International  •  Central European Traditions »

Hungarian Folk

While the popular salon songs of the gypsy orchestras were long assumed to be the traditional folk tunes of Hungary, the truth behind the nation's musical history was not widely revealed until the early 20th century, when a unique and previously unknown folk tradition -- dating back some 4,000 years to the culture's very roots -- was unearthed in the Finno-Ugrian linguistic group of the Volga-Kama region of the Russian Republic. With its pentatonic (five-note) songs and descending patterns, it is most similar to the songs of the Mari people of the Volga/Kama, with most of the traditional Hungarian repertoire directly originating in this region.