Hungarian Folk Music

Hungarian folk songs are very rich in themes and tunes. Hungarian people sang and sing about their joy, their sadness, if it rains, if it shines, if they are in love or out of love, in luck or out of luck.

Here are some of the songs and folk performances we find really characteristic of Hungarian folk music.

Fly Bird, Fly, a traditional Hungarian folk song performed by Muzsikas Band. The pictures in the video show one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Hungarian village of Holloko (a short trip from Budapest)

If you knew what I know (Ha te tudnad, amit en) Hungarian folk song from Kukullomente performed by Agnes Herczku and Nikola Parov

Little Bird Hungarian folk song performed by Bea Palya Hungarian folk singer

Black Bird traditional Hungarian folk song performed by Hungarian folk singers: Szilvia Bognar, Agi Szaloki (Szalóki Ágnes), Agnes Herczku

Love, Love – a sad Hungarian love long performed by Marta Sebestyen

A sad Hungarian love song performed by Borbala Hanga Kacso: You are following me in vain…

Ivanovics Tunde singing Hungarian songs

Csik Band (Csik Zenekar) peforming Hungarian folk songs from Vas county in western Hungary: old Wedding Czardas from Szombathely

Probably the most famous Hungarian folk song is Spring Wind Brings Waters. Here performed in a nostalgic setting in a Hungarian film from the 1950s:

The most well known Hungarian Jewish folk song we currently know about: The Rooster is Crowing performed by Bea Palya with the Szefard Trio (also by Marta Sebestyen and Muzsikas here)

Cold Winds Blow performed by Marta Sebestyen and Muzsikas Band: a male dance music where slow and fast rhythms interlace, and the genre is called “rare and dense” (Ritka – Suru). The music was collected by Zoltán Kallos in 1969 in Ordongosfuzes in the Transylvanian region called Mezoseg (Mezőség) where Hungarian families live, Mezoseg is near the city of Cluj (today Romania). The lyrics are from Márta Sebestyén & Muzsikás.

Hungarian Folk Music Inspiring Contemporary Music and Vice Versa

Needless to say, traditional Hungarian music inspires contemporary genres, artists and there are many popular hits, which are well worth listening to.

Csik Folk Band (Csík Zenekar) performing a Hungarian indie rock slow love song from Quimby

Dance in the Snow by Ghymes Band playing world music takings its roots and motifs from Hungarian folk music

Lajko Felix, Magdolna Ruzsa: And They Say (Meg azt mondjak)

Star or Willow by Kispal es a Borz and Csik Band

Take One Way, I will Take the Other by Zuboly Beatbox singer performing a popular Hungarian folk song in beatbox style

Woods, Woods, Round Woods in Marosszek performed by Holdviola in a pop song style

Csango Boogie performed by Kerekes Band playing ethno funk folk music

Poems of Hungarian poets sang in folk music style / world music tunes. For instance the poem Little Dew Drop (Harmatocska) by Attila Jozsef sung by Sebo Band (Sebő Eggyüttes)

Bobita poem written by Sandor Weores sang by Ferenc Sebo and his band

 
Comments

I would need your help regarding 1,5 – 2 h engagement of folk ethno party band/dances – for dinner at medical meeting that takes place in Hotel Novotel City, Budapest – on 13 Sept evening (21.00 – 23.00 h).
Could you please provide me with the phone number on which I could contact you (in English) regarding this.
Thanks and regards – Branka

Hello Branka, I have sent you the contact details via email. Private folk dance shows can also be arranged.

Hello! I wonder if you can help me… I’m here in Budapest, studying Hungarian folk music for my Phd, and I really need to meet and interview as many musicians and dancers and organisations as possible for my research. Maybe you know people who would be willing to talk about their experiences with folk music? Please email me if this might be possible. Thank you!!

Hello Naomi, I am quite sure that there are many musicians and dancers happy to share their experiences with you. It would be best to contact the bands and ensembles themselves. If you want to reach as many as possible, it would be best perhaps to wait until a folk festival comes up, but the Christmas Market in Budapest will feature many Hungarian folk bands on both Vorosmarty Square and at the Basilica Advent Fair on St Istvan Square so you could ask them after their concert if they can give a contact, or answer a few questions. Another, and perhaps in winter better time to start your investigation is to go to folk dance houses: Marczibanyi Cultural Center, Fono Folk House, the House of Hungarian Heritage, Aranytiz Folk Dance House are all great places to start to build your interviews. I am also sure that your thesis consultant and teachers will be able to help you.

Many of the Hungarian folk musicians and bands live / perform in Budapest. Here are some websites:
http://www.kolompos.hu/
http://www.fakutya.eu/
http://www.c3.hu/~nemztanc/falka.html
http://www.ezustpatak.hu/
http://www.etnofon.hu/hun/
http://csurrento.hu/
http://www.musicart.hu/agoston/cifra/index.htm
http://www.berkaegyuttes.hu/
http://tekerozenekar.uw.hu/
http://www.sultu.hu/
http://tekazenekar.shp.hu/hpc/web.php?a=tekazenekar&o=NYpTL52d6k.html
http://www.tukros.hu/pages.php?fmn=2&ismen=1
http://www.zurgo.hu/

You will find a phone number or email address to contact the bands for an interview date.
Thank you for researching Hungarian folk music!

Does anyone know a Hungarian song about bitter (sour) bean soup made by a woman named Mariska? My father used to sing it. All I can remember is the line, “olyan savanyu mint a biro” (as sour as a judge). I would really appreciate it if anyone can find this song for me! Reply to jeffk627 at gmail dot com.

I would like to get an English translation of all the lyrics to a Hungarian folk song: NINCSEN ANNYI TENGERCSILLAG AZ ÉGEN. The automatic translators return gibberish. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thank you.