Magyar Zene Music Quarterly
Vol. 52 , No. 1 - February 2014
A Missing Link?
A 1687 Pauline Antiphoner from Crikvenica
During a research trip in April 2010 we discovered a so far unknown
Pauline office source in the collection at the National and University
Library in Zagreb (shelf mark: R 3038). On the title page the date 1687
could be read, as well as an additional cursive note written in a later
hand which indicates that the book was used in the Pauline monastery at
Crikvenica beside the Adriatic.
Gabriella Gilányi, research fellow at the Department of Early Music at the Institute for Musicology (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Centre for the Humanities) in Budapest. She studied musicology at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and received her PhD in 2007. Her dissertation deals with the Gregorian office tradition of the medieval Patriarchate of Aquileia. She has published several articles on medieval plainchant. At present her main research field includes sources of the medieval Divine Office, retrospective plainchant style from Hungary in the 17th and 18th centuries, and post-Tridentine chant- repertory. Since 2004 she has participated in several meetings of the Cantus Planus Study Group of the International Musicological Society.
Endre Szervánszky’s Cancelled Revolution (1959–1977)
Hungarian music historiography connects traditionally the break with the folkloristic national classicism of the fifties with the name of the composer, Endre Szervánszky (1911–1977). His Six orchestral pieces written in 1959, the world première of which caused an outcry in Hungarian music life, is the first dodecaphonic composition written in Hungary, and at the same time it is the first document of Hungarian compositional reception of Anton von Webern’s music. In this cycle Szervánszky spectacularly disregarded the musical consensus which was built on folk music and Hungarian musical tradition, and this gesture gave him the image of the avantgarde rebel and self- denying revolutionary. It is sure that Szervánszky had experimented with a new music style since 1957, and since 1959 he attended the meetings of the underground neo- avantgarde in Budapest (the circle of László Végh). Despite this the Six orchestral pieces seem to be a didactic composition for today’s listener, which means it is much more a historical document than an aesthetically valuable work of art. The compositions written by Szervánszky after 1959 – Dark Heaven, Requiem (1962), Variations for Orchestra (1964- 65), Concerto for Clarinet (1965) – bear witness to the fact that the composer himself lost direction in how to follow the path he had chosen in the Six orchestral pieces. Moreover his compositions – as the serialists of Darmstadt would put it – didn’t reach ’the technical niveau of the time,’ that is Szervánszky’s technical skills were quite limited. So Szervánszky’s avantgarde change, which followed in reality more the modernism of the 1910s and 1920s, and not the avantgarde trends of his time, proved to be a failure. I try to clarify in my paper on the one hand the interpretations of the concept of the avantgarde in Hungarian musical discourses of the early sixties, and on the other hand the connection between the cancellation of this avantgarde change and Szervánszky’s limited technical skills.
Anna Dalos (PhD) studied musicology at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, from 1993 to 1998. Between 1998 and 2002 she attended the Doctoral Programme in Musicology at the same institution. She spent a year on a German exchange (DAAD) scholarship at the Humboldt University, Berlin (1999- 2000). She is currently working at the Musicological Institute of the Research Centre for Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has been a lecturer at the DMA Programme of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music since 2007 and visiting lecturer at the International Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music, Kecskemét since 2010. Her research focuses on 20th- century Hungarian music, and the history of composition and musicology in Hungary. She has published articles on these subjects as well as short monographs on several Hungarian composers (Pál, Kadosa, György Kósa, Rudolf Maros). Her book on Zoltán Kodály’s poetics was published in 2007 in Budapest. In 2012 she won the “Lendület” grant of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which made possible the foundation of the Archives and Research Group for 20th- 21st-Century Hungarian Music.
Hungarian Gypsy Musical Recordings from the Early 20th Century
The style of popular music played by Gypsy musicians in cities in the
19th century and in the early 20th century has been judged only by old
descriptions and by the musical style of Gypsies of the mid- 20th
century. However, a new type of source, namely the music of popular
gramophone discs of the early 20th century, has become widely available.
On the gramophononline.hu near 1000 gramophone recordings by Gypsy
musicians are accessible, each of which is about 3 minutes long. Most of
them were recorded in the 1900s and 1910s and the most famous Hungarian
Gypsies of that time played on them.
Kata Riskó (1985), musicologist. She studied musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. She graduated in 2008, her dissertation focussing on Bagpipe- Episodes in classical Music and their Folk Music Relations. In 2008 she started her PhD studies in musicology at the same institution on the topic of the instrumental folk music of the northern dialect of the Hungarian language area. She is an assistant research fellow at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
JÓZSEF BRAUER- BENKE
A Historical Survey of Folk Fiddle Types
A historical survey of folk fiddle types allows one to conclude that the ancestors of modern Hungarians at the time of entering the Carpathian Basin are likely to have known a lute type both plucked and played with a bow. Thus it is only in the 15th century that such lutes gave rise to two separate types, one being a type of fiddle called hegedű, played exclusively by using a bow, and the other a lute type known as koboz. Analysing the historical sources further demonstrates that up to as late as the 18th century the use of exact terms for different instrument types was not common; the term hegedűs, for instance, might be used varyingly to refer to any string instrument player and even to any musician. When considering the origins of various fiddle types played with a stick, one must also reckon with a number of external influences from different directions, since the Hungarianspeaking regions in the 9th to 10th centuries may have seen the appearance of western kithara and fidula types as well as Byzantine lyres, a situation made even more complex by the introduction from Italy of a type of fidula in the 15th century, as attested by a tile fragment found in Buda Castle. Historical data also offer evidence for the presence in the 17th century of a fidula type of eastern origin called the Magyar fiddle, in addition to all the German and Italian fiddle types. It is only in the late 18th century and through the influence of Gypsy orchestras imitating the Baroque string ensembles that the various instruments belonging to the family of modern violins and originating in the north Italian region were more widely distributed and came to supplant earlier fiddle types.
József Brauer- Benke (Budapest, 1970) studied ethnography, folklore, cultural anthropology, and African studies at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest from 1995–2000, and from 2001–2004 he completed the Doctoral Programme in European Ethnology at the same institution. His doctoral dissertation examined the history of Hungarian folk musical instruments. He has been a lecturer in the African Studies Programme at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest from 2003–2008, and has lectured at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music since 2008. He also worked in the Laczkó Dezső Museum in Veszprém from 2006–2007 as resident ethnographer and museologist. He currently holds an appointment as organologist and museologist at the Institute for Musicology in the Research Centre for the Humanities at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His publications focus on folk musical instruments and the history of folk society. His book on African musical instruments was published in 2007 in Budapest; and in 2012 he organised an exhibition on Hungarian folk instruments for the Museum of Music History. He is currently involved in comparative research into the history of African folk musical instruments.
Ernst von Dohnányi to the Posterity
Búcsú és üzenet (Message to Posterity)
“I would rather remain silent” – wrote Ernst von Dohnányi in a letter when he was asked to tell a few words about his newly revised Symphony no. 2. Indeed, he usually remained silent instead of speaking about his works, or any other topics, moreover he was a confessedly terrible correspondent. Therefore it is understandable that his booklet- length memoirs, published as Message to Posterity in English (Ilona von Dohnányi [transl.], Mary F. Parmenter [ed.]; Jacksonville, Florida: Drew, 1960) and as Búcsú és üzenet [Farewell and Message] in Hungarian (München: Nemzetőr, 1962) are very important sources for Dohnányi research. Although the English and Hungarian versions are not exactly the same, both texts touch on such important subjects as Dohnányi’s childhood, his feelings about his emigration, the political slanders, teaching, composing, or even sight- reading. However, scholars rightly query the authorship of the Message: the sometimes sentimental and pathetic style of the writing suggests that Dohnányi’s third wife played a more important role in creating the text than that of a “translator” as it is written in the American publication. In my study, I have tried to present the significance and the problems of the booklets; and then to publish an edited version of five chapters of the memoirs in which after comparing the English and Hungarian versions, I have added explanatory comments, and have made an attempt to distinguish the two “authors” of the text.
Veronika Kusz (b. 1980, Kaposvár) studied musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest (1998–2003, doctoral studies: 2003–2006). In the academic year 2005/2006 she was a Fulbright Fellow in the United States, conducting research in the American Dohnányi Collection (Florida State University, Tallahassee). She defended her Ph. D. thesis on Dohnányi’s American years in 2010. She is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has published studies on Dohnányi and Pál Járdányi.
The Melodic Material of Bartók’s Slovak Folksong Arrangements
In Bartók’s folksong arrangements – according to the source list of Vera Lampert – there are 81 Slovak folksongs out of the 313 folk melodies – next to 159 Hungarian ones, 66 Romanian ones, and 7 others. These melodies appear in 10 works of Bartók, which were written between 1907–1932. The essay gives an overview of Bartók’s work on Slovak folk songs, presents the new cataloguing system results of Bartók himself and Slovakian ethnomusicology, and will attempt to set these melodies into these systems. The tables show that the tune set choosen by Bartók gives a proportionate picture of the whole of Slovak folk songs, and of the presence of different layers of styles, and their importance. Then I look for answers to the question: what may have been the reasons and the aims of the melody selection in the individual pieces. Finally I present a typical melody family: melodies called “valaská” by the author, their relationship and the presence of these melodies in Bartók’s works.
Klára Erdélyi-Molnár (1969), after twenty years of playing and teaching folk music, graduated from the Liszt Academy of Music in the Folk Music Department in 2010, and currently she is an MA student at the same place in the Musicology Department. As a folk violinist she specializes in Slovak folk music from Hungary and from the mother-country (Slovakia) as well.