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Presentation on theme: "EXPERIENCES OF THE ADAPTATION OF THE KODÁLY CONCEPT"— Presentation transcript:


2 Kodály Zoltán 1882 – 1967 Composer, Musicologist and Ethnomusicologist, Linguist, Educational Reformer


4 Psalmus Hungaricus – first performance in 1923

5 Choir of Wesselényi utca boy school with Borus Endre and Kodály Zoltán

6 Sight-reading exercises by Kodály

7 Art and music are integral, indispensable means of humanistic education and everybody has the right to learn music “The opinion had been held from the ancient Greeks to Comenius that music was indispensable for human development, formed and essential part of education and was not some kind of dispensable consumer’s goods, mere entertainment.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I.p.334.) “Man’s purer musical world concept will undoubtedly contribute to the purification of his overall world concept. Because as Platon puts it, music education is so immensely important because the rhythm and the melody penetrate best the innermost of the soul, captivate it with might and main, any by bringing along good order imbue man, who is educated along right principles, with a sound spirit.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I.p.182)

8 Music education has to start already at early childhood and should be primarily vocal
“…the years between three and seven are educationally much more important than the later ones. What is spoiled or omitted at this age cannot be put right later on. In these years man’s future is decided practically for his whole life.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.94) “A deeper musical education can at all times develop only where singing forms its basis. Instruments are for the privileged few. Only the human voice – accessible to all, free of charge, yet the most beautiful of all instruments – can be the fertile soil of a musical culture extending to all.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.117)

9 Music literacy serves as the very basis for high-level music appreciation, and the best means to achieve that is the relative sol-fa “Sight-singing leads closer to music than a season-ticket at the Opera House.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.127) “…with solmization ….one reaches fluent sight-reading faster. This is, naturally, true for relative solmization only, since here, by singing the name of the tone, we have already defined its function in the tonality.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.65)

10 It is only high value and good music that can serve as learning material: starting with monophonic folksong at the beginning, and followed later by the classics of art music „The elementary school will achieve its purpose not only if reading is taught there but if the difference between good and bad music is also made apparent. In short, we can say that the elementary school will do fine work if it instills in the mind of its pupils an aversion to pop music, for this is a canker of good music and of understanding good music.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.286)

11 Why monophonic folk song should serve as basis of the beginning phase of our music education?
this music is simple, yet not without aesthetic values it expresses deep emotions and shows classical forms which do, however, not make it difficult „the best foundations for subconscious national features” the game-songs and children songs of the folk tradition are perfectly adjusted to the characteristics of the related age group by them children may easily acquire the fundamental areas of musical knowledge

12 First steps of an authentic adaptation:
exploring our own nation’s folk song treasure, followed by its conscious analysis and systematization always searching for the ‚value’ considering how the folk song was effected by the changes of European music history „From the point of view of monophony the music of ancient times and of the Middle Ages, together with the early layers of folk music, represents a stronger, more valuable material than that of the subsequent eras. […] The layers of folk music to be chiefly included into education should be the farthest from the salon music of the 18th – 19th centuries and from modern popular music. They must represent the highest artistic standard be, historically archaic and irradiate discipline and bearing.” (Dobszay: After Kodály p.25)

13 Problems of finding valuable and rich folk song material
„If we wish to return to ancient source to find a synthesis of value and simplicity, we cannot be sure that these are found in the same way in other countries as they are in Hungary. It is possible that the cultures of Western Europe and those, descended from them will not find the above defined ‘folk music’ in the folksongs which are accessible in the twentieth century. The Hungarian example suggests ideals for other countries rather than ready solutions. From these examples the ideals can and should be observed, and applied. The idea is to find valuable introductory material for beginners which has both the simplicity and monumentality of the folk music. In Hungary, where folk music was saved in a living and complete form by Bartók and Kodály in the first decades of this century, the problem could be solved by using these musical relics of the Hungarian past. Rediscovery of these basic elements takes place but in very different ways in every country” (Dobszay: After Kodály p.100)

14 Suggestion by Dobszay for other valuable introductory material for beginners
„…The rich musical life of Europe and its flourishing traditions advanced to a synthesis between the tenth and the sixteenth centuries; art music (composed music) absorbed in various ways the most valuable elements of folk music; the monophonic Gregorian culture amalgamated with the most precious traditions of the folk music of that time and made it firm in a special form which was half folk music and half art music in character. It was integrated into the richness and fullness of the monophonic and polyphonic art music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and was also contained folk music motifs. In the meantime the vocal repertoire of the troubadours, minstrels (minnesängers) continuously enriched art music on the side of folk music and the situation was reciprocated; thus there was a constant mutual influence on both parts.” Consequently for Western Europe medieval notated music could play the role of the musical mother tongue that is of folk music. […] the repertory of medieval secular songs, church cancio, recitations, rondeaus, ballads etc. possesses the same characteristics as the Eastern European folksong so highly appreciated by Kodály.” (Dobszay: After Kodály. p.99. and 37.)

15 How to teach foreign songs?
„Whether we should sing also foreign songs? Absolutely, but not the way, as we have done it so far, mainly masking them as Hungarian ones, instead telling it clearly, where they are from. And as much as it is possible, sing them in their original languages.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.65) the rhythm and intonation of the text are quasi reflected in the rhythm and metre thus singing folk songs in translated forms will never be able to express their original beauty and aesthetics transforming the rhythm of the mother tongue into musical rhythm is much easier and more natural than it would be that of a text in foreign language

16 Advantages of teaching songs of foreign nations
we can understand our own folk music much better through them, through their observed singularities we can acquire those segments of music knowledge that are not characteristic for our own folk music, but are indispensable for appreciative understanding of art music

17 (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.39)
„ It is intuitive feeling, and training that brings us closer to music, and not speculative argumentation. (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.65) “Music must not be approached from its intellectual, rational side, nor should it be conveyed to the child as a system of algebraic symbols, or as the secret writing of a language with which he/she has no connection. The way should be paved for direct intuition.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.39)

18 Aspects of designing and setting up the adequate teaching sequence
to follow the special needs of the given age groups as regards through considering compass, rhythmic and melodic turns, tempo, metre, text contents, as well as forms of and needs for movement to identify and select those musical characteristics that are dominant in the folk music of the given culture and teach these ones first of all to teach afterwards those phenomena of musical knowledge, that are less characteristic for the folk music of the given culture, but their knowledge is still fundamentally important for appreciative conscious reception of art music

19 Summary of Kodály’s vision
“The aim: Hungarian musical culture. The means: making the reading and writing of music general, through the schools. At the same time the awakening of a Hungarian musical approach in the training of both artist and audience. The raising of Hungarian taste in music and a continual progress towards what is better and more Hungarian. To make the masterpieces of world literature public property, to convey them to people of every kind and rank. The total of all these will yield the Hungarian musical culture which is glimmering before us in the distant future.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.207)

20 Possible shortcomings of the adaptation process
music education system in the wider contexts competencies and training of music teachers

21 Hungarian music education system
Secondary level (14-18y) secondary school: 1x45 min. singing lesson / week music grammar school: 4x45 min. singing lessons / week 2x45 min. choir reheasal music conservatories- for future musicians: instrumental studies, solfege, music history and theory, folk music, chamber music, choir or orchestra Basic level Kindergarten (3-6y): 5-10 min. singing activities every day Primary school (6-14y): 1 or 2x45 min. singing lesson(s) / week special primary school /singing school/: 4x45 min. singing lessons / week 2x45 min. choir rehearsal / week Music and art school (6-18y) for instrumental and compulsory solfege studies: 2x30 or 45 min. lessons / week Tertiary level of music education (18-)

22 The competencies of music teachers, their professional training
“…teaching in school will improve if we first train good teachers who develop the student’s ear, and give general music knowledge.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.198) „An indispensable personal requirement is a teacher who has to have, in addition to pedagogical affinity, a significant musical outlook and knowledge so that she could find her way in the inner relations of more complicated art music material. The teacher has to be a good pianist (at least up to the level of easier Mozart sonatas), must have a well-founded knowledge of harmony and forms and be well acquainted with music literature.” (Dobszay: The world of tones IV – introductory notes)

23 The strengths of the Chinese adaptation
it started in higher education parallel with this, the ordering and systematization of their folk music material were also started, as well as the compilation of subject matters in accordance with the basic principles of the Hungarian method experimental classes were soon also started there were made efforts to organize post graduate further training courses for practicing music teachers a new curriculum is being compiled in the spirit of the new music pedagogy the Chinese adaptation maximally considers the cultural and traditional characteristics of the Chinese nation, while not ignoring in the meantime the probably extremely over-visualized and over-computerized world of our times either

24 (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.39)
”…teach music and singing in school in such a way that is not a torture but a joy for the pupil; instil a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for lifetime.” (Kodály – Visszatekintés I p.39)

25 Thank you very much for your attention!


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