Tag Archives: Hungary

Hating a nonexistant celebrity


An Internet questionnaire aimed at measuring Hungarian responses to Hungarian celebrity culture gathered responses from 7317 people; the results are reported in “National characteristics of Hungarian celebrity culture” by Andrea Viniczai, an article included in History of stardom reconsidered (Turku/Åbo: Turun Yliopisto, 2001, pp. 90–96).

Several of the statistics that were generated could give pause; for example, respondents overwhelmingly voted that celebrities should be scandalous (97%), while fewer than 20% believed that they should be likeable, intelligent, or decent (see above).

Particularly notable were the responses to a fictitious celebrity—Lukács Bíró, Vinczai’s dentist—among a group of 29 well-known names. 25% of the respondents claimed familiarity with Bíró, and 60% of them expressed dislike for him. He was the 8th most rejected person in the group.

Below, Jimmy Zámbó, a formerly extant, but still potentially hateful, Hungarian celebrity who is profiled in the article.

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Filed under Curiosities, Popular music

Zoltán Kodály, ethnomusicologist


The arc of Kodály’s career as an ethnomusicologist appears to have been a consciously, even artistically, designed path.

In the early 20th century he traveled the Hungarian countryside along with Béla Bartók to document and research Hungarian musical traditions; both composers were influenced tremendously by this pursuit.

After World War II, the focus of Kodály’s ethnomusicological activities was the publication of A magyar népzene tára/Corpus musicae popularis Hungaricae, the critical edition of all Hungarian traditional music. For this undertaking he established the first scientific research group for ethnomusicology in Hungary, the Népzenekutató Csoport, which served as a workshop for the modern Hungarian school of ethnomusicologists.

This according to Kodály, a népzenekutató és tudományos műhelye by Olga Szalay (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2004).

Today is Kodály’s 130th birthday! Below, a flash mob performance of his setting of Esti dal, a traditional song that he collected in northern Hungary in 1922.

Related article: Kodály and somatic eruption

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Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music, Ethnomusicology, Europe