Hungarian Folk Songs, The

By Bela Bartok
Edited by Benjamin Suchoff

Paperback : 9780873954396, 399 pages, June 1980
Hardcover : 9780873954105, 399 pages, June 1980

Table of contents

Editor's Preface

The Hungarian People: An Ethnohistorical Overview
The Arpad Dynasty
The Habsburg Monarchy
Nationalism and the Minorities
Musical Developments
The Bartok-Kodaly Connection
The Classification of Hungarian Folk Music
The Modified Krohm-System
A Magyar Nepzene Tara (Corpus Musicae Popularis Hungaricae)
The Bartok-System
The Source Materials


A. The Old Style of Hungarian Peasant Music
Melodies of Non-ceremonial and Dance Songs
I. Eight- or twelve-syllable textline tunes
II. Six-syllable textline tunes
III. Seven-syllable
IV. Eleven-syllable
V. Ten-syllable
VI. Nine-syllable

B. The New Style of Hungarian Peasant Music

C. Other Tunes in Hungarian Peasant Music (Mixed Class)
I. Subclass: Isometric, parlando or giusto rhythm
1. Five-syllable lines
2. Six-syllable lines
3. Seven-syllable
4. Eight-syllable
5. Nine-syllable
6. Ten-syllable
7. Eleven-syllable
8. Twelve-syllable
9,10,11. Thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-syllable
II. Subclass: Isometric, adjustable giusto rhythm
1. Six-syllable
2. Seven-syllable
3. Eight-syllable
4. Ten-syllable
5. Eleven-syllable
6. Fourteen- and fifteen-syllable
III. Subclass: Heterometric, invariable giusto rhythm
IV. Subclass: Heterometric, adjustable giusto rhythm
V. Four-line tunes in Kolomyjka-rhythm
VI, VII. Subclass: Two-line, Three-line strophes

Supplement I: Statistical Data
Table 1. The Classified Output According to Villages and Countries
Table 2. The Output According to Dialect Region, Countries and Villages

Supplement II: Bibliography

Supplement III: Commentary on Gipsy Musicians

Song Textx and Translations

Music Examples
Explanation of Signs Used


I. Addenda and Corrigenda

II. Provisory List of Variants and Reprints Published Elsewhere
Variants in Bartok's Published Compositions
Works Cited in the Tabulation of Variants

III. Tabulation of Material

IV. Index of Rhythm of the Tabulated Melodies

V. Thematic Index of the Tabulated Melodies

Index of First Lines

General Index


Bartók's classic Hungarian Folk Music, long out of print in English, remains the standard study of a single folk musical culture. This new edition of a major work in ethnomusicology is enriched by Benjamin Suchoff's research on Bartók's notes, analyses, and observations in the New York Archive of Bartók Estate, and the volume contains:

—the history of Hungarian ethnomusicology.

—a discussion of the Bartók-Kodály relationship.

—a comparative overview of Bartokian and other Hungarian approaches to the systematic classification of Hungarian musical folklore,

—a review of related literature with emphasis on variant relationships based on data extracted from source materials published as recently as 1979, and

—previously unavailable or new data on Bartók's biography, research methods, and approach to musical composition.

The volume also includes a tabulation of material, compiled in accordance with Bartók's innovative procedure which first reached the scholarly public in the composer's 4-volume study, Yugoslav Folk Music. A computerized lexico-graphical index of themes is provided.

The Bartók texts and the music examples have been enriched by the addition of Zoltán Kodály's annotations. Clarification, where needed, is achieved through the comparative study of Hungarian, German, and English drafts. Previous errata have been eliminated, and symbols have been updated in accordance with Bartokian procedures of the 1940s.