Camp Material Archive

This page contains descriptions of teaching material from 2005-2012. Scroll down to find descriptions from earlier camps.

Ti Ti Tábor 2012 Teaching Material

The Music, Songs, and Dances of Tyukod, Szásznagyvesszős, Pálpataka, and Gömör

The dance teaching concentrated on two villages, the first was Szásznagyvesszős, a settlement in the Kis-Kűkűllő region where excellent dancers still live. Cimbi said that the Romanians, Roma, and Hungarians who live there acquired the village’s dances in similar form, building into their dances the stylistic features which tend to dominate in Hungarian dancing. The couples’ dances are the csárdás and the szökő (‘shaking’, or quick csárdás). The men dance the szegényes (‘poor man’s’) or vénes (‘old man’s’) and a virtuoso pontozó. All four dance types were taught.

Later in the week, the dances from Tyukod, a village of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County, Eastern Hungary, were introduced. This village had a particularly striking dance culture. Cimbi says we have Martin György to thank for the survival of the dances in the form in which we know them today: verbunk, csárdás, and friss csárdás, danced very dynamically with an up-accent. The men’s stick dance is characteristic of the region, and was also taught.

The instrument teachers concentrated on the music of Pálpataka (Valea lui Pavel) in the Transylvanian region of Sovidék in Romania. The dance cycle in this area consists of a verbunk, lássu csárdás, szöktetös, and marosszéki (forgatós). This cycle was taught to the dancers at TTT09, so it wass a natural to be brought into the repertoire of the music students, with many tunes characteristic of the Sovidék region around Korund.

In addition, later in the week the instrument teachers worked on music from Gömör, in modern day Slovakia. This region’s music is much more modern, with more complicated harmonies and more modern chromaticisms, and will require lots of practice throughout the year to master.

Ti Ti Tábor 2011 Teaching Material

The Music, Songs and Dances of Kalotaszeg

The teaching materials this year were be drawn mostly from the Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania, north-west of Koloszvár (Cluj-Napoka), with the addition of a women’s dance from the Kükülló-mente.

The dance concentrated on the Hungarian dances of Bogártelke (Băgara), further north-west along the Nadás river from Méra (which was taught at TTT in 2000). These include a csárdás and szapora (slow and fast couple dances), and a legényes (lad’s dance). In addition, our dance teachers presented a Romanian invirtita from Szucság (Suceagu), near the outskirts of Koloszvár. While the men are learned the legényes, the women had a chance to learn a karikázó from Magyarlapád, in the Kükülló-mente, a region south-east of Koloszvár.

Our instrument teachers concentrated on the playing of Nónika Miklós, who lived mostly in Magyargyerővásárhely (Oşorheiu), and later Egeres (Aghireş), west of Bogártelke. He was born in 1942 and lived during the blossoming of the transformation of the peasant culture. He played both primás and accompaniment instruments, and so taught his sons so they could be in his band. He was known as being both confident and tough, and both attitudes are characteristic of his music and his teaching. He was called the king of legényes dances since he was the one who knew the most and played them the best. His csárdás and szapora music is similar to that of other Kalotaszeg musicians, but with his variations, imagination and interludes, and gestures he is more — he is a true individual. The accompaniment is also different from the usual Kalotaszeg style — it is tougher, more confident, at the same time it totally and completely serves the dance.

Ti Ti Tábor 2010 Teaching Material

The Music, Songs and Dances of Búza and Rimóc

The teaching materials in 2010 were drawn from Búza, in the Mezöség region of Transylvania, and from Rimóc, in northern Hungary.

Búza (Buza) is a village with population of under 1400 located near the center of the Mezöség region of Transylvania, Romania, about 20 km northeast of Magyarpalatka. It has an almost evenly mixed population of Romanians and Hungarians. The music and dance of Búza are characteristic of central Mezöség, though with some interesting variations. The couple dances are the csárdás, szökős, and sűrű csárdás, each using similar motifs and distinguished mainly by tempo. The men’s dances are the ritka and sűrű magyar. Dénes said that the musical style of Búza is somewhat similar to what he taught from Ördöngösfüzes in 2009, but with completely different melodies.

Rimóc is a village with population of under 1800 in the Nógrád county of northern Hungary near the Slovakian border and west of Salgótarján. Stylistically, the dance is up-accented, showing definite new style (új stilus) form with couple dances of lassú and friss csárdás, including a playful csalogatás, and a men’s verbunk. Members of Dűvő have conducted original research in the music of Rimóc and the band released a recording of music and songs from the area in 2007.

Notes about the two villages and their dances

Horti provided some details about the two villages and their dances:

Búza is in the center of the Transylvanian Heath (Mezöség) in the eastern part of Kolozs County, a hilly region between the Maros and Szamos Rivers, 35 kilometers from Szamosújvár. Búza is an administrative township center, one of the largest in the region known as Tóvidék. Its climate is typical for the Transylvanian Heath with a mean temperature of 8.2�C. Characteristic physical features of the landscape are valleys, barren hills and deciduous woods as determined by the soil, climate and surface conditions. From the beginning, Búza was settled by Saxons and Hungarians. As with many another village in inner Transylvania, Búza was affected by the ravages of war in the course of its history. (In 1603, for example, only five houses remained standing!) The stone church that dominates the village was built in 1884. The village’s peak population, attained in the middle of the 20th century (in 1941: 2382), subsided to nearly half after the Second World War because of the industrial policies imposed by Communism. According to census figures of 2002, the ethnic distribution of 1213 inhabitants was 616 Romanian, 587 Hungarian, and 10 Roma. Today some of the Búza natives and their descendants live in Szamosújvár.
Their dance cycle consists of parts that are typical for the Transylvanian Heath. The couples’ dances are the csárdás, the szökős, and the sűrű csárdás. They dance similar figures to all three parts, differentiated principally by tempo. The men’s dances are the ritka magyar and the sűrű magyar. Of these men’s dances, sad to say, very little has been preserved in film, but from those few figures it is clear that they were very lovely, measured, uniquely elegant dances. In the couples’ dances, the cross-over and throwing-behind figures alternate constantly with slapping figures. In the dancing of Búza, the turning under the arm that is so characteristic of other areas of the Transylvanian Heath is not typical and is documented only a couple of times. Unique are the woman’s dancing of steps on the upbeat when she crosses back over and the six-count sequence that concludes the throwing-behind from the left.
Rimóc is a township in Nógrád County, Hungary, about four kilometers south of Szécsény and the Ipoly River, one of the renowned centers of the Palóc people. Its name is derived from the Slavic ‘Rimovc’. According to records from before the time of the honfoglalás (that is, the original Magyar settlement of the Carpathian Basin), a trade route connected several of the antecedents of present Nógrád townships, among them Rimóc. It is probable that a settlement at Rimóc had a church as early as the 11th century and that the township has remained in the same place, for graves discovered nearby contained Szent István coins and other early artifacts from the time of the honfoglalás. In the Middle Ages, folk of the royal castle lived in Rimóc. The village suffered from the Turkish occupation, but afterward recovered population quickly. Slovaks from the area of Gyetva in Zólyom County moved in among the existing families of nobles and freemen. In 2001, the inhabitants of the settlement divided themselves into 87% Hungarian, 13% Roma. Every visitor is taken with the beauty of this landscape. From the settlement, one can see the Hollókó Castle, a world heritage site.
The dancing of the region is characteristically up-accent. The influence of new style is quite evident. The couples’ dance is frequently preceded by a short verbunk-like solo of the men which they call the sarkantyúzó (‘spurring’). From the expression ‘spurring’, we may assume that the costume of the men generally included spurs. The slow and quick csárdás follow the ‘spurring’, consisting, as it does, of heel-clicks and rhythmic stamping. A strong up-accent characterizes the csárdás. Another characteristic feature of the couples’ dance is the playful csalogatás (‘enticing’) which is built into the pattern of frequent separation of the partners followed by assuming a couples’ hold again. The couples’ dance includes various turning figures and lifting the woman as part of the playful helyezgetés (‘placing’) of the woman as well as the verbunk figures that the man did in the sarkantyúzó (‘spurring’). Their costume is very decorative. Often even the men have embroidered aprons and decorated vests.

Ti Ti Tábor 2009 Teaching Material

The Dances of Pálpataka and Magyarbőd

Norbert and Hortenzia taught dances from two separate Hungarian regions of Slovakia and Romania. They concentrated on the Hungarian dances from Pálpataka (Valea lui Pavel) in the Transylvanian region of Sovidék in Romania. The dance cycle in this area consists of a verbunk, lássu csárdás, szöktetős, and marosszéki (forgatós). The dances of Pálpataka are a specialty of Hortenzia’s — she grew up only a few kilometers from Pálpataka in the town of Székelykeresztúr — and she received her “Young Master of Folk Art” in 2000 for her research and dancing of the Pálpatakai dances.

They also taught dances of Magyarbőd (Bidovce), a village near Kassa (Košice) in present-day Slovakia (northeast of Miskolc). Several Magyarbődi songs and women’s dances (karikazó) were introduced at Ti Ti Tábor 1996, and the instrumental music was taught in 2008. The melodies are very beautiful, and this was the first time the couples dances have been taught at Ti Ti Tábor.

If you want a short view at some what we learned, Cimbi and Horti have graciously made available a video of themselves dancing two of the Pálpatakai couple dances during a performance in Budapest in November 2008.

The Music of Ördöngösfüzes

Dűvő concentrated on the music of Ördöngösfüzes (Fizeşu Gherlii) in the Mezöség valley of Transylvania, Romania. The tunes of Ördöngösfüzes are very popular and found on many Hungarian folk music recordings, but have not yet been taught at Ti Ti Tábor.

Ti Ti Tábor 2008 Teaching Material

The Dances of Kalotaszeg, Dél-Alföld, and Fogaras

Zoltán and Tímea taught dances from three separate regions of Hungary and Romania. They concentrated on the Hungarian dances from the Transylvanian region of Kalotaszeg, specifically the csárdás, szapora, and leg�nyes. They had recently been researching this region including studying old films from the 1940s and 1950s, and brought new insight and a gread videotape of some of the old films.

They also taught dances of Dél-Alföld, including csárdás, friss, f�loláhos, and a women’s bottle dance. These dances had not been taught at TTT before, and Zoli is from this region and had a great-uncle who was a famous Dél-Alföldi hurdy-gurdy player.

In addition, Zoltán and Tímea taught Romanian dances from Fogaras (Făgăraş) county, in southern Transylvania. These are dances for a man and one or two women with complicated turns and interesting rhythms accompanied by E-flat clarinet and drum, and are a favorite of Zoli and Timi, who have taught them for many years.

The Music of Kalotaszeg and Magyarbőd

Teaching two contrasting musical regions worked especially well in 2007, so this year Dűvő continued the practice and concentrated on the music of the Transylvanian region of Kalotaszeg, specifically tunes for the legéyes and szapora. They also spent time on the tunes of Magyarbőd (Bidovce), a village near Kassa (Košice) in present-day Slovakia (northeast of Miskolc). Some songs of Magyarbőd were introduced at TTT 1996 and the music and songs of this area are currently very popular in Hungary, but the music had not been taught at TTT.

Ti Ti Tábor 2007 Teaching Material

The Dances of Kutasf�ld, with an excursion to Somogy

The valley of the Maros River determines the boundary of the Maros-Küküllő dialect to the north and the west. Toward the east, it blends into Székelyföld at the line formed by the highway connecting Marosvásárhély and Segesvár. Its southern area can be said to extend into the valleys of the Big Küküllő River and the Maros River. Though the Hungarians of this area are scattered in approximately 70 largely mixed settlements, the region of the characteristic dance dialect coincides with the northeast part of the old Lower Fehér County and the west part of Kisküküllő. Zoltán and Tímea taught both the Hungarian and Romainian dances from this region.

The Hungarian dances of the region that were taught included three men´s dances: the pontozó from Magyarlapád, öreges pontozó from Magyarózd, and vénes; from Magyarszentbenedek; and three couple dances: the csárdás and friss csárdás, from Magyarszentbenedek, and féloláhós from Magyarkiralyfalva. The Romanian dances taught included the învîrtita, legényes, and haţegana, all from Fărău (Magyarforró).

Because the dances of Somogy are a particular favorite of Zoltán and Tímea, we asked them to spend some on dances from this region. They taught the ugros, lassu csárdás, and friss csárdás, with distinct stylings from three villages: Szenna, Berzence, and Korád.

The Music of Szászcsávás and Szatmár

Dűvő concentrated their teaching on the Romanian music of Szászcsávás, because they know it very well and it is the most researched music of the Kisküküllő area. It is also beautiful and very technically challenging, with rich ornamentation.

Dűvő also spent time working on the music of Szatmár. They had never presented it at Ti Ti Tábor, believe all táncház musicians should know it, and feel it has technical challenges that would help their student’s playing, and, of course, it has many very pretty melodies.

Ti Ti Tábor 2006 Teaching Material

The Dances of Nyárádmagyáros and Nyárádselye

One of the oldest blocks of ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania is in the Székelyföld region of Marosszék. Some familiar villages from the western side of this region are Marossárpatak, Vajdaszentivány and Mezőkölpény. Marosszék also contains the smaller south-eastern region of Nyárád-mente, whose more northern part is Bekecsalja. The dance classes in 2006 concentrated on the dances from two towns located in Bekecsalja: Nyárádmagyáros and Nyárádselye. Dances in the cycle include a men’s verbunk, and a number of couple dances including a moderate tempo jártatós (walking dance), a forgatós (turning dance), a quick söktetős and a faster vármegyei sebes forgatós (quick turning dance of the county/shire).

The Music of Mezőkölpény

The music classes in 2006 concentrated on the music of where the northwest edge of Marosszék meets the eastern edge of Mezöség in the village of Mezőkölpény in Szélelyföld.

Here’s what Dénes had to say about the music: The settlement, Mezőkölpény, lies on the imagined border between the Transylvanian Heath (Mezőség) and Secklerland (Székelyföld). It is no surprise that the two styles commingle. Masterly virtuoso violin playing is paired with the characteristically robust accompaniment of traditional music from the Transylvanian Heath and filled out with the cimbalom so typical of Secklerland. Viktor Szabó, the left-handed prímás, is still living today at the age of sixty-six. In the 1950s, he and his father and two older brothers were the most famous musicians in Mezőkölpény and its environs. Viktor Szabó is presently living in Hungary. The dance cycle consists of verbunk (“recruitment”), csárdás, korcsos or forgatós (“half-breed” or “turning”) and cigánycsárdás (“Gyspy csárdás”). There must also have been a dance with an asymmetric pulse (now lost), for it can be found in the music. In the repertory of tunes, there are both old- and new-style melodies. The music of Mezőkölpény is very lovely, very enjoyable for musicians, carefully crafted, and one of the favorites of the dance-house.

Ti Ti Tábor 2005 Teaching Material

The Music, Songs, and Dances of Magyarszovát

The village of Magyarszovát, also called Szovát or Mezőszovát (Suatu in Romanian) is located in the southern Mezöség region, in the heart of Transylvania, only 36 km east of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca), but is surrounded by hills and remained fairly isolated until relatively recently. Until the early 20th century, it was two villages Alsószovát (Upper Szovát) and Felsőszovát (Lower Szovát), and Hungarians, Romanians and Roma still live in both parts.

The music, dance, and song cultures are rich, and they, as well as the costumes, retain archaic forms that died out in nearby regions. The “new style”, more Western dances of the 19th century are present in forms like the sűrű csárdás (“dense or thick csárdás”), hétlépés (“seven step”), szásztánc (“Saxon dance”, danced in threes), and gólya (“stork”), but did not drive out the older dances like the akasztós (“hanging”, a slow couple dance), négyes (done in both pairs and foursomes), összerázás (“shaking together”, a couple dance), or sűrű magyar (“dense Hungarian”, a men’s dance).

The traditional Szováti band has one or two violins, a three-string brácsa or kóntra, and a three-string bass, of which only the lowest string is played. According to Dénes Hrúz of the Dűvő Együttes, the music is challenging, but very beautiful, especially the more archaic melodies.