Direction for use



Béla Bartók: Complete Collection of Hungarian Folk Songs  

On-line version


Direction for use


On the Start page you can change the language to English, and reach the following: Preface, History of the Bartók-system, Description of the Bartók-system, Advanced search (in the system), Imprint. Henceforth we explain the use of advanced search.


Advanced search


You can use the site to search one or more queries in logical AND connection. To search you need to fill out the search fields and click on the "Start search" button. Search fields can be divided into three types:


a) First type: you have to choose the data from the tree structure of a thesaurus. "Name of collector", "Name of informant", "Locality" and "Tune system (BR-number)" belong here. Since you choose the terms from the thesaurus, the traditional method of entering words is not available. This is made clear by the greyed-out cells. The thesaurus can be accessed by clicking on the little symbols that refer to the hierarchical structure next to the fields. The terms of the fields can be deleted one by one only by clicking on the red icons next to them. Warning: the button "Delete all fields" resets all values. After opening the thesaurus the hierarchical structure can be seen on the left side of the appearing screen. On the right side there is a new search field with an additional option to narrow search results to "Word prefixes only". You can start the search by clicking on the little binocular icon next to the search field. You can use two methods to search, either step-by-step in the thesaurus structure on the left, or by targeted sorting with the right-side search. Both methods are good for choosing the necessary information. Finally, the click on the desired data puts it in the search field while the search screen of the thesaurus disappears. The latter can be achieved by clicking the button "Close thesaurus".


The fields are as follows:

"Name of collector" - simple, one-level thesaurus list

"Name of informant" - you can begin from two directories: "informant (unknown)" and "Informant (known). The names under the "Informant (known)" subdirectory can be found grouped in alphabetical order (A-C, D-F, etc.). You can navigate between directories by clicking on the "+" or "-" signs next to the little folder icons.

"Tune system (BR-number)" - grouped by the Bartók-system. Words in yellow pop-up boxes help orientation (e.g. "Isometric four-liners", "New style", etc.).

"Locality (settlement)" - grouped by the data of the 1913 Gazetteer in country/district/settlement order, complemented with names of areas not present in the Gazetteer (Bukovina, Moldva [Moldova] and Horvát-Szlavónország [Croatia and Slavonia]) and unknown or unidentifiable names of places.


b) Second type: in the drop-down lists by filling out one search field you can enter a concrete date (year), or intervals (between years) by filling out both search fields thus determining the "Time of collecting".


c) Third type: the search engine looks for the occurrence of the character-chain entered in the search field in a certain data type. The latter means that writing a word in the "First Line Search" will return results that contain the word anywhere in the first line (e.g. search term "szivárvány" will return results like "Átölelte az eget a szivárvány", "Kék szivárvány koszorúzza az eget", "Szivárványos az ég alja", etc.).


The "Inventory Number" is a 5 characters long number. When searching it is not necessary to put in all the five numbers, but with entering less, the search might return an unmanageably big set of results (e.g. when searching for inventory number 13 and entering the number 13 only, the search will return the results 13032 and 04137, too). Therefore to get the exact match, you have to enter 00013 (according to the example above). When filling out the "Cadence" field, the rules are as follows: there should be a space between cadence numbers, and the main cadence number should be between brackets (e.g. 1 (5) 2; 1 (b3) 1, etc.) The closing cadence number is indicated on the detailed data page. Naturally you don't have to enter the complete cadence, so when using the search term "(b3)" the search will return all melodies with the b3 main cadence, and when using "b3", the search will match all melodies with a b3 cadence. In the field "Reference number of media and source editions" both numbers and alphabetical characters can be entered. Aimed search should be executed for the best results by giving the reference numbers in the general format ("0" - any number, "X and x" any alphabetical character, "0000" - decimal number represented in four characters, etc. The search is not case sensitive.) and reading as seen below:

MH_ (means "museum phonograph cylinder", general form: MH_0000x)

KF_ (means "Kodály phonograph, general form: KF_000x)

Gr_ (means "gramophone record", general form: Gr_000Xx)

BR_Kés_publ_ (means "Late publication", general form: BR_Kés_publ_"abbreviated identifier of publication")

BR_Forr_publ_ (means "Source publication, general form: BR_Forr_publ_"abbreviated identifier of publication")

Results of Advanced Search


The results will be displayed as a list, 100 results per page. Arrows indicate navigation between pages ("Previous page", "Next page"). You can go back to the search page ("Back to the search form") or to the main page ("Back to main page"). The results list contains the following data in the header: serial number ("No"), "Reference number of song", "Inventory number", "Reference number of media", "First line". Next to the four latter two arrows can be found with which results can be arranged in ascending or descending order. The arrow of the actual ordering is yellow. Each result contains a contemplating element "Details", which takes you to "View details".


View Details


The data page can be reached from the page of the search results and always opens in a new window. The detailed data is arranged in five rows. In the first you can see the "Reference number of songs" and in the upper right corner the button to close the window. The second line contains the "Tune system (BR-number)", "Inventory number", "Reference number of media and source editions", and "Informants". More information is available in the popup tooltips when positioning the cursor on the blue question mark next to the fields "Tune system (BR-number)" and "Informants".In the third line "First line", "Cadence" and "Comment" can be found. The fourth contains the information about the place ["Locality (settlement)", "County")], and time ("Time of collecting") of collecting, and the name of the collector ("Collector"). The settlement and the county can be viewed on a map by clicking on the magnifying icons next to the words. The last, fifth line contains the pictures of the original record cards ("Record card(s)"), their score graphics ("Score graphics") and occurrent variants ("Graphic variants of score"), and the record itself ("Listen"). By clicking on the picture the scores can be viewed in enlarged. To listen to the record you need to click on the photo of the wax cylinder. Score graphics are provided mainly for those record cards that are only decipherable with difficulty (i.e. they don't come with each result).







István Bartalus, Magyar Népdalok, Egyetemes Gyujtemény (Hungarian Folk Songs. Complete Collection) I–VII
(Budapest, 1873 – 1896)
Domokos 1931 Pál Péter Domokos, A moldvai magyarság (Moldavian Hungarians) (Csíksomlyó, 1931)
Domokos 1941 Pál Péter Domokos, A moldvai magyarság (Kolozsvár, 1941)
Domokos–Rajeczky Pál Péter Domokos and Benjamin Rajeczky, Csángó népzene (Folk Music of the Csángós) I-II (Budapest, 1956 – 1961)
EMN Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály, Erdélyi magyarsád. Népdalok. (Hungarians in Transylvania. Folk Songs) (Budapest, 1923)
Kodály–Vargyas Zoltán Kodály, A magyar népzene. (Hungarian Folk Music) Collection ed. by Lajos Vargyas (Budapest, 1952)
MND Béla Bartók, A magyar népdal. (Tha Hungarian Folk Song) (Rózsavölgyi, Budapest, 1928)
MNT A Magyar Népzene Tára (Collection of Hungarian Folk Music, Corpus Musicae Popularis Hungaricae) I – VII
(Budapest, 1951 – 1987)
Színi Károly Színi, A magyar nép dalai és dallamai (Folk Music of the Hungarian People) (Pest, 1865)
pent. pentatonic
Fon. phonograph-cylinder
H (helyszín) = location (Loc.)
Ak (adatközlo) = informant (Inf.)
Gy (gyujto) = collector (Col.)
L (lejegyzo) = transcriber (Trans.)
Kad (kadencia) = cadence (Cad.)