Hungarian Folk Singing Circle
Current and Upcoming Classes:
All classes listed 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
Spring 2021 pronunciation classes have ended. This may be offered before our Singing Camp in June depending on demand, and otherwise will resume in September!
Hungarian Folk Singing Class Series:
Songs from Maros-Küküllő vidéke, Szekélyföld, and Gyimes - Tuesdays, April 13 - May 25
The next weekly class series will start in September, learning songs from Transdanubia (Dunántúl).
Tuesday, June 1
Virtual Hungarian Folk Singing Summer Camp
Mon-Fri, June 14-18
Private Lessons (ongoing)
Private Group Classes (ongoing)
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 FURTHER AHEAD:
As seen above, weekly class series and assorted workshops will continue to be offered through the end of May, followed by a recital and weeklong virtual camp in June. We plan to hold an in-person weekend mini-camp in Budapest in late summer or early September. Weekly classes will resume in September through December.
Sign up on our email list to hear when the next classes are announced and registration is open. Emails are infrequent.
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.
Our classes featured on TV
Interviews with Zina Bozzay
(In Hungarian with English subtitles)
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.
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.
Song types and regions taught:
Gyimes (valley in Carpathian mountains, Transylvania)
Mezőség (region in Transylvania), in particular villages Szék and Magyarszovát, among others
Maros-Küküllők vidéke (region in Transylvania)
Kalotaszeg (region in Transylvania)
Felföld (former Northern Hungary)
Magyarbőd, Imreg (villages in Felföld, with harmony)
Somogy (part of Transdanubia)
Seasonal songs - springtime, Christmas, etc.
Songs for experienced singers and small groups
Sampler - variety of songs from various regions (including regions not listed above, such as Bukovina, Alföld, etc.)
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