Safeguarding of the folk music heritage by the Kodály concept

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Selected in 2016 on the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices

Over the past century, the Kodály concept of safeguarding traditional folk music has helped to promote, transmit and document local practices in Hungary and assisted communities abroad for similar purposes. Devised by researcher, composer and pedagogue Zoltán Kodály and supported by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, it advocates: making traditional folk music accessible for everyone through mainstream education and civic organizations; teaching music skills; encouraging everyday use of the music by communities concerned; researching and documenting it using local and international strategies; coexistence between research, education, community culture and composition; and respect for all music traditions. The concept has been incorporated in school curricula since 1945, where primary, secondary and tertiary students can learn about the songs, their importance and are encouraged to take part. It has also been used to document traditional music involving bearers, civic groups and culture institutes like the Institute for Musicology (with 15,000 hours of recorded folk music and 200,000 melodies from over a thousand settlements), Kodály Institute, and the International Kodály Society which also disseminate the concept internationally providing academic programmes where more than 60 countries have participated. The safeguarding concept has also inspired artists to integrate folk music in their compositions.

The members of the folk song circle from Hollókő (UNESCO World Heritage Site) are singing local folk songs in the old town
Generations are singing together in the Csutorás International Folk Music and Dance Camp. An old folk artist lady in the traditional Palócz dress and her educands from the same village are performing together
The tradition bearer community of Mohács performs folk songs during the 'Clear Source Settlement' Price (marble plaque giving) ceremony
'Ringató' - a demonstration class with toddlers and their mothers at the International Kodály Seminar, teacher: Ilona Gáll-Gróh
Demonstration at the 21st International Kodály Symposium by a Kecskemét kindergarten group - recognition of song performed on the recorder by the teacher (Helga Dietrich)
At the Folk Music Workshop of Táborfalva, Sluczné dr. Éva Bükki is teaching upper-primary students, how to play on the zither. In the workshop, 6 music groups, choirs and folk song circles are operating
3rd graders of the Kecskemét Kodály School: clapping rhythm exercise to prepare sight-reading of a folksong
Folk song learning and common singing in the 26th Csutorás International Folk Music and Folk Dance Camp. Children, adults, families, grandparents, music groups, different communities are participating on the event. Istváné Uram, a folk singer from Nódrágsipek and a young girl from the camp's participants are singing together
Kodály Choir Gathering in the Saint Imre High School's saloon. The members of the Kossuth School's Children Choir are singing Kodály works
Choir rehearsal in the Kodály Institute, conductor: Prof. Peter Erdei