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Learn about a new composer: Zoltán Kodály

  • Zoltán Kodály (pronounced koh-dahy, -dah-ee) was born in Hungary in 1882.

  • He grew up in a musical family and started playing piano, violin and cello, composing, and singing in a choir at an early age.

  • He was heavily influenced by the Hungarian folk music he heard while living in Galánta, as well as by Claude Debussy's French impressionist music while studying in Paris.

  • Kodaly composed works for choir, orchestra, and various groups of instruments.

  • He also was very influential as a music educator, and created a new philosophy of music learning. The philosophy promotes singing as an experience that enriches life and teaches music reading through the use of solfege. Solfege is the musical tool that assigns a specific syllable to a specific note. Like "Do-Re-Mi" in The Sound of Music. This method is aptly called the Kodály Method.


One of Kodaly's most famous orchestral pieces is Dances of Galánta. You can listen to it here.

Read more about Kodály on this website, or watch the video below!


Time for some questions!

1. In what country was Zoltán Kodály born?

2. What instruments did Kodály learn to play?

3. In what city was Kodály most heavily influenced by Hungarian folk music?

4. What is the music education method called that Kodály created? How does it teach music learning?



1. Hungary

2. Piano, Violin, & Cello; (also singing & conducting)

3. Galánta

4. The Kodály Method

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