As we all know, Liszt's 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies contain and conserve some Hungarian and Gipsy tunes (although some of them are in a somewhat modified form). I'd like to know if there's any resource for knowing what exactly they are (I'd like to get information about as many of the Rhapsodies as possible, but my personal preferences include the 2nd, 6th, 9th, 12th and 15th one). In particular, I'm wondering:

  • if these tunes/melodies have a title at all (my sad first guess would be no because they're folkloric);
  • If so what the titles are;
  • And if not, where could I find them, either in written form (notes) or in some kind of digital media?

Bela Bartok was an Ethnomusicologist too.. he was known to have collected some gypsy songs, for example:


If you are searching for a book on this subject, Bela Bartok's Studies in Ethnomusicology seems to be interesting:

The biggest problem with the folk tunes is that they are not using the standard european tuning. Bela Bartok has transposed some tunes for the piano. If you are not using the well-known tuning, it is pretty hard to write the notes down for a tune.

  • Thanks! I'll have a look at Bartók's book. As for the transposition, I'm Hungarian and I'm pretty comfortable with writing down folk tunes. – H2CO3 Oct 14 '12 at 5:09

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