Hungarian Folk Singing Circle
Current and Upcoming Classes:
All November-December 2020 classes list below are held in English online on Zoom, taught by Zina Bozzay. The classes are live and interactive, and not video recorded for later use. Please register for the virtual classes as soon as possible, as space is limited and Zoom links are sent in advance of class.
HUNGARIAN PRONUNCIATION CLASSES
One-time workshop covering all letter sounds in detail, along with practice words. Typically offered at the start of each several-week singing class series or before a workshop, and open to anyone to attend, whether or not you are taking a singing class. Each of these upcoming dates covers the same material.
- Monday, November 2, 7-8am Budapest time
- Monday, November 2, 5-6pm Budapest time
- Tuesday, November 3, 6-7pm Budapest time
- Sunday, December 13, 7-8pm Budapest time
HUNGARIAN FOLK SINGING CLASS SERIES
Several-week class series teaching a variety of beautiful traditional Hungarian folk songs from various regions (unless a specific region is indicated), including village source recordings, pronunciation and translation of the song lyrics, background information on the style, and more. Held in English and open to participants of all cultural, linguistic, and musical backgrounds, welcoming experienced singers as well as those with no previous experience in the style.
Because there are several class times and people are joining from various time zones around the world, each class has a name for the ease of participants figuring out which time is right for them and registering for the correct class! Some time zones are written below, but please double-check your own time difference with Budapest (and note daylight savings changes).
- Chestnut Group: Mondays 8:00-9:30am Budapest time
Europe daytime, Australia and New Zealand evening:
7am England / 3pm Hong Kong / 6pm Sydney / 8pm Christchurch
6-week Class Series: Nov 2, Nov 9, Nov 16, Nov 23, Nov 30, Dec 7
- Tulip Group: Mondays 6:00-7:30pm Budapest time
North America daytime, Europe evening:
9am California / 12pm New York / 5pm England / 8pm Istanbul
6-week Class Series: Nov 2, Nov 9, Nov 16, Nov 23, Nov 30, Dec 7
- Peacock Group: Tuesdays 2:30-4:00pm Budapest time
North America morning, Europe afternoon, Asia evening:
8:30am New York / 1:30pm England / 9:30pm Hong Kong
8-week Class Series: Oct 13, Oct 20, Nov 3, Nov 10, Nov 17, Nov 24, Dec 1, Dec 8
Dance songs from Mezőség -- see registration link for further details.
- Rosemary Group: Tuesdays 7:00-8:30pm Budapest time
North America daytime, Europe evening:
10am California / 1pm New York / 6pm England / 9pm Istanbul
6-week Class Series: Nov 3, Nov 10, Nov 17, Nov 24, Dec 1, Dec 8
CHRISTMAS SONGS WORKSHOP
One-time workshop teaching two beautiful traditional village folk songs for the holiday season. Class includes village source recordings, pronunciation and translation of the song lyrics, and more, and is open to participants of all backgrounds.
- Monday Dec 14, 10am-12pm (2hr class)
- Monday Dec 14, 6-8pm (2hr class)
- Tuesday Dec 15, 7-9pm (2hr class)
PRIVATE LESSONS, PRIVATE GROUP CLASSES, WORKSHOPS, & OTHER EVENTS
In addition to the public group classes listed above, we have students studying both in-person in Budapest and online from around the world in one-on-one private lessons, semi-private or small group private study (2-5 people), and in larger groups (choruses, school music classes, workshops, festivals, summer camps, etc). In-person teaching can happen in other cities as well, but is more limited right now due to coronavirus travel restrictions. Beyond learning folk songs, frequently requested topics include an introduction to the style, locating specific recordings or song words, pronunciation coaching, feedback and corrections on a song before a performance or recording, and stylistic vocal technique. More topics can be found lower on this page.
Please contact us with your inquiry to learn more or arrange a time.
ABOUT ZINA BOZZAY
Zina Bozzay is an active performer, collector, arranger, and teacher of Hungarian folk songs in the US and Hungary. She has taught these songs to Hungarian speakers and non-speakers for over a decade, and is known for her accessible teaching style, academic rigor, and contagious enthusiasm. When her in-person classes went virtual in spring 2020 due to coronavirus, people joined from around the world, leading to these expanded online offerings in fall 2020. For more information on Zina, click here.
Looking ahead at 2021:
After the holiday break, we are planning to resume classes the week of January 11, and will continue holding weekly online classes January through May. We are tentatively planning to focus on Transylvania throughout the 5 months, progressively moving eastward and spending a few weeks on each of the ethnographic regions: Szilágyság, Kalotaszeg, Mezőség, Maros-Küküllő vidéke, Szekélyföld, Gyimes, and Bukovina.
We will also hold weekend workshops and lectures on various topics.
In the summer, we will have a weeklong intensive summer camp.
Sign up on our email list to hear when the next classes are announced and registration is open. Emails are infrequent.
Our classes featured on TV
Interviews with Zina Bozzay
(In Hungarian with English subtitles)
Celebrating 10 years of the Népdalkör!
What began as a small weekly singing class in the Bay Area has grown to reaching thousands of people each year on six continents through folk singing classes, workshops, presentations, performances, private lessons, and more. From a San Francisco living room, to Ashkenaz and Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA, to the Hungarian Heritage House and Óbuda Folk Music School in Budapest, to virtual classes several times a week to meet the demand of participants in various time zones. Participants range from young children through older adults, with enormously diverse cultural, linguistic, and musical backgrounds - including many who are reconnecting with lost family heritage.
THANK YOU for your support and participation!
Donate now to support our continuation of this work for 10 more years! We are committed to continuing our village song collecting, teaching, performing, and more. Especially during this difficult year, it brings great joy to enrich people's lives with music, language, culture, and meaningful learning that changes lives. There are many non-monetary ways to contribute as well.
Some Past Workshops and Class Series:
Hungarian Heritage House, Budapest, HU
Óbuda Folk Music School, Budapest, HU
Rákóczi Szövetség camps, Sátoraljaújhely, HU
American International School, Budapest, 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.
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.
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 maps, song word sheets (lyrics), and English translations, as well as background information on each song. We also host traditional handcraft gatherings, seasonal parties, performances by experienced members, and other events.
Class sessions are open to everyone, of any musical or cultural background. No previous experience in the style or Hungarian language is required. Join us!
To support our work, click here.
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
Easter egg decorating party, March 2016
Hosting guest teacher Ágnes Enyedi from Hungary
Workshop for Zhena Folk Chorus, Los Angeles, CA