Ernö Kallai Kiss Peter Berki Lajos Sárközi jr. Ernö Kallai sr. Lajos Pádár Geza Jonas Csaba Luckacs

Hungarian folk music in the Netherlands

During the start of last century folk music from East European countries and especially Hungarian folk music became popular in the Netherlands. Several Hungarian orchestras came over to play in Dutch restaurants. Some of these musicians even stayed in the Netherlands for the rest of their live like Lajos Veres, (YouTube) and the Hungarian and later Dutch cimbalom player Timi Balázs (image and mpr below) Also famous was the pianist Sandor Vidak (YouTube) usually playing in the Kurhaus bar in Scheveningen.

This was also the period when Dutch students of several Universities started to play this music. As a result to day more Dutch amateur orchestras are playing these Magyar Nótak than in any other country of Western Europe. See the website Cimbalom Dutch platform. Several professional musicians, like the earlier mentioned Timi Balazs enjoyed it to train Dutch students in playing Hungarian folk songs.

Magyar nóta(k) Style and instruments 

Style: Urban Hungarian Folk Music (Magyar Nóta) include a broad array of styles like:

  • the slower songs, called Hallgató, are categorized under Rubata (R) in this collection.
  • the dance music like Csárdás, (csárdá = roadside inn) Lassan (slow) Csárdás, Friss (quick, lively) Csárdás. The earlier described Palotás (palace dance) and Verbunkus, or recruitment dance usually are categorized under Csárdás (C) in this collection.
  • the Nóta or Song with a great variety of styles are ccategorized under Song (S) in this collection.
  • The Andalgó (A) also belongs to this category. It can be recognized by the typical rhythm support of the brácsa (bratch) as in this YouTube video: Jaj de szép kék szeme van magának )

All of these styles, categorized in this collection under Csárdás (C), Rubato (R) and Song (S) are represented below in some examples. The ramaining category Various (V) includes related styles, like Gipsy melodies. Instruments: the most typical instruments for orchestra’s playing Magyar nóták are the first violin played by the Primas, a second violin or rather a viola used as (rhythmic) brácsa (bratch), the cimbalom and the double bas, like in this YouTube video: Terék József és barátai

Other instruments played in larger orchestra’s are: a cello, a taragot or clarinet, a second cimbalom and, especially in western countries, a piano.

The Magyar Nóta or Urban Hungarian folk Music uses strophes both in even and uneven numbers. Usually the first strophe is repeated again as last strophe. In many cases the first strophe is repeated as second strophe, but in a quint higher pitch. Not uncommonly in at least the last of more verses the last two strophes of he verse are repeated again.

Examples (tempo and rhythm)

Hallgató (rubato)

Csárdás (Düvö)

Csárdás (Düivö en Esztam mix)

Friss Csárdás (Ezstam)

Csárdasok (Csardas-melodieën)

Verbunkos (Wervingsdans)

Palotás (Paleisdans)

Nóta (Lied)

Andalgó (a-ritmische afterbeat)

Gipsy nóta (Zigeunerlied)

Bratch in Gipsy dance (2e van links)