Zoltan Kodaly


Zoltan Kodaly born in 1882 and died in 1967 was a composer from Hungary, a pedagogue, ethnomusicologist, philosopher and linguist. He is widely remembered for his creation of the Kodaly method. He started out to play the violin as a child. Later in 1905, he visited various remote villages to gather songs and recorded them on phonograph cylinders. A year later, Zoltan wrote a thesis on the Hungarian folk song commonly known as the “strophic construction in Hungarian folksong”. During this time, Kodaly met a composer like him, Bela Bartok who he helped and introduced him to various methods involved in the collection of folk song. The two would later end up being lifelong companions and champions of one another’s music.

Kodaly immensely grew to become a widely known composer and a figure to reckon with authority on the folk music of Hungary. He was additionally significant as an educator not only of composers but again of the teachers in that area. Through the students he taught, he contributed a lot to the spread of music education in the whole of Hungary. He became a chorister during his youth times when he was at Nagyszombat, Austria-Hungary that is currently known as Trnava, Slovakia. This is where he wrote his initial music compositions. He studied composition back in 1902 at Budapest. He toured his mother country in his initial quest for sources of folk songs in the time before he graduated from the Budapest University after writing a thesis in 1906 based on the structure of the Hungarian folk song. After his studies shortly in Paris along with Charles Widor who was a composer and an organist, Kodaly ended up being a theory and composition teacher at the Budapest Academic of Music right from 1907 to 1941.

During his time, Kodaly published various editions in the company of his friends like Bela Bartok between 1906 and 1921. The collection they made during this time founded the basis of what would later be the “Corpus Musicae Popularis Hungariae that was established in the year 1951. Kodaly made a personal style, romantic in flavor while at the same time less persuasive when compared to that of his friend Bartok. He derived his composition style from the folk music of Hungarian nature, modern French music and the religious of the Renaissance in Italy. He is one notable figure in history that influences Hungarian culture through philosophy, music and language.

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