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"Hungarian Fiddle Tunes"; 143 Traditional pieces for Violin" by Chris Haigh; by Schott ED 13493

Here are background notes and discographical sources for each of the tunes


Three Old style Pentatonic Tunes (TUNES 1-3) Bartók and Kodály discovered that pentatonic tunes made up the oldest layer of Hungarian music, closely related to the music from the area between the Volga and the Urals, from which the Magyars migrated. Kodály wrote; “it is amazing that in at least several hundred tunes, the original musical language of the Magyar community remained almost intact” He continued; “In the Volga region, related to the Hungarians, live a small people called the Mari or Cheremissians. What has so far been discovered of their music has shown such surprising and basic similarity to a stratum of Hungarian folk music that an ancient relationship can today hardly be doubted”

You should be able to hear echoes of Chinese music in the 5 note (pentatonic) scale. This scale can be either major or minor, and has no semitone intervals. No chords are implied by the melodies, though I have added some suggestions to the third tune. One feature of the pentatonic scale which makes it so easy and attractive is that it contains no semitone intervals. According to Kodály, writing in 1960, “the chromatic semitone does not belong to the peasant’s tonal system, even today”

Sources: tune 1 (Röpülj Pava; Fly, Peacock Fly) Bartók/Kodály. The title of this tune was also given to me as Felszállott a páva, or “The Peacock has flown onto the county Hall roof. During Communist times this lyric had a subversive double meaning for Hungarians.

tune 2 Ha én Rózsa Volnék (If I Were a Rose);Morning Star by Muzsicas;

tune 3 from Balint Sarosi; Hungarian Folk Music. This song was one taught to all Hungarian schoolchildren. The upward arrow in The wind is Blowing from the Danube indicates that the note may be played sharp. This is referred to as an ‘unstable” note. Bartók stated that “when peasants perform, it occurs fairly often that certain degrees- chiefly the 3rd and the 7th…are intoned unsteadily”

Four Old style tunes with three-bar sections (tunes 4-7): The structuring of tunes with three-bar sections is a peculiarity of many of the oldest song-tunes from Hungary, probably relating to the construction of song lyrics. This structure is rare in west European folk traditions.

4.Hej rózsa rózsa ékes vagy, Source; Cifra Ensemble

5.Pest Városa; source Hazakiserlek . This song comes from the Gyargyó basin of Eastern Transylvania. It is an old-style pentatonic tune.

6.Shepherd’s song; source Hungarian Folk Music vol 3. Collected in County Gömár, southern Slovakia.

7. A Bátai bíró lánya (Ugrós); from Beata Salamon

Legényes, Fuzesi and Négyes (tunes 8, 9 and 10)

8. Legényes from Mezöség, Transylvania. Source; Muzsikás, Ketto A Legényes is a type of lad’s dance, usually very athletic in nature.

9. Füzesi Ritka Magyar; from Muzsikás, The Bartok album; This is a lads' dance from Füzes, collected by Bartók

10. Négyes; From Peterlaki Bandavezeto . Négyes is a village in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County in northeastern Hungary.

11. Legényes from Szék Source; Muzsikás,,,, Ketto) Szék is a village in the Transylvanian county of Cluj

12. Légenyes from Füzes (Mezöség) Source; Muzsikás; Morning Star Swineherd’s Dances

Tunes 13-15; All these dances share the same rhythm- the same phrasing as “Good King Wenceslas. These dances are popular with children, as they often involve wielding and banging sticks. Similar dances are found throughout the surrounding regions; the Swineherd’s dance is closely related to the Ruthenian or Ukrainian Kolomeike dance.

13. Swineherd’s Dance from Tolna County; comes from the "Hungarian Folk Music LP vol 1. From Sarkoz, Tolna County. also heard on "The Bartók Album" by Muzsikás. Note The unstable third in this tune, typical of southern Transdanubian tunes.

14; Swinherd’s Dance from Gyimes; comes from Hung Inst Folk Music ; From a recording of fiddle accompanied by gardon ( the crude cello-like instrument, beaten with a stick). From Gyimesközéplok (Lunca de Jos) in Transylvania. It’s a good example of a tune with an ambiguous mode, which seems unable to decide whether it’s major or minor.

15.Swineherd’s Dance; from the original flute recording collected by Bartók, included in one of his piano pieces. The repeat on the second part of this tune is typical, but optional. Some players will always do this, some, with the same tune, will do it seldom or never.

16. Bagpipers Dance (Dudatánc) ; Source Muzsikás; Ketto-Hungarian Folk Music By playing this entirely in third position (with a stretch up to the D). it is possible to get an open string G drone all the way through, imitating the bagpipe. To quote Balint Sarosi “The borderline between old and new layer is the phase where the monotonous accompaniment (“bagpipe accompaniment”) ends, and”harmonisation”, that is, polyphony of chord progression, starts.”

17. Ugrós (jumping dance) Source Muzsikás; Ketto-Hungarian Folk Music

18. Ugrós no 2; This also appears in Salamon Béatá’s book as “Rókatánc”

19.Skipping Dance; source Verbunkos; an album by the Hungarian State folk ensemble

20. Dance tune from Crucea

21 .Stamping Dance

22. Lad’s Dance. 20,21 and 22 are all from the Jánosi Ensemble, all are sources for Bartók's 1st Rhapsody. The Lad’s dance is also known as a legenyes; under this name it is only found in Transylvania, not current Hungary.

23; Parnastanc: D?v? and Esztam Rhythm. These tunes are used to demonstrate the D?v? and Esztam rhythms. Most Hungarian tunes are in moderate tempo, and the rhythm fiddle (often a three-stringed instrument, played on the shoulder and tipped vertically) can play the D?v? rhythm. This consists of two pairs of tied quavers, with an accent on the second of each pair. You will notice that as the tempo increases, on the second tune, this becomes more difficult. When we reach the third tune it becomes impossible and we have to switch to the esztam. Here you play chops on each second quaver, and the bass or cello takes over the first quaver.

A Pillow Dance is danced by the young girls of the village when presenting a bride-to be with her embroidered linen and pillows for her trousseau. Bartók used this tune as one of his 44 duos for 2 violins. Source; Csiszar Aladar, from Maros, Transylvania. It is an old style quint-shifting tune. Also on Cifra Ensemble

24.Magyar; source; Cifra Ensemble

25. Song from Somogy County. Source; Balint Sarosi 2. An old style tunes with descending melody.

Arrangements of tunes or songs into three bar sections are a peculiarity of Hungarian folk music, probably linked to the way phrases can be grouped vocally in poetry and verse. In everything that I’ve read on Hungarian music, no one has ever mentioned this, but I thought it was worth drawing attention to by collecting a few of these tunes together. Here are three new-style tunes of this type.

26. Sirnak-Rinak (the wild flowers) source; Hungarian Folk Music 2. The Hungarian lyrics are provided for this and the next tune, to give you an idea of the relationship between the phrasing of the words and the melody. This is a new-style tune with the closed pattern, showing quint shifting (up a fifth for the second and third lines) a pattern described as A A5 A5 A Notice the three-bar phrases, a common feature of many Hungarian songs. It also illustrates how the dotted rhythms are derived from the stressed vowels of the Hungarian language. A translation is as follows: The wild flowers are in full blossom/The nice girls are not waiting for me to marry them there is no-one left to me/no lover has been left to my poor heart

27. A Szegedi; source; Hungarian Folk Music 1. Szegedi is a town near the Serbian border A fine example of a new-style tune/song where the melody and rhythm are dictated by the words. Notice that the sequence is made of three lines of three bars, and one line of two. The stacatto rhythm comes from the stress of the vowels in words such as A szegedi rozsas kertek. Note that the y in legény and kislany is silent. A trasnslation of these lyrics is; Down by the rosy gardens of Szeged/a brown lad is reaping rosemary I shall be the one who picks the rosemary/I shall be the true lover of a brown girl

28. Érik Már a Búza; source "Hungarian Folk Music" 1 Here’s a translation of the lyrics. No doubt you will have wondered what all these songs are about. Mostly sex, slander and idle gossip! The wheat is getting ripe, it's leaves are getting yellow My sweetheart's mother slanders me She slanders me, she calls me names If her son loves me, I can't help it. They sound for 6 o'clock at the metal factory of Ozd Every little girl is waiting for a sweetheart And I myself am walking around the metal factory Because I am waiting for my own sweetheart coming by 8 o clock

This is a new style song demonstrating the “closed form” ABBA

29.Télen Nagy a Hó A jumping dance from Muzsukás; source Ketto; From Bar 14 you can do a great sing-along chourus to nah, nah nah, nah etc.

Four Drone Tunes (30-32) These can be played over an accompanying drone of A or A and E together; these notes can also be doubled over the melody wherever convenient.

30.Anyám, Anyám (Mother, Mother); source ; Hungarian Folk Music vol 3. Sung by a Transylvanian woman in parlando rubato style. This is an old style, major pentatonic tune, approximating to three bar phrases.

31. Hol háltál az éjjel. (where did you sleep last night, tomtit?) Source; Cifra. Originally played on Hurdy Gurdy

32.Bagpipe tune from Sopron; source Hungarian Folk Music vol 3. Sopron is on the Austrian border. Note the occasional “unstable third” (The G note on the E string)

33.Another Bagpipe tune from Sopron. Tunes 32 and 33 were sung by an 80 year old woman, in imitation of bagpipes. A very spirited performance but difficult to pick out the tune in places. The second one goes on much longer than is presented here.

34. Legényes from Kalotaszeg Source; Bela Halmos. this is a shortened and simplified version . Kalotaszeg is a region of Transylvania.

Four tunes with closed structure (35-38) “Closed Structure” refers to a tune where the first and last line share the same melody. It is one of the distinctive features of “new style” tunes, and proudly paraded by Bartók as a mark of the inventiveness of Hungarian folk music

35. The King of Prussian is rightly angry. Said to be the first recorded “new style” tune

36. A Dorogi. (From Dorog) Source; Hungarian Folk Music 3 New style song showing closed structure, from County Tolna The lyrics are given in Hungarian, to illustrate how the dotted rhythms are a result of the accented Hungarian phrasing of words.

“ In the courtyard of the headman of Dorog, Nagydorog the blossoms of the acacia trees have fallen, have fallen there are many kind mothers, hey-ho, who would gather them to stop their sons, their dear sons from being taken for a soldier”

Regarding accents in Hungarian music, Bartók said “As is well known, the main accent of all Hungarian words is in the first syllable. Each line of the text, therefore begins with an accent. Upbeats and rhythmic progressions are foreign to Hungarian tunes” The same applies to the Czechs and Slovaks.

37. Fijume; a soldier's song from County Bihar. Source; HFM 3. Fijume is the Hungarian name for the coastal town of Rijeka, now in Croatia.

38.Hires Betyár Vagyok (Somogy County); Source Balint Sarosi. A good example of upward quint shifting (where the melody is repeated a fifth higher)

Transdanubian Jumping Dances (39-40) They are described as old style melodies from Transdanubia, collected from Tolna County. These tunes appear on the album Bogyiszló Orchestra, by the band of the same name. Hol Jartal is also from HFM MN2 3A.

39;”Too Coarse”; this was described primly in HFM as having words "too coarse to be reproduced"

40; Hol Hártál. This is an alternative version of the tune no 31. As, for example, in Irish traditional music, there is a huge variety both of versions of tunes, and names for those tunes. These two are sufficiently different to warrant both appearing.

Shepherd’s tunes from Moldva (41-43) Shepherd’s tunes are mostly originally played on the flute or pipe, which seems to have a natural affinity with the Lydian mode. You can achieve a flute-like sound on the fiddle by playing with very little downward bow pressure, creating whistling false harmonics.

41 A Juhoké ( Ewe’s dance). Source; Tanchaz Nepzene 2010. This version is simplified from a rather complex, semi-improvised performance.

42 no 2 ; From Cleja, Modva; source Tanchaz Nepzene 2011

43 ; Botosánka. A popular and much-played tune

Two Romanian Dances (44-45)

44. Legényes from Transylvania. Source: Janosi Ensemble Rhapsody; used in Bartok Rhapsody 1

45. Bartók Romanian Dance (Used in the final part of Bartók Romanian Dances) source; Jánosi ensemble; Liszt and Bartók sources. Note use of the Lydian mode in both these tunes. The eastern part of Romania, known as Transylvania, contains a large Hungarian-speaking population. It largely escaped the influence of Turkish occupation, and has remained very isolated and poor. It is seen as the treasury of much of Hungary’s traditional music.

In the words of Bartók; The collector coming into such regions feels as if he has stepped into the Middle Ages. There is absolutely no possibility of revolutionary changes having occurred in the peasant music of these regions through any intrusion of foreign elements; the peasants live in thorough seclusion, out of reach of the questionable blessings of urban culture.

Three Bagpipe Tunes (46-48) The bagpipe was formerly very important in Hungarian music, until the arrival of the fiddle. The bagpipes were an instrument never seriously adopted by gypsy musicians, so this can be regarded as a very old, rural, peasant tradition . There are still many fine bagpipe tunes in circulation Being technically much more limited, tunes written for or regularly played on the bagpipe tend to be simple and often repetitive, with strong catchy melodies. They make good fiddle tunes, and the bagpipe effect can sometimes be achieved by use of open string drones

46..Bagpipe tune from Palócföld. Source; Sebö; Hungarian Folk Music. Notice the use of Quint Shifting in this tune. Palócföld (Palotzland) is on the border of south Slovakia and northern Hungary.

47.Bagpipe tune from Nógrád County. Nógrád is in northern Hungary, bordering Slovakia. This tune illustrates the flattened 7th of the bagpipe scale- the mixolydian mode. Source; Sarosi

48. The Monks are walking in Clogs (Swineherd’s Dance). Originally played on bagpipes and hurdy gurdy- two instruments with quite a similar sound which work together well. This tune comes from the Great Hungarian Plain; a huge flat area including most of Eastern and Southern Hugary. Source; Sebö; Hungarian Folk Music

Three Swineherd’s dances (49-51)

49. Megismerni a Kanaszt (One can Recognise the Swineherd) This is said to be the melody from which the swineherd -melody type takes its name

50. Ballad of the two brides; source; HFM; Magyar Nepzene 2. Song collected from Mezoseg county, in the plain of south west Transylvania. Notice the rhythm is based on the swineherd's dance, and shows a close similarity to the medieval song Good King Wenceslas. It tells the story of two sisters, one of whom marries a tailor, the other a poor servant. Here's a sample of the words; They put a frilled headdress on my sister's head but they put a hog's bladder for a headress on my head It is a great joy for my sister to have a gaudy tailor as bridegroom but it is a great sorrow for me to have a poor servant as bridegroom. They give my sister to eat from porcelain plates but they give me to eat from the hog's trough it is a great joy etc. My sister is woken up by her nice lover's kisses but I am woken by the strokes of a big cudgel it is a great joy etc.

51. Lovers song from SW Hungary; source HFM; Magyar Nepzene 2. Note the use of Swineherd's rhythm, and the "old joe clark" structure; two bars of melody, two bars of answer, the same first two bars, and 2 bars of conclusion. As with all the recordings in this book, each tune is played only once. In fact to make a satisfactory performance, each should be played at least twice before changing to the next in the set.

Three tunes from Sopron (52-54) The first and third tune are obviously closely related. It highlights the problem faced by tune collectors such as Bartók, who had to decide at what point two performances from different singers or musicians could be said to be doing the same tune, or two variations, or two separate but coincidentally similar tunes. Sopron is a city on the Hungarian border, famous for having hosted the “Pan European Picnic” on August 19 1989, when the border was opened to allow disgruntled citizens of the German Democratic Republic to flee to the west, thereby opening the first hole in the Iron Curtain. Source of these three tunes; HFM 3

Hungarian Band tunes (55-57) source; HFM3 IIIB Played on brass instruments with enthusiasm but not finesse by a peasant "Hungarian" ie non-gypsy band All three show new style closed structure, and the second two have three bar phrases.


These were tunes originally played by gypsy bands during army recruiting drives. They are typically much more complex and flashy than the older tunes, often going into higher positions on the fiddle. They often have several sections with contrasting keys The tunes were often adapted from songs; a dancer or onlooker might sing a few lines from a favourite folk song to the gypsy bandleader, who would then improvise on it to create a suitable dance tune. Hence the raw material of the verbunkos tunes could be diverse; minor or major, sad or happy, but by the time the band had finished with it, the melody would be rhythmic and richly ornamented, perhaps with certain stylistic elements “tacked on” to the original.

Three periods of verbunkos can be recognised: 1. the “early verbunkos” (1788–1810) 2. “culminating verbunkos” (1810–1840) 3.“late verbunkos” (1840–1880). Strictly speaking, therefore, csardás is included in the late verbunkos phase.

58. Bodonkúti (Verbunkos) From the playing of the great fiddler Sándor “Neti” Fodor (1922-2004). Source; Salamon Bodonkút is a village in Cluj county, Transylvania.

59. Circle Dance (Verbunkos) Source ; "Verbunkos"

60. Cumanian Verbunk Source; HFM 3. From a 5 piece gypsy band in a market town in the Great Plain. The Cuman people were a nomadic warrior tribe from the Eurasian steppes who settled in various Balkan areas. Their name means "blonde" In Hungary some 70,000 settlers created two regions named Cumania (Kunság in Hungarian): Greater Cumania (Nagykunság) and Little Cumania (Kiskunság), both in the Great Hungarian Plain. They maintained some autonomy as well as their distinctive language and ethnic customs well into the modern era.

61. Liszt Verbunkos Used by Liszt in his 3rd Hungarian Rhapsody. He was a great enthusiast for what he regarded as the Gypsy music of Hungary, and, in common with a number of “western” composers, included many verbunkos themes in his compositions. Source; Janos Ensemble Rhapsody.

62. Verbunkos from NE Hungary Source; Ketto (Muzsikás)

63. Rákóczi March Source; The Nyrmada Village band (Rough guide to Hungarian music) This march is Hungary’s “Land of Hope and Glory”- in itself almost an icon of national pride. You can hear the military rhythms (for example in bars 4 and 8), and the 4ths trumpet motif (in bar 10).

Like many verbunkos tunes, this has an ancestor in song, in this case the equally famous Rákóczi. Song Different versions, both instrumental and vocal, have been around since the 18thC. It is sometimes attributed to the gypsy fiddler and bandleader János Bihari, though it probably predated him. Versions were included in compositions by Berlioz and Liszt. Ferenc Rákóczi was a Hungarian aristocrat, and leader of a heroic uprising against the Hapsburg overlords, fighting for the independence of Hungary. His Second Kuruc Rebellion met with defeat at the battle of Trencin in 1708, and Rákóczi lived out his final years exiled in Turkey.

The song was hugely popular in the 18thC, lamenting the misfortunes of Hungary under Hapsburg rule, and calling for the triumphant return of Ferenc Rákóczi. It remains popular today, commonly used at military and state occasions, as well as being often the closer for a táncház..(traditional dance).

64.Sarkantyús Verbunk Source; Verbunkos. -a recording by the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, a large gypsy orchestra which performs regular concerts in Budapest. This is a typically florid and showy tune, complete with key changes, triplet runs, arpeggios and lots of accidentals. This requires more of a classical or urban gypsy feel, and much less of the raw, rustic approach typical of much of the czardas material. This tune is attributed to János Bihari, one of the leading Verbunkos composers, nicknamed “the Napoleon of the fiddle”

65. Üveges (Bottle Dance) Also known as Miscolc Verbunkos Source; compiled from several Youtube recordings. The tune is interesting for its frequent chromatic notes, and the triplets in bar 23. Besides being a recruiting dance, this one is also used as a bottle dance. This dance, usually requested after midnight, involves circling a demijohn and taking regular swigs from it. Why wouldn’t you?

66. Vasvár Verbunk ; Source; Sarosi

67. Verbunkos from Fuzes Source; Morning Star (Muzsikás) CSÁRDÁS Pronounced “char-dash” It is perhaps unfortunate that by far the best known csárdás is that written by Vittoro Monti in 1904. Basing one’s entire knowledge of the csárdás on this one piece is a little like studying space travel by watching Star Wars. Nonetheless, it’s success is well justified. It’s an exciting, challenging piece and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. It contains an entire arsenal of csárdás components and gypsy performance techniques; alternating slow and fast sections, dotted rhythms, the augmented second, spicatto bowing, false harmonics and so on. Despite being a pastiche written by an Italian composer around 1904, it is a staple of the repertoire of virtually every gypsy band, Hungarian or otherwise. Apart from one other composition in gypsy style, the Whistle Hora, Monti has left little else of note.

What’s important to remember about the csárdás repertoire as a whole is that most of the tunes are not this complex; whilst dancing the csárdás may involve a number of different tempos, this will often be done to a number of different tunes, each individually quite simple.

68, 69 Magyarpéterlaki korcsos Source; Cifra. Originally player on cymbalom, with a distinctly jaunty bouncing rhythm. Notice in tune 2 the augmented seconds in the second half. Bartók regarded the use of such scales as a gypsy “falsification” of Hungarian tradition, introduced in order to pander to the shallow tastes of their aristocratic sponsors; “It is extremely difficult to account for the fact that the upper classes seem deliberately to select, out of all the existing peasant songs, those that are most signally alien in character, and to enjoy none but these.

70. Csardás from Miskolc Source; sarosi 6. originally played on cymbalom. This tune has a gypsy, or possibly klezmer influence. It lends itself to a degree of improvisation.

71, 72 Csárdás used by Liszt in his 13th Hungarian Rhapsody; source; Jánosi ensemble

73. Cuka Szoke Csárdás A interesting and unusual tunes because of the pizzicato and parallel fifths. From the playing of a 67 year old peasant fiddler from Borsod County, who named it cuka czoky csardas or "up you blondy”. Borsod is in central/northeastern Hungary.

74. Jocul Ursului (Bear Dance) source; Transylvania. Janosi Ensemble. The Ursari are a Balkan gypsy tribe who traditionally keep bears for use in public entertainment, often accompanied by “bear dance” tunes.

75. Sebes 2. Source; Gernyeszeg

76. Bihari tölcséres; (Funnel dance from Bihar); source Cifra . Note the use of quint shifting, and the Lydian mode.

77. Dance from Sieu (Transylvania) Source; Táncház-Népzene 2010. The second part of this tune has a feel of wild abandon which is particularly Romanian, and works well played very fast.

78. Cigánycsárdás no 1 Source; Cifra. Notice the occasional odd bar lengths. They actually make a lot more sense than you might expect. Cigány is the Hungarian for gypsy; a cigánycsárdás can therefore be regarded as being a tune with some particular gypsy connection in its style or origin.

79. Cigánycsárdás no 2 Source; Cifra.

80. Cigánycsárdás no 3 Source; GernyesZeg . Notice I’ve put an ending on this one; In fact virtually all these tunes would have a similar three note/chord ending, but, as here, they rarely get written down.

81. Dance from Nagysajó (Transylvania) Source: Táncház-Népzene 2010. This type of harmony fiddle playing is very rare in the Hungarian tradition, but this recording, by the Fondor Band has a beautifully relaxed feel to it, reminiscent of Macedonian or Greek music.

82. Körtánc (circle dance) source; Cifra . This tune is made more interesting by the occasional extra beat

83. Sebes. Source; Gernyeszeg . This tune bears a strong resemblance to a Verbunkos in its difficulty and complexity.

84. Csendes. (Calm) source; Muzikás, Ketto.

85. Friss Csárdás; source; Muzsikás (Ketto )

86. Magyar Csárdás. Source; various youtube recordings

87. Friss Csárdás no 2. Source; youtube recordings

88. Dance from Gyimes; source Bela Halmos. Gyimes is a high mountainous region of Transylvania, and the source of some of the most ancient traditional music. Notice the ambiguous harmony, and the heavy use of parallel fifths.

89, 90. Jewish dances from Máramaros; From "Máramaros- the lost Jewish music of Transylvania" (Muzsikás) These tunes were collected by Simon Zoltan in Máramaros (Romania) in 1946, encouraged by Kodály to collect the Jewish tunes of Hungarian villages. Previously unpublished transcriptions were given to Muzsikás who then asked Toni Arpad (cymbalom) and Gheorghe Covaki (violin)- both gypsy musicians from Máramaros - to record them. Both had played for Jewish functions in their area before the war, and were familiar with the style and repertoire

91. korksos no 1 source; Cifra

92. korksos no 2 source; Cifra

93. Dance tunes from Nagysajó, Transylvania No 1; source; Táncház-Népzene 2009

94. No2. Source; Cifra

95,96. A Horgosi 1 and 2. Source; Cifra. The first of these is a well-known children’s song.

97.Friss Csárdás from South TransDanubia (Dél-Dunátúl) source; Salamon

98. Cigánycsárdás; from peterlaki bandavezeto

99. Bonchidai Lassú Magyar; slow lads dance from Bonchida (from Bartók album, Muzsikás)

100. Csárdás from Szék; Béla Halmos

101. Lassú Csárdás; From Janosi Ensemble; source of Bartok 2nd Rhapsody.

102. Friss csárdás from Vajdakamarás. Source; Bela Halmos. Vajdakamarás is a village in Cluj county, Transylvania

103. Liszt Csárdás Source; Janosi

104. Mens' dances from Gymes Source; Tanchaz Nepzene 11. I have simplified this version from a longer, rambling, semi-improvised piece. Accompanied by gardon. The playing style for Gyimes tunes is particularly rough and robust. Think of sawing wood rather than handling a precision instrument.

105,106.Tunes from Szatmár. Source; Táncház-Népzene 2010. This excellent series comprises recordings made by the winning performers of the annual Táncház festival organised by the Hungarian Heritage House. The first tune is as close as you’ll get to gypsy jazz in traditional Hungarian music, complete with swing, syncopation and slides.

107 Romanian tune from Mezoszopor Source Táncház-Népzene 2010

108. Botos Tánc A Botos is a stick dance. Source; The Bartok album

109. Ardeleana. This was collected by Bartok in Torontal County in 1912; it inspired his composition of "44 violin duos" It appears on the Muzsikás Bartók Album both as the original field recording, the Bartok composition, and the Muzsikas folk version. Ardeleana is a family of column dances from western Romania.

110, 111.Sebes (fast csárdás). A Sebes is another name for a fast csárdás Source; Gernyeszeg . Sebes is a town in Alba county, southern Transylvania.

112,113.Shepherd’s tunes. Source; tanchaz-nepzene 2011

114. Szögény czárdás Source HFM1. A "slow" csárdás from County Tolna. Strongly influenced by Verbunkos, as you can see by the key change and the augmented seconds.

115-117 Three dances from Transylvania; Source; Janosi Ensemble; source for Bartok’s “Romanian Dances” Stamping Dance ,(Pa Loc), Belt Dance (Brau), and chopping dance Dancing or stamping provides accompaniment for Pa Loc, a flute (kaval) tune. The addition of false harmonics helps to add the flute sound. The tune also sounds good played up an octave, or with parallel 5ths. The tune was collected by Bartok in the village of Igris in Torantal Co, 1912. It appears, on the piano, in his Romanian folk Dances.

118,119 Tunes from Cumania; “Turkish” and Young Men’s dance Source; HFM3 III . For the second tune, the complete structure is AABACCAABA

120 ,121.Two csárdás from Tura .Two fast (friss) csárdás from an old-style village band from Tura, in the Paloc region of Hungary, just 50 miles from Budapest. The first tune is unusual in that it is constructed of three-bar sections. (from "Rough Guide" ). It is also found on Tanchaz Nepzene 2011, named as a couple dance from Kartal. The second tune (A csizmámon nincsen kéreg ;there is no sole in my boot) is known throughout Hungary ; it occurs in Sarosi 4., and appears on the Gernyeszeg recording as a “cigánycsárdás”

122,123. Szöktetôs No. 1and 2 .Two tunes from Maros (Transylvania); from Csiszar Aladar, a fiddler from Maros region of Transylvania

124,125 Spinning Dances (Forgatósok) from Székely Land. Spinning dances are sometimes referred to as turning dances. Source; Béla Halmos. Halmos was one of the originators of the Hungarian folk music revival and the tancház movement. The dotted or “swung” rhythm varies in different tunes and different regions. Here it is very distinct, and so has been written dotted.

126. Wedding March from Transylvania; source HFM3 III. Played on violin and Gardon; the gardon is a crude cello-like instrument beaten with a stick rather than bowed.

Magyar nóta

It was for these songs that Bartók saved his deepest scorn, drawing a sharp distinction between these imitation népies dal (folksy songs), and the genuine old peasant songs, which he considered to be spontaneous creations of the people. That Magyar Nóta was so popular with the masses, merely went to prove that what he contemptuously called the “half-educated multitude of urban and semi-rural populations”, had no taste. In the Musical Quarterly, April 1947 (Schirmer, New York) he developed this theme, decrying both the perceived gypsy influence on Hungarian music, and the preponderance of nóta: “When Hungarian music is mentioned in foreign lands the gypsy is mentioned in the same breath……the role of this popular art music is to furnish entertainment and to satisfy the musical needs of those whose artistic sensibilities are of a low order” Whilst nóta remain out of favour among the musicians and dancers of the tancház movement, they remain as popular as ever in Hungarian “light entertainment” as is clear from the number of youtube videos of these songs, taken from contemporary TV shows

122.A Szegedi Csikós (The Szeged Horseman) Source; various youtube recordings. This tune, as with several others, is presented with the basic tune (as sung), and a more elaborate version, closer to what a gypsy fiddler might play.

123. Csitt, babám! (Hush, baby). Source;

124. Esik Esö Csendesen (Rain falls softly) Source;, and many youtube videos. Notice the quint shifting and closed structure, and how the elaboration consists mainly of adding runs, flourishes and chromatic notes.

125. Lathe, Flask (Esztertág, csutora), source; Piros rózsák beszélgetnek by Rácz Béla. Rácz was a violinist and bandleader who travelled widely, but was based in Budapest with a successful career stretching from 1908 through to the early 60’s.

126. My Darling is Beautiful (Szép a Rózsám) Szép a Rózsám comes from The major key seems to be in the majority among Magyar nota, despite the melancholy nature of many of the titles. This, by contrast, is a fine tune in minor key.

127. Az a Szép, Az a Szép (handsome is He) Many Magyar Notá melodies follow a “closed structure”, where the last line is the same as the first. Here for example is one of the best known of all Hungarian songs. A Serbian friend told me that at school he had to learn a song from each of Yugoslavia’s socialist allies, thereby no doubt fostering friendship and solidarity. The approved song for Hungary was Az a Szép: Notice how In Az a Szép we’ve added a few “violinistic” features which would not be in the original vocal melody- such as the runs up to the A or B sections, and the rolls at the end of the A section.

128.One Kitten One of the best-known Magyar Nóta tunes. There are various possible combinations of pizz/arco for One Kitten. The second time round you might do it all arco. This tune was so popular when it was first written it is said that the band at one Budapest restaurant played it all continuously for a whole day and night.

129. Lehullott a Rezgö Nyárfa Ezüst Színü Levele (The Silver Leaves of the Poplar Tree) Source; various youtube videos

130. Zsebkendöm Négy Sarka (The Four Corners of My Hankerchief) Source;

131. Nagy a Feje (Horses Hang their Heads) source , 100 Magyar nota. In some versions, the second tune starts at a moderate tempo and then accelerates.

132/ Tiz par csókot (20 kisses) source , 100 Magyar nota

133. Nincsen annyi tenger csillasy (The Stars in the Sky) source , 100 Magyar nota “I would bring down the stars from the sky for you…” A rubato song, “Stars in the Sky is one of the few Magyar Nota tunes for which the composer is not known, It appeared in a népszínmúvek “folk theatre” production called the Yellow Filly in 1877. Such plays were one of the key means by which Magyar Nota were widely disseminated to the public

134. (Minek a szöke Énnékem). What shall I do with a blonde Source;

135. Ennek a Kislányak Rövid a Szoknyája (This little Girl has a short skirt,) Source;

136. Húzzátok Cigányok Keep playing, gypsies

137. Ez a Kislány Megy a Kútra (This little girl is going to the well) Sources;, also 100 Hungarian Songs. Note that the publisher of the latter book is a company founded by none other than Mark Rözsavölgyi, aka Mordichai Rosenthal, the Jew-trading- as- a-gypsy and father of the Csárdás. A short and simple tune, made slightly more tricky by the fact that the first line is phrased in three-bar sections. This is a feature of many old, traditional tunes; it is a common feature of Magyar nóta to copy elements of folk song. The violin variation follows the basic melody, but the key notes are linked or preceded by scales. In bar 18 an augmented second has been added- a nod towards the so called Hungarian or gypsy scale. Chromatic accidental notes are also added, such as in bar 20 or 22.

138. Deres a Fü (The Grass is Frosty) From Janos Enemble Rhapsody;; used in Liszt Rhapsody no 3 .


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