Hungarian Folk Singing Circle
Looking back at 2019...
We reached thousands of people through folk singing classes, workshops, presentations, performances, private lessons, and more at Hagyományok Háza (Hungarian Heritage House), Óbudai Népzenei Iskola (Óbuda Folk Music School), Rákóczi Szövetség summer camps, American International School in Budapest, Háló Közösségi és Kulturális Központ - S4 (Háló Community and Cultural Center - S4), and other institutions.
Participants came from dozens of countries across six continents, with enormously diverse cultural, linguistic, and musical backgrounds, and of every generation from young children through older adults. THANK YOU for your support and participation!
What's coming up in 2020?
Monday evening folk singing class January-May at Háló Közösségi és Kulturális Központ - S4 (Háló Community and Cultural Center - S4) in Budapest, folk singing workshop at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, mentoring musicians at the Hagyományok Háza (Hungarian Heritage House), integrating new curriculum for middle schoolers at American International School, singing classes for cultural tours visiting Hungary ... and more!
Current and Upcoming Classes:
Due to coronavirus closures, this class is now held on Zoom (live video conferencing). Join us from anywhere! New participants welcome.
Class details below.
Jan 20 - May 25, 2020 - 6-8pm
(No class April 13, Easter Monday)
Háló Community and Cultural Center - S4
Semmelweis u. 4 (near Astoria), Budapest
Come learn beautiful traditional Hungarian folk songs! Open to participants of all musical and language backgrounds, this class teaches a wide variety of songs, taught directly from village source recordings. Participants receive a pronunciation guide, printed song lyrics, English translations, recordings, and background information on the songs.
Songs from different regions each month!
Join any time - drop-ins always welcome.
Tentative schedule, which may change:
January: Bukovina (from Zoltán Kodály's collections!)
February: Maros-Küküllők vidéke (region in Transylvania)
March: Dunántúl (Transdanubia)
April: Alföld (the Great Plain)
May: Felföld (former Northern Hungary)
The class is held by Zina Bozzay, a native English speaker and active performer, collector, arranger, and teacher of Hungarian folk songs in the US and Hungary. She has taught both Hungarian speakers and non-speakers for over a decade, and is known for her friendly, accessible teaching style, academic rigor, and contagious enthusiasm.
RSVP on Facebook, and please share with friends!
Registration: +36-70-603-7011 or
Monthly pass (full calendar month): 1500 Ft./class
Drop-in: 2000 Ft./class
Discounts available (Student, senior, bring-a-friend, exchange)
We are grateful for the support of the Csoóri Sándor Alap in making this class possible.
Join our email list to hear about upcoming classes and events!
Also contact us here if you're interested in scheduling a class, workshop, or presentation for your community, chorus, or event.
Ongoing: Private lessons and coaching
Zina holds private lessons every week in Budapest, as well as for people in other locations via video conferencing. In-person lessons in other cities can also be arranged, and Zina typically offers lessons while touring as well. Lessons and coaching sessions may be one-on-one private lessons, semi-private study (2-3 people), and groups and choruses.
Beyond learning folk songs, these are some of frequently requested topics: locating specific recordings or song words, pronunciation guidance, introduction to the style, feedback and corrections on a song before a performance or recording, and stylistic vocal technique. All types of inquiries are welcome, and Zina can also refer to other specialists as needed.
To inquire or sign up: +36-70-603-7011 or
Some Past Workshops and Class Series:
Hungarian Heritage House, Budapest, HU
Óbuda Folk Music School, Budapest, HU
Rákóczi Szövetség camps, Sátoraljaújhely, HU
Háló Community and Cultural Center, Budapest, HU
Hunscapes cultural events, HU
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, USA
Ashkenaz Music & Dance Center, Berkeley, USA
Hungarian Heritage Festival, Belmont, USA
Magtár Hungarian Cultural Alliance, Los Angeles, USA
Hungarian Art & Culture Festival, Walnut Creek, USA
Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, USA
Rod Poppy Art House, San Francisco, USA
Hungarian Scouts, Woodside Priory, Portola Valley, USA
United Magyar Ház, Los Angeles, USA
East European Folklife Center Music & Dance Workshop, USA
Zhena Folk Chorus, Los Angeles, USA
Kárpátok Hungarian Folk Ensemble, Los Angeles, USA
Eszterlánc Hungarian Folk Ensemble, Bay Area, USA
Hungarian folk dance classes, Bay Area, USA
Zambaleta World Music & Dance School, San Francisco, USA
SF Community Music Center, San Francisco, USA
Private workshops, coaching, and lessons (members of KITKA, Janam, Cancioner, Stellamara, VOCO, and other choruses)
Lectures and presentations in the US and Hungary:
Corvinus University (HU), American International School (HU), AHEA conferences (US, HU), HATOG conference (US), Egyszólam music camp in Váralja (HU), Visszidens meeting (HU), and lectures at several festival and venues listed above
Thank you to Alliance for California Traditional Arts for the support through Living Cultures grants.
Our classes featured on TV
Interviews with Zina Bozzay
(In Hungarian with English subtitles)
Song types and regions taught:
Gyimes (valley in Carpathian mountains, Transylvania)
Szék (a village in Mezőség, Transylvania)
Magyarszovát (a village in Mezőség, Transylvania)
Maros-Küküllők vidéke (region in Transylvania)
Felföld (former Northern Hungary)
Magyarbőd, Imreg (villages in Felföld, with harmony)
Somogy (part of Transdanubia)
Seasonal songs - springtime, Christmas
Sampler - variety of songs from various regions (including regions not listed above, such as Bukovina, Kalotaszeg)
Songs for experienced singers and small groups
Class and presentation topics:
Introduction to Hungarian folk music
Hungarian folk singing in the traditional village context
Hungarian folk music instruments
History of song collecting and folk music revival in HU
Contemporary folk music revival in Budapest
Resources for study (archives, institutions, media, etc)
Teaching and study methodology in the style
Notation issues in Hungarian folk song transcription
Symbolism in Hungarian folk songs lyrics
Folk singing vocal technique and exercises
North American Hungarian diaspora
History of the San Francisco Népdalkör and Vadalma
Lessons learned from folk song collecting work
Hungarian pronunciation in detail (for singers)
... and other topics upon request
The Hungarian Folk Singing Circle ("Népdalkör" in Hungarian) teaches Hungarian folk songs, beautiful village songs crafted over generations of unbroken oral tradition. Founded in San Francisco in 2010 by Zina Bozzay, the Népdalkör now hosts class series, workshops, private coaching and lessons, and presentations in both English and Hungarian in various locations around the world.
We teach a wide range of songs from across the Hungarian language area in the Carpathian Basin: slow and fast, old style and new style, simple and highly ornamented, ballads, laments, dances (lassú magyaros, csárdás, etc.), and more. They include a range of regional scales and unique rhythms. All songs are village songs from the oral tradition taught directly from source recordings, not composed songs or arrangements. Participants receive village source recordings, a Hungarian pronunciation guide, ethnographic map, song word sheets (lyrics), and English translations, as well as background information on each song.
We also host traditional handcraft gatherings, seasonal parties, performances of experienced members, and other events.
Class sessions are open to everyone ~ new and returning members, of any musical or cultural background. No previous experience in the style or Hungarian language is required. Join us!
Hosting guest teacher Ágnes Enyedi from Hungary
Easter egg decorating party, March 2016
Workshop for Zhena Folk Chorus, Los Angeles, CA