Heritage of our Future

Joint project of the

Hungarian Heritage House and the Fonó Music House

 

Summary

 

We have so few written recollections of old Hungarian music, that there cannot be a concept of Hungarian music history without folk music. As folk language is similar to the old language in many regards, folk music is forced to supplement missing historical memories. From an artistic perspective, it means more to us than to the peoples that have developed a unique musical style centuries ago. Here, composed music has absorbed folk music, and a German composer like Bach or Beethoven finds the elements that we ourselves can only search for in our villages, namely, the organic life of a national tradition.

 

Zoltán Kodály

 

 

The 20th century is the century of folklore collection in Europe. Béla Vikár began the tradition in 1896 that was continued by Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók. At present, the huge volume of recordings is only mainly available in analogue format. Our objective is to make the available folklore and folkdance collections as complete as possible by purchasing privately owned collections. Our objective in the following is to digitalise (all material available) and catalogue these recordings, implement the development needed for this, ensuring Internet access to the digitalised material (in foreign languages as well) and setting up a storage unit to safeguard the digitalised recordings and documents.

 

Our objective is to release a CD series in connection with the collection Final Hour, in addition to publishing a book series for information and educational purposes and send these volumes free of charge to major European libraries, music conservatories and folklore archives.

 

We are well aware of how during the process of European integration all communities confront the issue of how to maintain cultural achievements and preserve the cultural identities they have established over the course of centuries. In order to be able to do so, we need to look into all the values a Community has created over time, and develop relevant strategies for these values that constitute European cultural heritage in order to maintain these.

 

Our basic principle is that our predecessors did not collect often under difficult circumstances and strenuous work conditions simply for the treasures they collected to remain dead knowledge, rotting away in the pits of archives, but for these treasures to be used, which is why beyond scientific aspects, the primary task of these researchers related to ensuing a niche for the accumulated knowledge and collections in public culture.

 

The foundation of the Hungarian Heritage House is directly linked to recognising that we are in possession of a tremendous treasure and consider this to be out heritage that not only builds on our very own traditions, but also integrates numerous elements of European culture. If Europe is curious about its history, then come and visit us -- this is the credo of the employees of the Hungarian Heritage House.