English Table of Contents 2016/3
English Folk Music in Hungary. This is Andy Rouse’s story and the story of his band Simply English. Andy is an Englishman who first came to Hungary in 1975 – to the English department at the Teacher’s Training College in Pécs – as an exchange student from Exeter’s St Luke College of Education. In 1979 he was invited back to the same institutution in Pécs to teach English. In the meantime Andy has always been a musician. His trio „Simply English” has been playing English folk music in Hungary for 2 decades. Simply English has a new CD out called “SONGS FROM THE CARAVAN”. Check the band’s website: simplyenglish.andyrouse.com
New recording: Fanfara Complexa – Tánc alá [for dance]. Released April 2016, Fonó FA 378-2. Fanfara Complexa was formed in 2002; they play mainly in Hungarian dance houses for dancing traditional dances of the Moldavian Csángó people. Fanfara Complexa’s sound and repertoire were determined on journeys to the village of Somoska/Somușca in Romanian Moldavia at the beginning of the 2000s. The band: Bede Péter – alto sax, Sófalvi Kiss Csaba – tenor sax, Salamon Soma – accordion, Róka Szabolcs – coboz/ voice, Benke Félix – drum /Jew’s harp. Guests: Balogh Kálmán – cimbalom, Johannes “Szickán” Olsson – accordion.
Dr. Joób Árpád (1946–2016) Born in Nyíregyháza, he was a folk music researcher, musician, musicologist, performer, teacher, cultural organizer, retired department head and teacher of Nyíregyháza College, leader of the Délibáb Band, leader of the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County chapter of the Hungarian Kodály Society, a professional director of the Vass Lajos Folk Music Association. Obituary by Juhász Erika.
Salute to Tata – Novák Ferenc – National award winning choreographer and director, ethnographer, personality – upon his 85th birthday. Tata, amongst his many activities, has for decades been an active supporter and friend to his Hungarian colleagues, students and dance companies in Slovakia. By Takács András.
Dance House Day (Táncház Napja) this year was held on 2016 May 7th celebrating and remembering the first dance house that was held in Budapest in 1972. Several events were held in connection with the celebration. As part of this year’s Dance House Day, students of the Academy of Music’s folk music department gave a concert at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest celebrating the folk music collection work of Jagamas János and his students. Pávai István, who was a student of Jagamas, organized the concert of traditional music from 12 locations in Transylvania. Horsa István received the Halmos Award which includes the related privilege of using Halmos Béla’s violin for the next year. A jury of experts chose Horsa István as someone who is an excellent lead fiddler and active musician, does folk music collection and research, teaches and encourages the folk music community and maintains active contact with Hungarians living outside of Hungary’s borders. He lives in Komárom.
Bolya Matyás’ summary of dance house movement provides quotes from Martin György and Sebő Ferenc. He finishes up with words of folk music researcher Sárosi Bálint from 1983...”the best singers, musicians, dancers of a new movement quickly socialize, become professional...meeting all kinds of audiences...the passive...wider, less specialized audience doesn’t react to the finer details, one is inclined to resort to use of easy to notice trappings, exotic sounding pieces, virtuosity, interesting instruments... these concessions for the lesser informed public weaken the strength of the movement and lead to decline. After all, no movement is everlasting.”
Publication: Annus néni daloskönyve [Anna’s song book]. Annus néni – Mrs. Hideg István, Lakatos Anna – is a traditional singer from the village of Ördöngösfüzes/Fizeșu Gherlii, Kolozs County, Transylvania (Romania). This book is the result of extensive ethnomusicological research – a comprehensive monography on Annus néni, her repertoire and environment, including 500 songs and CD. By Horsa, István. Ördöngös Népzenetanoda, Komárom, Hungary. 2015. ISBN 9 789631 230048. Recommendation by Árendás Péter.
The Halmos Béla Program has been established with support from the National Cultural Fund for the purpose of encouraging and asssisting quality folk and world music and musicians from the Carpathian Basin and Moldavia. A temporary curatorium of Hungarian folk music professionals initiates the work of this program named after the dance house movement’s iconic figure Halmos Béla (1946-2013). Curatorium members are: Liber Endre, Árendás Péter, Berán István, Eredics Gábor, Sipos Mihály, Virágvölgyi Márta.
Násztánc – Wedding Dance is a new choreography premiered in April 2016 by the Hungarian State Folk Dance Ensemble who, “…put very good quality material onstage…in every way a departure from traditional folklore programs…decidedly a contemporary modern theatre piece based on [the] literary work…”, ‘Menyegző’ by Nagy László. Choreography: Farkas Zoltán Batyu; Artistic Director: Mihályi Gábor. Two reviews: Kutszegi Csaba (www.tanckritika.hu); Juhász Kristóf (Magyar Idők).
On the occasion of the Dance House Day celebrations, musician (violinist), musicologist, music teacher Virágvölgyi Márta was presented with an award in recognition of her long standing dedication and work. She has been an active and influential musician and violin teacher in the dance house movement from the moment it began. Printed here is part one of Márta’s essay on keeping bowed string folk music alive. She starts the article with a short summary of her work over the years, then outlines specifics of violin technique by ethnographic region and/or village (i.e. Gyimes, Bonchida, Szatmár, and so on).
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This year’s Zala Chamber Dance Festival was held in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, April 22-24, 2016. This juried festival is held every two years and is an excellent way to get an overview of what is happening in Hungarian folk dance. The festival allows both amateur and professional dancers and choreographers to enter and compete. List of winning ensembles, choreographers, dancers, musicians accompanies the article in Hungarian. Review by Kutszegi Csaba: www.tanckritika.hu
Dance culture of Mátyusföld and the region between the Vág (Váh) Garam (Hron) rivers: the traditional dances done in this area of present day Southwestern Slovakia reflect the larger ethnic groups that inhabit the area: Hungarian, Slovak, German. The typical dance types found here include: girl’s circle dances, shepherd’s dances (with or without implements), verbunk , csárdás, social dances of the bourgeoisie (waltz, polka, fox, etc). This writing gives a brief introduction to the region, with call for further scientific research before the generations die out that danced between the two world wars. By Takács Gergely and Varga Sándor – includes footnotes and bibliography.
Part II - Documents from the life of the Bukovina Székely Hungarians relocated from Bukovina to the Bácska/Bačka region (today mostly in northern Serbia’s Voivodina region) in 1941. Printed here are the governmental commissioner’s proclamation welcoming the Bukovina Hungarians and outlining the conditions of their first months; and newspaper reports on their first harvest and a pilgrimmage to the grave of Gróf Hadik András. Series by Kóka Rózália.
Part II: The outlaws of Transcarpathia – excerpts from a book written in 1934 by Czech writer, journalist Ivan Olbracht – translated into Hungarian by Zádor András and published in Bratislava in 1987. The author travelled regularly to Transcarpathia; at the time the region belonged to Czechoslovakia. Excerpts here provide historical information about outlaws in the region, their lore, legend, with facts and particulars on the story of an outlaw named Nikola Suhaj who was active between 1917 and 1921.
The Hungarian Museum of Ethnography mourns the passing of two respected and esteemed colleagues: Folk music researcher Halmos István (1929-2016), maintained professional contacts with the Hungarian Ethnographic Museum throughout his career. From 1962 until he retired he did his research within the framework of the Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Musicology. He did field work in Venezuela amongst the Piaroa Indians (see: L’harmattan 2012 – in English) and also in Pakistan and India. Some of the material he collected is at the Hopp Ferenc Asian Museum, some at the Ethnographic Museum. Hofer Tamás’ (1929-2016) entire career was connected to the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography. He earned his doctorate in 1958. He began working at the Ethnographic Museum in 1952, went on to become a department director, and later director of the museum. Between 1980 and 1992 he also worked as a department director at the Academy of Sciences’ Ethnographic Research Institute. He was a researcher, teacher, editor of the journal Ethnographia and other publications. His main areas of research included symbolic phenomena and categorization systems. He studied the mentality and social history that gave rise to the phenomena of „folk culture” in the 19th century in Hungary.
New publication: A lélekmentő…[ Kallós Zoltán’s first 90 years]. By Csinta Samu, Hagyományok Háza. Budapest, 2016. A biography of the dance house movement’s iconic Transylvanian mentor, traditional singer, life-long collector, publisher, inspiration. The book (in Hungarian) is available on the Hungarian Heritage House’s “webáruház”. Review by Fehér Anikó.
Ecser, Csömör, Rákoskeresztúr: three communities east of Budapest that were resettled by Slovak (Tót) people from the beginning of the 1700s – following the Turkish occupation. Though over time they gradually became assimilated into Hungarian culture, traces of their Slovak roots can still be found. There have been recent initiatives to preserve Slovak identity and customs in these communities. By Juhász Katalin.
Traditional Hungarian Cuisine – wedding foods of Ecser. The town of Ecser is a few kilometers east of Budapest. It is famous in our circles for the choreography „Ecser Wedding” created by Rábai Miklós in 1951 for the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble. The town of Ecser had specific and colourful wedding customs that can be traced back to the Slovaks that settled there following the Turkish occupation. Recipes here are: chicken paprika stew with special wedding noodles, stuffed chicken, and the kalács or celebrational wedding raisin bread. By Juhász Katalin.