English Table of Contents 1997/1
Botolós – Bankó András' short story takes us into rehearsals and then a party of a city folk dance ensemble.
Folksinger, Budai Ilona, was born in Györ County in Hungary in 1951. Already in elementary school, her teachers recognized her talent for singing and she was performing in national talent competitions as early as 1968. In recognition of her dedication to traditional folksong and her work teaching singing, she was awarded the Magyar Örökség Díj (Hungarian Heritage Award) in December, 1996. By Kobzos Kiss Tamás
Szalay Zoltán writes about the dance music of the area in and around Magyarpalatka, Mezőség, Transylvania. A technical article describing the traditional dance music from this area. He ends by saying that the slower the tempo of the dance type, the more likelihood that the origin of the music is a vocal form. The fastest dance music being strictly instrumental form.
Interview with Potta Géza, Gypsy prímás from Abaujszina, a Hungarian village in Eastern Slovakia (so-called, Felvidék). He started learning to play at age six, from his father who was also a prímás. Here he describes playing for birthdays, christenings, weddings and at dances. He talks about playing the „kitchen dance", special tunes for shepherds, „colt csárdás", waltzes, and csárdás. He still plays regularly at both Hungarian and Slovak events. By K. Tóth László
Molnár László is a Hungarian prímás from Rimaszombat, Gömör County, Slovakia. This traditional lead fiddler was born in 1921 and still plays regularly in Gömör County with an 8 member band. He performed in Budapest at the Felvidéki Ball at Almássy tér Cultural Center in the fall of 1996. Interview by K. Tóth László.
Information, news, announcements
In Kiskunhalas on November 30, 1996, the talented 20 year old, Bakó Katalin, held a solo evening of folksong, poetry and readings of famous writers' works. Report by Mrs. Faddi István.
XVI. National Dance House Festival and Market. Programs, organizing staff, producers, participants
Táncház-es and folk clubs
Music, dance and handicraft summer camps
When doing fieldwork, musician and researcher, Juhász Zoltán, always asks his informants how and when they learned to play. Inevitably, the answer is always that the person grew up in a household surrounded by music and musicians. Also that a musician doesn't play a tune until he knows it from beginning to end in his head first. Zoltán recommends that the traditional way of learning music shouldn't be overlooked as possibly the most effective mode of passing on music to our children. by Juhász Zoltán
Traditional flute player, Legedi László István and singer, Bálint Erzsébet, both from the Hungarian village of Klézse in Romanian Moldavia, were in Budapest in January for the Csángó Ball held at Almássy Tér Cultural Center. During their stay in Budapest, Etnofon Studios held recording sessions with them, recording some 80 tunes. A recording from these sessions will be released in late March '97. A radio program also recorded when they were here in Budapest, will be broadcast on March 22. By Balogh Sándor
What is Dance? A collection of writings about dance. Excerpts of historical references, poetry, and a description of the life of Dienes Valéria, Hungarian dancer, philosopher and movement theorist who lived from 1879 to 1978. Selected by Koczpek Irén
Bartha Z. Ágoston of Budapest, musician in the Cifra Ensemble, describes how, over the years, playing outside of Hungary and also his friendship and work with the band's prímás, Szabó Viktor (traditional musician originally from the Transylvanian village of Mezőkölpény now residing in Budapest), has gradually changed his perspective on the music he plays. Stepping beyond insistence on playing only tunes which fit a certain definintion of authentic, he stresses the importance of playing good music, that means playing well together with his colleagues, and being flexible enough to perhaps play other kinds of tunes which a situation may call for.
Another masterpiece of Hungarian „szójáték” (playing with words). Bankó András; musing on Hungarian language and music.
Kozák József writes about the possible origin of the word regölés (a New Year's custom). After examining various possibilities which would connect this word to finnugor origins (for example drawing a connection to the trance which the shaman falls into, or with the word for warmth, or with the word which means to cover, or hide); he tells us his theory that regölés, comes instead from the word (not of finnugor origin) which means beginning, of for example, the new year. With this argument, Kozák emphasizes that research in this area should look for the most logical explanation instead of always trying only to draw connections to finnugor origins.
English Table of Contents 1997/2
The Táncház Movement is 25 years old A historical account of the táncház movement which appeared on Népszabadság Online and also in the newspaper on May 3 1997, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first táncház held in Budapest on May 6, 1972. By Jávorszky Béla Szilárd
Martin György's professional curriculum vitae; a list of educational and professional accomplishments from 1950 until 1977, written by Martin himself. To the point and packed with information, this CV is a reflection of Martin's life, work and writing style. Unfortunately this overwhelmingly prolific, brillant researcher of Hungarian dance passed away in 1984.
Speech given by Dr. Törzsök Erika on August 2,1997, at the gala pertormance during the VII Festival of Csángó Peoples and Minorities in Jászberény, Hungary. „...our guests enrich our country with the languages, examples and traditions which they bring with them .... every nationality and every minority has a place in Europe...."
Conversation with Kallós Zoltán An interview from Budapest in 1992 wherein Kallós talks about the táncház, music, dance. By Fehér Anikó
Excerpts from a book by Szűcs Sándor of stories about life in the past on the plains of Hungary. Stories about the shepherds of eastern Hungary and their constant struggle to save their flocks from wolves who would have loved to steal as many sheep as possible. Shepherds and their apprentices had a custom of pulling the eye teeth of every wolf they killed and then wore the teeth hanging from their belts. Compiled by Havasréti Pál
Tekerő Series Excerpts from a 1984 conversation with Sinkó János (1902–1994), hurdy-gurdy player from Csongrád in the area of Hungary known as Délalföld (the south-eastern plain). Sinkó János tells stories about playing music for weddings. By Szerényi Béla.
Three tributes to the late journalist, writer, music critic,regular contributor to FoIkMAGazine, artist: Bankó András died at age 37 on June l9th, 1997, after an extended illness. Ménes Ági, Antall István, Hamar Dániel.
Information, news, announcements.
Announcement for the Annual Festival of Folk Arts and Crafts. August 20–24, near the Palace on Castle Hill in Budapest.
Minutes from the II. (Hungarian) National Conference on Folk Music in Education. Held on February 14–15, 1997 in Budakalász, Hungary. Reports on the state of folk music instruction in Hungary and Hungarian communities in the neighboring countries, as well as theoretical arguments on the direction and type of curriculum.
Táncház– és folk clubs
A listing of folk music heard Kossuth Radio (a Hungarian radio station), recordings sold at the Fonó Music House in Buda and Etnofon record store (during the first four monthes of 1997). Opinion about slection of music played on the radio programs. Article unsigned.
Tradition vs. being up with the limes in the Folkdance Movement Dr. Ratkó Lujza presents arguments on whether Hungary's folkdance and táncház movements are really helping to preserve tradition as they extract dance and music from the whole system of traditions, customs and culture which surround them in their natural habital. She also urges researchers to take a a closer look at the function and surroundings out of which dance comes in addition to doing analyses on the elements and types of music and dance.
The Hungarian–Greek band, Maskarades celebrates its tenth anniversary. They are planning a big birthday concert for the fall and hope to be able to make a new recording. By Jakoby Judit
The late Bankó András writes about and interviews French musician Michel Montanaro: long time friend, visitor and colleague to Hungary and the musicians here, he even speaks good Hungarian. Though a Frenchman, Montanaro belongs to an obscure ethnic minority from Provence called Okcitán, the Okcitán language is his mother tongue.
A letter of farewell to the late Földesi János from Szabadi Mihály
Thoughts on the idea of the world village, traditions, culture, the European Union, Amercian domination in most every corner of life and even war and of course music. The last article written by Bankó András which was originally published in „Fesztiválújság” (1997/2), reprinted here.
A review of the Vizin Ensemble's new recording called „Gajde su Gajde” (a bagpipe is a bagpipe). Great music, technical studio work lacking. By Vitányi Iván (Jr).
Ádám István „Icsán” Csoóri Sándor (Jr) writes on the outstanding fiddler from the Transylvanian village of Szék. As well as being an important teacher and role model for the young musicians from Budapest who started the táncház movement, this man was a fiddler from a traditional musician family who was raised by a prímás, and raised his own children to be musicians as well. He grew up in the time before TV and tape machines. Though he passed away in the 80's, his music, thanks to modern technology, lives on in recordings.
English Table of Contents 1997/3
Conversation with Petrás Mária Here is a conversation with a Hungarian csángó woman from western Moldavia. She is a talented craftsperson and folk artist who came from the village of Diószén in Moldavia to Budapest to attend the school of arts and crafts. She now resides in Budapest. This is a great account of her path from the vineyards of Moldavia to being a celebrated folk artist in Hungary. By Kóka Rozália
Announcing publication of a book by dr. Bánszky Pál on 100 artists whose work has a folkart or naive art approach. Képzőművészet Vadvirágai (Wildflowers of the Finearts), in Hungarian and English, can be ordered through the Hungarian Museum of Naive Art in Kecskemét; see announcement in Hungarian.
Nagy Balázs critiques the exhibit and conference which was held on September 8–13, 1997 at the Almássy Square Cultural Center to celebrate 25 years since the Táncház movement began in Budapest. Among other things, he comments that though there were many heartfelt and interesting presentations, the actual current situation of „The Táncház” (movement) was sorely overlooked.
A few words about bagpipe player, Pál István's life. Pál István is the last living traditional Hungarian bagpiper. His father and grandfather were both shepherds, and played the bagpipe. He has become an icon of the Táncház movement as well as a wellspring of information for musicians and enthnomusicologists. Here is a condensed report on his family, life, profession, his playing style, how to prepare a skin (dog, sheep or goat) for a bagpipe and about making flutes. By Nagy Gábor
Pálfy Gyula and Vavrinecz András declare semantic and academic war on Szalay Zoltán's article on the music and dances of Magyarpalatka and surrounding area which appeared in the 1997/1 foIkMAGazin. The moral of the story being, always strive to choose your words with care and be clear on the goal and audience of anything you write.
The Turné Iroda (the (folkdance groud) tour office) of Szazhalombatta talks a little bit about the international organization which organizes folklore festivals, CIOFF. Here also is their annual listing of recommended Hungarian folk dance groups in three categories.
On October 11th, 1997, the second Vice Festival of Mezőség Dance and Song. Organized by the roman catholic church of Vice and the Hargita State Folk Ensemble. At this year's festival, dance ensembles and church choirs from 19 different villages and towns in the Mezőség region of Transylvania performed, with a ball held afterwards. By Füleki Sarolta, Csíkszereda
Citera Camp in Tiszakécske Every summer since 1984 there is a zither camp held in the dormitory of the Móricz Zsigmond Secondary School in Tiszakécske about 30 km east of Kecskemét along the Tisza River. Here everyone from children to senior citizens, can learn to play the zither, sing, do folk crafts and dancing. The director of the camp since 1994 is Urbán Zoltán, director of the Tisza 83 Citera Orchestra. By Takács Ibolya
A report of the Vadrózsa Ensemble's summer training camp in Diósjenö. For the first two days there was styling dance practice on dances from several villages of the Küküllő menti area of Transylvania, then they began work on a new choreography of dances from the region. By Záhonyi András
Táncház-es, folk clubs
A listing of folk festivals and camps planned for 1998 in Hungary
International peace treaty in Szazhalombatta – through the language of dance. Tóth Péter writes about the International Folk Dance Festival in Százhalombatta. For several years now the Forrás Folkdance Ensemble has been inviting folkdance groups from all over the world to their town for a week in August. This year, groups from Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Chile, Turkey, Slovakia, Italy, Slovenia, France, Serbia and South Korea were guests.
Nagy Balázs offers his opinion about the folk music programming on Hungarian radio, as well as a listing of the frequency of mention of various folk music bands and personalities on the radio from January through November 1 1997. He argues that the Táncház movment's ideals and music (both revival and traditional artists) are not appropriately represented by current programming.
When the Forrás Dance Ensemble (Százhalombatta) was on tour in Taiwan from July 2 – 28, 1997, they were welcomed as long lost relatives; the descendants of Asian (Chinese) nomads.
Rece-Fice is five years old A bit of history, editorial comments about this (Hungarian) band that plays music from the area that was formerly known as Yugoslavia and announcement of their Birthday Concert to be held at Almássy Square Cultural Center in Budapest on December l5th. By Ifj. Vitányi Iván
A well documented and interesting article on the dance group from the town in Hungary's northeastern corner called Cigánd. There was a reunion of this traditional group last May, calling back the old dancers. Of the forty-some people that attended, 31 of them still live in the village. The dance group was started in 1931 and the tradition still exists today, though it has seen many different configurations and names throughout the years. By Kaposi Edit
The Final Hour Announcement of the Wednesday night series of performances by bands from villages in Transylvania at the Fonó Music Club in Budapest. Each week a different band from a different village performs in an informal concert/club situation. Fonó Records is planning to release recordings made by these bands on CD.