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Zoltán Kodály One Of The Greatest Hungarian Composers Died On This Day 50 Years Ago

Robert Velkey 2017.03.06.

Zoltán Kodály (16 December 1882 Kecskemét – 6 March 1967 Budapest) was one of the most outstanding personalities of 20th century Hungarian culture: composer, ethnomusicologist, music pedagogue and linguist. His internationally acknowledged concept of music education is the basis for general music teaching in Hungary and also plays an important role in the training of professional musicians. Zoltán Kodály played a prominent role in Hungarian public life, holding several public posts and being a member or head of numerous boards and committees. He was also acquainted with many influential public figures (musicians, artists, scholars and politicians).


The great Hungarian mind researched and developed the good practices and methods to tech music. The Kodály method, also referred to as Kodály concept, is a way of developing musical skills and teaching musical concepts beginning in very young children. The method uses a child-developmental approach to sequence, introducing skills due to the capabilities of the child. Kodály did not teach these techniques, nor create a step-by-step process for teachers, he did formulate the principles of this teaching practice and his followers developed his principles into the powerful method that has impacted children across the globe.

Here are some main points of Kodály’s philosophy:

  • Everyone has the right to music literacy and it is meant to be enjoyed!
  • Singing can and should provide the foundation for all types of music
  • Music education should begin at the earliest age possible
  • A child’s own culture provides his/her musical “mother tongue”. Folk music is the musical mother tounge of the child. Folk songs provide ideal materials for music education.

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Through this recognition, the Kodály method has been added to the list of best practices for preservation of culture, a register that UNESCO reserves for those models of teaching are worthy of use on an international scale, and that provide a good example for countries throughout the world. In recognition of his work as an ethnomusicologist, music educator, and composer and the 50 years anniversary of his death, UNESCO has designated 2017 as a special Zoltán Kodály anniversary year. The Hungarian State also announced this year as a Kodály-memorial year.


via: kodaly-inst.hu; kodaly.hu; atempo.sk

photos: atempo.sk; bacstudastar.hu;