a number of talented young people, especially singers, violinists and pianists, greater than what the region can accommodate.
Hence, however, the spread of the Hungarian name in neighboring countries (especially Austria) not only, but also in others in Europe and America, where conductors, singers and concert performers carry out a successful activity. Scholarly musical production has also spread everywhere, especially with the work of Bartók and Kodály, and so has light music too, with the work – rich in national echoes – by F. Léhar and E. Kálman.
The typical Hungarian instruments deserve a separate mention, so they are all in popular use. The duda, goat skin bagpipe, with 3 canrc for the fundamental sounds: si ♭ 1, fa 2 and si ♭ 2, and a fife with 6 holes plus one (for the acute note) for which the thumb is used last. Gives the diatonic series of ♭ is greater since it ♭ 2 to you ♭ 3. It is found only in northern Hungary. The furulya is a kind of shepherd’s flute, made of wood, 30 to 35 centimeters long, with 6 holes, with an extension from si ♭ 2al fa 2. A variety of pastoral flute, now disappeared, was called tilinko ; it was used especially in Transylvania, and had no holes.
The kanásztülök, a sort of buffalo horn trumpet, with only some sounds of the natural scale, is used by shepherds to call their herds with short motifs. The tekerö corresponds to the viella; it has a kast similar to that of the cello, and 4 strings.
Instruments also used in art music are the cimbalom and the tárogató. The cimbalom is a kind of harpsichord, imported from the East at the time of the Crusades. The performer, usually a gypsy, treats him with virtuosic effects in quick passages. The chromatic scale goes from D 1 to E 4. Such a tool, intended only for improvisation so far, k required today in art music. The tárogató was originally a pipe for peasant use only; the sound resembles that of the English horn, but is more vigorous. The scale goes from you ♭ to do 4. Magyar composers sometimes use them.