Lajos Bárdos was a composer who was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1899 and died of natural causes after his long and life in 1986, at age 87. Not only was Bárdos a prolific composer, but he had many other job titles, such as ethnomusicologist, educator, author, choir director, and creator and publisher of his very own Magyar Kórus Kiadó Vállalat (Hungarian Choir Publishing Firm.) Starting with a piece for the Boy Scouts of America, he penned upwards of 800 musical masterpieces over many genres, in addition to many popular books, textbooks, and essays–crazy, knowing he was introduced to music by his mother making him practice violin at age 10! He was most known for essentially creating the genre of Hungarian choral music of the 20th century, but his most famous piece was undoubtedly “Napfenyes Utakon” (Sunburn.) My first piece is “Érik a Som” (The Cherries Ripen.) I chose this piece because of its Christmassy vibe. It stands out because of its similar sound to “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” I like that song and it puts me in a joyful mood. When I listen to this song, I picture a scene in “Trolls” where the Bergen Prince is riding his trike through the kingdom. The piece is written for SATB without any instruments (a cappella.) The tone of the piece is quite chipper, as it is about spring coming after a long winter. It is written in Hungarian but also has English available if the conductor so chooses to use it. There isn’t a reason that I could find as to why Lajos Bárdos wrote this piece, but I imagine it’s the same reason anyone writes about spring–it’s a beautiful new beginning.Link to the sheet music:                                                                                                             Link to a recording: My second piece is “Tambur” (Old Hungarian Dancing Song.) I picked this piece because of its pace. It makes me want to dance! When this song is playing, I think of another that is on the tip of my tongue but I can’t quite place it. I picture the scene from “Titanic” where Jack and Rose are dancing in the bottom of the ship and they’re spinning, but I picture them going progressively faster until they’re just a blur. This piece is also written for SATB without any instruments (a cappella.) The tone of this piece is that of a bar full of friends: happy, not quite knowing what you’re doing, but having a great time regardless. This piece is also written in Hungarian. This piece is based on the classic folk song “Ungaresca” circa. 1583, which is probably Lajos Bárdos’s way of honoring his roots.Link to sheet music: Link to recording: My final piece is “Dana-Dana.” I chose this piece because of how angry it sounds. When I hear this song, I think of the Coraline crawling through her magic tunnel to the “other” world. It’s creepy and angry. This is another piece written for SATB without any instruments (a cappella.) Like I mentioned earlier, the tone of this piece is both angry and creepy. Especially because I don’t understand Hungarian. I wasn’t able to find the reason for Lajos Bárdos to pen this piece, but I like to imagine that Dana is the name of one of his past girlfriends who was really mean to him so he wrote this song to yell at her passive-aggressively. At least, that would make the most sense to me. Link to sheet music: Link to recording: I wrote about three songs by Lajos Bárdos. They were all beautiful to listen to, but they all sounded rather similar. Perhaps it was due to the lack of instruments or Lajos Bárdos’s tendency to highlight the vocal ranges of whichever choir sings his masterpieces. When I first researched Lajos Bárdos, I thought it was crazy how he wrote over 800 pieces of literature, including music. Now that I have listened to his songs, I feel like he just took the rhythm of one song and recycled it many times, changed the words on top, and called it a new song. Granted, it is still pretty cool that he wrote that much, I just wish he had added more variety to his songs. I also found it very interesting that his birthday is still celebrated to this day by music enthusiasts–he obviously had a big impact. It was also quite bold that (a website dedicated to his memory) said that he basically created a whole genre of music. After listening to his songs, I do get that kind of feel. Maybe that’s why he kept reusing the same rhythms–it was his own genre! Lajos Bárdos has his own museum, though it is small. It resides in a former apartment of him. They have cool artifacts and posters and experts on everything Bárdos. Though Lajos Bárdos was not my first choice (my first was already taken by someone else,) it was still interesting to learn about him and his impact on the music world. I hope to someday leave behind a legacy that great.


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