Magyar Zene Music Quarterly





Magyar Zene

Hungarian Language Music Quarterly


Vol. 53 , No. 3 - August 2015







Haydn, Shakespeare és az eredetiség szabályai, 1. rész 241
Haydn, Shakespeare, and the Rules of Originality (Abstract) 262
„Mesterszóknak okos formálása”
Zenei terminológia, vita és karaktergyilkosság, 1831–1832
“A Wisely Formed Professional Vocabulary”
Musical Terminology, Arguments and Character Annihilation, 1831–1832 (Abstract)
„Magyar hangok” a háborúból
Az első világháború és a magyar hanglemeztörténet
“Hungarian Sounds” from Wartime
The First World War and the History of Hungarian Recordings (Abstract)
Adalékok Rajeczky Benjamin és az MTA Népzenekutató Csoportja kapcsolatához 305
Contributions to Benjamin Rajeczky’s Affiliation to the Folk Music Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Abstract) 322
A populáris zene helye Maróthy János esztétikai gondolkodásában 323
The Place of Popular Music in János Maróthy’s Approach to Aesthetics (Abstract) 334
Repetitio mater studiorum est
Sáry László repetitív darabjai és a hazai zenepedagógia
Repetitio Mater Studiorum Est
Minimalist Compositions by László Sáry and Hungarian Musical Education (Abstract)



Magyar képek, párhuzamos történetek
Tallián Tibor: Magyar képek. Fejezetek a magyar zeneélet és zeneszerzés történetéből, 1940–1956



The whole issue (pdf)








Haydn, Shakespeare, and the Rules of Originality


This essay explores the discourse around Haydn’s famous statement that in his isolation at Eszterháza he “had to become original.” Considering the relationship of originality to rules and to genius in 18th- century thought leads to the reception history of the arch- original Shakespeare in Germany and Austria. Haydn’s critics not infrequently compared him to Shakespeare, especially in stylistic mixtures of comic and serious elements, and in his role as composer for visiting theatrical troupes Haydn’s name was linked with productions of Shakespeare, even Hamlet. Finally, the theatrical rhetoric and heterogeneous topical play associated with originality are explored in several string quartets and symphonies that help to recover the “Shakespearean” Haydn.


Elaine Sisman is the Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music at Columbia University. The author of Haydn and the Classical Variation, the Cambridge Handbook Mozart: The “Jupiter” Symphony, and editor of Haydn and His World, she has published numerous essays on music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that interweave history, biography, aesthetics, and analysis. She is currently working on studies of Don Giovanni, mechanical music and expressive topoi, and the music of illumination. She received the PhD in music history from Princeton University and has taught at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. Sisman was awarded the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society in 1983 for best article by a younger scholar, serves on the boards of the Joseph Haydn- Institut and the Akademie für Mozartforschung as well as The Musical Quarterly and The Journal of Musicology, and completed a term as president of the American Musicological Society, which elected her to Honorary Membership in 2011. In 2014 she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


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“A Wisely Formed Professional Vocabulary”
Musical Terminology, Arguments and Character Annihilation, 1831–1832


The 12 volumes of Közhasznu esmeretek tára [Library of General Knowledge] begun in 1831 were the largest Hungarian encyclopedia undertaking to date. A large part of the set of books were a translation of the entries in the German Conversationslexicon (Brockhaus), and the smaller part was the work of writers and scholars from widely differing areas of Hungarian academic life. One of the problems the editors, writers and translators of the encyclopedia had to deal with was that the professional terminology of certain academic disciplines – for example medicine, geology, philosophy etc. – was at that time still liable to change, or was still being created.  The translation of the entries to do with music was made especially difficult by the extremely rudimentary nature of the Hungarian terminology. In many cases the translator was forced to create musical terms and some of the circa five hundred entries on music and musical history presented the translator with an impossible task. The present article presents and analyses the arguments that took place in the pages of journals over criticism of the musical entries in the first volume. These arguments broke out between the translator István Jakab and Sándor Dömény, who was more knowledgeable in musical matters and had practical experience. The fierce arguments extended in detail over four entries: Accord, Alapbassus (Grundbass, Fundamental bass), Appoggiato and Bach (Johann Sebastian). After István Jakab had responded, the arguments grew more heated and became personal. Among other things it turns out that the preparation of the musical entries was originally entrusted to Sándor Dömény himself, who declared the deadline to be too short, and considered the editorial principles not properly thought out, and he therefore rejected the commission. Knowing the controversies of the time in literary and linguistic matters, the raw tone of their arguments is not a surprise: the publication of the Közhasznu esmeretek tára was begun in the last period of the Hungarian linguistic reform and at a time when the internal divisions of the early 19th century Hungarian intelligentsia had become acute. Indeed, the controversy surrounding the whole encyclopedia enterprise itself contributed to deepening the divisions. The arguments centred around terminology and, in the Bach entry, musical culture, and they produced little practical result. Useful and accurate musical terms were not settled upon and Jakab afterwards preferred to avoid later problems. Dömény’s attack may perhaps have contributed to the fact that after a time no more musical entries were written for the encyclopedia; indeed in the heat of the controversy Jakab suggested that his critic should take on the task of writing these entries instead of himself. Dömény of course refused the commission. The sources presented in the article have earlier not been covered in historical examinations of this musical period.


Szabolcs Molnár (b.1969) is a musicologist, music critic and teacher. In 1998 he completed his  studies at the Liszt Academy. He teaches music history at the Károly Eszterházy College in Eger and at the Béla Bartók Music School and Grammar School in Budapest. His music reviews regularly appear in Muzsika magazine, and he frequently contributes to music programmes on Bartók Rádió.


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“Hungarian Sounds” from Wartime
The First World War and the History of Hungarian Recordings


In this article I look at the years of the first world war from the aspect of the history of recordings. Here we can only take a look, since an acquaintance with the sources reveals an extraordinarily rich and varied area so far completely unresearched. Although the cataloguing of Hungarian recordings from the turn of the century is still at the preliminary stage, it is possible to identify when numerous early Hungarian recordings were made with the assistance of sources from a number of recording companies – in some cases primary sources, in other cases secondary ones – as well as periodicals of the period dealing with recordings, advertisements and the actual sound of the records. In this way we can study the policies of the companies regarding repertoire, and contemporary reaction to historical events along with changes in listening habits.
In short, we can state that the history of Hungarian recording was very much affected by the first world war. Not only the recordings actually issued can be explained by the war, but also some hiatuses in production. At the same time it also becomes clear that – despite the allegations found in some academic writings – not all recording companies ceased their Hungarian operations after 1914; many firms can be said to have kept producing recordings continuously right up till the beginning of the 1920s. Thanks to this we can know what sounding impression was left in Hungary by the first world war.


Ferenc János Szabó (1985, Pécs) musicologist, pianist. Secondary studies in choir conducting, composition and piano in Pécs and Budapest. Graduated with honours from the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy as a piano pupil of Jenő Jandó and Sándor Falvai in 2008. In the same year he started doctoral studies for DLA degree in piano playing and PhD in musicology (supervisor for both: Anna Dalos), and a master course in chamber music at Kunstuniversität Graz. In the first half of 2011 he worked as a contributor at the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Center. Since September of the same year he has been a junior researcher at the Institute for Musicology (Research Centre for the Humanities, The Hungarian Academy of Sciences). He has won several prizes at international competitions as the pianist of the Piano Trio “Trio Duecento Corde”. He holds the Annie Fischer scholarship. His research field as a musicologist is the history of Hungarian sound recording and Hungarian operatic performance. He has given papers and published studies on these themes and on Liszt. Since July 2012 he has been a member of the Archives and Research Group of 20th–21st Century Hungarian Music at the Institute for Musicology; since March 2013 he has been a piano accompanist at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy in the classes of Éva Marton and Andrea Meláth. From September 2013 he holds a postdoctoral scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.


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Contributions to Benjamin Rajeczky’s Affiliation to the Folk Music Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences


The Hungarian musicologist Benjamin Rajeczky (1901–1989) studied theology and history of music in Innsbruck in the 1920s, and was a visiting student at Zoltán Kodály’s courses at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, in the 1930s. His research focused primarily upon plainchant and its traditions in Hungary, on the culture of early polyphony in Hungary, and on folk music. These three major avenues of enquiry resulted in the complex study of musical culture in medieval Hungary, consistently seen and shown within its European context. Rajeczky had been the Prior of the Cistercian Order until it was, together with other religious orders, dissolved in 1950. The increasing presence of Rajeczky in the field of institutionalized musicology during the 1950s and especially the 1960s deserves attention not only because his view upon the world was so different from the Communist ideology but also because his scholarship kept a significant distance from Kodály’s dominant national historical paradigm too. Based on archival sources, this paper examines the cultural political environment and the scholarly debates whose impact can explain how Rajeczky was appointed deputy director of the Folk Music Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1960, and director of the same institution in 1967, following the death of the founding director, Zoltán Kodály. I also wish to shed new light on the circumstances under which his directorship was, finally, cut short. In doing so, I discuss the changing concept of national music history as it appears from various musicological texts of the early 1960s, and I also study the changing attitudes of the state socialist administration towards nationalism and towards the field of humanities.


Lóránt Péteri, musicologist and music critic, is Head of the Musicology and Music Theory Department, and Member of the Ph. D. Doctoral Council at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. He graduated from the same institution in 2002 and also from Eötvös Loránd University, where he studied history, in 2006. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Bristol, UK, in 2008 with a dissertation entitled ’The Scherzo of Mahler’s Second Symphony: A Study of Genre’. Among his contributions are the studies „God and Revolution – Rewriting the Absolute: Bence Szabolcsi and the Discourse of Hungarian Musical Life”. In: Blazekovic Z. and Dobbs Mackenzie B. (eds.): Music’s Intellectual History. New York: RILM, 2009; and „Form, Meaning and Genre in the Scherzo of Mahler’s Second Symphony”, Studia Musicologica 50/3–4, 2009.


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The Place of Popular Music in János Maróthy’s Approach to Aesthetics


In my paper I demonstrate the changes in János Maróthy’s aesthetical and political attitudes towards popular music from the late 1940s up to the early 1970s. Maróthy was (politically) active both in the Stalinist and the post-1956 (Kádár) era. As an internationally acknowledged musicologist, he found employment in many important institutions. He not only had an overview of the events of Hungarian popular music, but with his presentations and articles, he also exerted a considerable influence on them. In reconstructing and analysing his aesthetic and sociological approach, however, one can also point out the musicologist’s forced (ideological) paths, and notice how Khrushchev’s proclamation on “peaceful coexistence” and the rapidly changing East-West relations from the 1960s influenced his thinking.
With the help of communist party and ministerial materials and media coverage, I examine Maróthy’s key texts, chosen from four different periods. First, I deal with his early essays from 1948. I then analyse a long essay in two parts entitled A Few Urgent Tasks Regarding the Improvement of Our Dance Music from 1953
(published immediately after Stalin’s death), which includes what is probably the last large- scale concept of “national dance music”. In the second part of my paper, I scrutinize various writings from the early 1960s, which marked a spectacular easing up in the attitude towards jazz. Finally, I elaborate on those texts and sketches from the late 1960s and early 1970s which demanded a revision in the matter of “social realism”, and which announced the growing attention and tolerance Maróthy exhibited toward the musical products of Western mass culture: beat music and rock.


Ádám Ignácz (1981), music aesthetician. He graduated from Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE, Budapest) in history and aesthetics. He was enrolled in the Philosophy Doctoral School of ELTE, and he received his PhD in 2013 (Dissertation title: Composer on the Stage. The Problem of Portaying The Artist in the Artist Operas of Scriabin, Schoenberg and Pfitzner). He was awarded state grants to conduct research at the Humboldt University Berlin and University of Vienna. His has published articles on musical expressionism, symbolism, futurism and on Hungarian popular music in national and international journals. He has presented papers at conferences in Hungarian, German and English (e.g. in Vilnius, Birmingham, Liverpool, Kiel, Luzern). Since 2013 Ádám Ignácz has been working as a research fellow for the ’Lendület’ Archives and Research Group for 20th–21st Century Hungarian Music, Institute for Musicology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The author from 2015 holds a post- doctoral scholarship from the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA).

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Repetitio Mater Studiorum Est
Minimalist Compositions by László Sáry and Hungarian Musical Education


László Sáry, member of the most important Hungarian association of composers in the seventies and eighties of the last century, the „Új Zenei Stúdió” (New Music Studio), has a big impact on Hungarian musical life even today – not only as an ingenious composer, but, as inventor of a new pedagogical method too. „Kreatív zenei gyakorlatok” (Creative Musical Exercises), his important book summarizing the method provides not only very exciting pedagogical material for future musicians and for all who find pleasure in games with musical sounds, but serves as the best introduction to his compositional thinking as well. This paper tries to place his oeuvre in the cultural world of the seventies and to discover the roots of his style. After a comparative owerview of minimalism in music and the fine arts and a sketch of its philosophical background and musicalaesthetical consequences, the contemporary Hungarian new avantgarde is briefly
presented. Sáry’s originality emerges in the manner in which he is able to recombine two opposite directions: the „hard edge” face of continous repetition and the fragility of the individual sounds. The power of his pedagogy lies also in bridging over relevant pedagogical problems: his method is an accretion of the depths of classical musical thinking and the buoyancy of popular music making.


János Bali (1963) recorder player, conductor, composer. As recorder player his repertory covers the whole repertoire of the instrument, from the Middle Ages to the newest music. He has premiered works by the finest Hungarian composers (Kurtág, Vidovszky, Kondor, Tornyai), and several new pieces are dedicated to him. His Introduction to the avantgarde – for recorder players (Editio Musica Budapest, 2013) is a big success in Europe and in the USA as well. His book on the recorder (in Hungarian; A furulya, Editio Musica Budapest, 2007) is the biggest and most comprehensive monography of the instrument ever written. The six CDs of his all- male vocal group A:N:S Chorus with 15th century Mass music, Obrecht and Agricola, enjoyed a warm reception in the most renowned critical forums. He is the editor of works by György Kurtág, and has also edited a lot of of recorder music, Renaissance vocal polyphony and early classical symphonies. He has given courses on music history, aesthetics, improvisation and recorder in several Hungarian universities; at present he is a Lecturer at Pázmány Péter Catholic University and lectures at Miskolc University. In 2010 he was honoured with the Liszt- Prize.


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