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  If you remember a tune but not the entire melody or the song title, you can search for these on the Internet (even if you don't know how to play the piano). This Music Search Engine, the Melodycatcher, knows over 400.000 melodies, including all 8500 of ! For many of these melodies different titles are used. So if you can not find a wanted title, search for the tune with the MelodyCatcher.
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Hungarian Folk Collection

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  Searching for a melody ©opyright Info
  Story about the author on the site Messzi tábortüzek


Obituary Jan van Os

Jan van Os passed away on the 26th of July, 2016. His friends, with whom he played gypsy music for decades, will always remember the image of him sitting behind his cimbalom in the middle of the ensemble. During the farewell ceremony, one of the ensemble members - Rolf Schuursma - expressed it as follows: 'Jan on the cimbalom, this image is etched in my memory. Jan bent over the strings, enthusiastic and confident; a beacon amidst the sometimes turbulent waters of our slightly anarchistic gypsy ensemble." It was October 1954, when I first went to his house in Utrecht, attempting to secure a spot in the illustrious Student Gypsy Chapel Tzigane. Looking back, I can now say that I succeeded. At that time, there was a room full of unfamiliar people: Yntze Loopstra, Bob Phaf, Jan Buskop, Frits ten Cate, Lo van Ruyven and let's not forget Gerard Jager and Herman Lamers. There, Jan van Os was in the middle of the ensemble, playing the cimbalom; quiet, helpful, stimulating and tireless. Much later, long after leaving the scene of gypsy music for work-related reasons, I received a phone call. It was Jan. He asked me whether I wanted to join in again. They still practised at Jan's place, now in Voorburg, where he and his wife Lieneke continued to offer their hospitality. It was then that we formed Hon Tzigane, consisting of Jan himself, Gerard Jager (as always our primas), Herman Lamers on the piano and myself on second fiddle. Four honoraries of Tzigane, assisted for some time by Kees de Ruiter on alto and from the start joined by base player Leo Kortekaas (from the Delft Siperkov Ensemble). Jan had a close relationship with the members of this ensemble: Fred Kreuger, Kees van Rossem, Willy Oosten, Rolf Koster and Marius van Meerten. For a long time, he was part of this ensemble, playing, as always, the cimbalom in his accurate, intense and tireless way. In our circle of friends, we have seen Jan in all sorts of situations. Such as the time that he carried his cimbalom up the stairs of an academy building, without any help. We also remember his peculiar habit of lying under his cimbalom in the middle of a musical performance "because the pedal had to be fixed". But wat made a lasting impression on us all was his creation of the website It is a database containing approximately 10,000 melodies of both gypsy and Hungarian origin. He put his heart and soul in building that website, and because of it, he became well-known or even famous all over the world. In recognition of his great achievements, he was made an honorary member by Tzigane. Now his instrument stands abandoned, his place in Hon Tzigane remains empty. Jan's place behind the cimbalom is vacant. And we miss a very good friend.'


In The Netherlands more amateur musicians are playing folk and Gipsy music of East European Countries than in any other West European Country. Many years ago I started my home page Cimbalom as a Dutch platform for these musicians and their colleagues in other countries.

During recent years I have collected a large number of Hungarian melodies from various sources and described these as a single voice MIDI file. The purpose of this collection of 8500 melodies (MIDI's), in majority of (Urban) Hungarian Folk music, or in fact in majority Magyar Nótak, but including well over 3000 Népdalok, is to promote these melodies among devotees, and to contribute to the preservation of this type of Folk music. To support the recognition of these simple melodies, in most cases a "Demo" of that melody is added in the form of a short Mp3 file.

This collection of Hungarian melodies, although probably the largest one available on line, still has its weak points. Early visitors have recognized the shortcomings due to the lack of specific knowledge and especially my unfamiliarity with the Hungarian language. In the mean time some friends of the site have helped me tremendously in correcting Hungarian titles and translating them into English as well as in providing new melodies.

Al suggestions to improve the site remain welcome. Please e-mail any useful information, preferably in English or in German or French, to:


The collection (see also Hungarian Folk Music: some backrgound information)

Currently the collection include some 8500 (monophonic) MIDI's of Hungarian melodies, of which some 4000 are described as Magyar Nóta, some 4000 as Népdalok and some 600 as "Various". The collection further includes some 7000 polyphonic Mp3 files as a "Demo" of these melodies. Connoisseurs will recognize some Népdalok among these Magyar Nóta (indicated with a N behind the title) This is done because these Népdalok became famous among the orchestras playing the Magyar Nóta. Most melodies of the Népdalok, however, were hardly if ever played by these orchestras, partly because of their different and less easy to play style.

Largely Hungarian folk music is divided in two types of melodies: Népdalok: (Old) Hungarian folk songs (4.00) 0and Magyar Nóta (song) or Nótak (songs) (over 4000): Hungarian city- or urban music, current Hungarian Folk Music. The distinction between these categories, however, is not always fully clear, since many of the better known népdalok also became popular as a Magyar nóta, although usually somewhat modified and played in the urban style.
Two separate types of melodies with a special function, Verbunk and Palotás, came up during the same period of urbanization as well.

Since audio records of the older songs are scarce, they have been collected mainly from numerous sources of digital audio files and scores, available on-line. This on-line availability might indicate that they belong to the better known / remembered ones. In adddition the collection of 600 Népdalok of Messzi tábortüzek is added to this website.

A good overview of such sources of Népdalok is given by the New Hungarian Millenium: and especially in the sites of Karoly: Magyar Népdalok I, Magyar Népdalok II and Magyar Népdalok III with a further subdivision of these melodies. Also, as far as not available from other sources, all melodies of 3 widely available scout song-books, are included: Száz (100) Népi Játékdal, 101 Magyar Népdal and 102 Magyar Népdal "Madárka". We have included a number of magyarnóta and military songs (mostly not népdal) from Book I. & II. of an archive:
101 Magyar Népdal, Huber Sándor
- Rozsnyai Károly Publisher, Budapest c.1908.
In some cases the original spelling, used over a century ago, is retained and indicated by italics.
Finally has been used as additional source for melodies. This Daloskönyv (Song book) contains both lyrics and music scores.

Since the availablity of polyphonic MP3 files of Népdalok is limited we have also used demos of vocals for Népdalok. Here we are lucky to be able to use demos in our Népdalok from award-winning vocalist Juhos Mária from Slovakia. The beautiful performances can be reached in full and also downloaded for free at
Our demos include samples from the Hungarian Scout Association Abroad. MP3 voice of their 50 suggested folksongs for Scouts III, all titles available on, can be found under Gyűjtemények - népdalok
Another good source, also mainly voice only, is a nice scout collection currently with 650 népdal. This professional website has full lyrics for all népdals and songs, some with music score and many with Mp3. It is part of several training collections under Their "Népdal Rádio" is an excellent tool.

Most of the Népdalok are out of the focus of this collection of Magyar Nóta and since the tens of thousands of Népdalok are subject of a more scientific evaluation, it was not our main goal to try to further expand this part of the collection. On-line audio files of Népdalok, however, are scarce, certainly in relation with the numerous sources of lyrics of these melodies. It therefore seemed useful to try to at least collect most of those currently available.

Finally there is a category Various, containing melodies popular among and played by the same orchestras playing the Magyarnóta. Also included in this category are some 200 Gipsy/Roma Songs, with a clearly different style, but for most listeners recognizably related to the Magyarnóta since they originated in the same environment and in a period that this latter music was highly popular.

For all of these reasons melodies are divided into 5 categories:

  Csárdás (C): also including Friss, Palotás and Verbunks, (some times also called Verbunkos)
  Rubato (R), Lassan (including the Hungarian Hallgató)
  Song (S), also including Andalgo and Esztam
  Various (V), including , Gipsy Nóta, Serenades, etc.
  Népdalok (N) as far as sources were easily available. (See also Népdal info/sources)

As far as the Magyar Nóta (the categories Csárdás, Rubato and Song) include Nepdalok, this is indicated with a (N) behind the title: for Csárdás with: C (N), for Rubato with: R (N) and for Song with: S (N).
All of these melodies are listed as well in the category Népdalok.

The classification of some melodies might be arbitrary. In some cases even the country of origin might be uncertain. Some Hungarian titles might be incorrect, some are even lacking. But above all it remains difficult to define the type of melodies that should be included to keep the collection authentic. Therefore all Suggestions for improvement are welcome.

To avoid doubles in the growing collection, a melody finder was needed. In fact this was the start of the development of a new melody finder, the Melody Catcher:


  When searching for a Hungarian Title of a melody of one of the categories Csárdás, Rubato, Song or Népdalok: use the button of that category and the alphabet above the page of that category.
      When searching for a Hungarian Title of a melody of an unknown category use the button Titles followed by the alphabet above that page. Look for the category (C, R,S, V or N) and search again for that title in that category.
     When searching for a melody use the Melodycatcher
     When needing a new melody in your repertory just browse through the files!! You will be amazed about the large number of lovely melodies that in these days are hardly played any more.
    Having found a title you will be surprised about the amount of information that becomes available when searching with that title in Google.


Searching for a melody using the Melodycatcher

  The character of the collection is unique in that all of its abou 7500 MIDI files are Indexed by the 6Melodycatcher. Therefore all of its melodies can be found by melody input. For those interested in such a search a few suggestions:
      At most some ten of the first notes of a melody have to be played on the virtual keyboard to find the playable MIDI of that melody and its referring page. Usually this query of the start of a melody gives best results.
     In case of no results, however, especially when searching for a better known melody, an input error could be the cause of this lack of results. If in doubt about one or more notes, they can be changed by dragging them up or down in the note display or by deleting, changing or adding note names in the note names field.
      In addition any part of a wanted melody can be entered by using the option Search anywhere in a melody. This can be useful if:.
     You are uncertain about the first notes of a melody, like whether or not repeated. This is important, since based upon the lyrics the first notes can be repeated in one verse and unrepeated in another verse of the melody.
     The beginning of the wanted melody is less characteristic and a typical further part of a melody is remembered.
    Be sure to unheck the option Search anywhere in a melody or use the Reset button before starting a new search.
    Text search can be used to search for titles with keywords. Separate more words with space.
Special letters like á, é, ö etc should be avoided.
    Check also the title page, if a title can not be found with text search. Many melodies are known under different titles. The title page contains some 200 additional titles, linked to the title under which the related melody is listed.


Suggestions / contributions


This large collection of Hungarian melodies still has a number of weak points or short comings:

     The collection might contain some melodies of non Hungarian origin.
     Of some 90 melodies both a MIDI and an Mp3 Demo is available, but the title is lacking. You can find them at the end of the list of titles in the pages Csárdás, Rubato, Song or Various.
     Some melodies in Népdalok may not be true népdal, while other categories may include népdaokl.
     Of some 500 melodies no Mp3 Demo is available
     Some Mp3 demos are of lower or a less characteristic quality.
     Some melodies might lack the authentic character to fit in the collection
     The collection is far from complete, although for this type of music probably the largest collection available on-line
All information to improve these aspects is welcome. Also welcome are (sources of) Mp3 files of lacking Mp3 Demo's or of Demo's of the collection with a low characteristic quality.

Last but not least: the number of this type of melodies is much larger than so far listed. Therefore new melodies are most welcome. If in doubt you can mail a MIDI or a short MP3 fragment. Because some melodies are known under different titles we also use the earlier mentioned Melody Catcher to ensure that that melody is not yet in the collection.

All suggestions to improve the site remain welcome. Please e-mail any useful information, preferably in English or in German or French, to:



Soon after the collection became available on-line it was discovered by some friends of Magyar Nóta, starting to support me with information, suggestions, new melodies and translations. Their contribution was a big help to improve the collection and its related information, both in quantity as well as in quality.
One of them, Árpád Andy Zubrits, needs to be mentioned specifically for all of his efforts. He not only translated almost all Hungarian text to English but also stimulated and helped me find many Népdalok, the folk songs he is also promoting within his Scout organization.
Below the names of these friends of
  Nickl Károly Eindhoven   The Netherlands
  Sugatagi Gábor Budapest    Hungary
  Árpád Andy Zubrits Toronto   Canada (Scoutleader)
  Timothee Ewing Maple City, Michigan   USA
  Lengyel Boldizsár Dunaremete   Hungary
  Molnár Béla Beretke    Slovakia
  Dömötör Gábor Easton, Connecticut USA



The Dutch author, Dr J L van Os, Voorburg, started to play East European music on accordion at high school. During his student years from 1950 on he started to play the cimbalom in the Utrechtsche Studenten Zigeuner Kapel Tzigane. Ever since, he has played in several amateur orchestras like Siperkov and Hon Tzigane (see also under Orchestra's on his Web site Cimbalom) Although playing melodies of several East European countries the playing and collection of Hungarian folk music is his favorite hobby.

E-mail contact, preferably in English or if necessity German or French:


©opyright Info

These pages are intended to be an index of Hungarian melodies for private use.
The MIDI's may be freely copied, provided that they are not used for commercial purposes.
The MP3 Demo's are kept to a short duration to prevent their use for other reasons than supporting the recognition of the related single voice MIDI. If anyone can show reasonable cause why such a Demo should be hidden from public view, we will gladly delete it immediately.


Story about the author on the site Messzi tábortüzek
by Gábor Dömötör


Admirer of Hungarian music

Dr. Jan van Os - a Dutch veterinarian and research scientist - is perhaps the greatest foreign collector of Hungarian music. His "CIMBALOM" on-line site already contains more than 5000 melodies. He has played this type of music ever since early childhood. His collection, which at the beginning contained mostly "magyar nóta" and gypsy music, has more recently - in part motivated by Hungarian scouts - expanded significantly into the area of legitimate folksongs. That is how he got to know and appreciate the Messzi tábortüzek collection of folksongs, which, as of June, 2009, he is also presenting as part of his on-line site.

It will probably surprise many people - it certainly did me - that in Holland over 40 orchestras play this type of music. As we found out, in the early 1900's many Hungarian musicians - among them Pali Lakatos, Sándor Vidák, Lajos Veres - visited Holland and achieved great success. As a consequence, the father of Dr. van Os, together with a group of university students, formed an orchestra and began to play. Dr. van Os himself formed a similar orchestra while still in high school. Later on, as a college student, he continued with regular appearances, even performing on transatlantic ships. He continued with this passion when already an active veterinarian and later as a research scientist in industry. Even today, he plays with his orchestra almost every week.

  Dr. van Os told me of two memorable experiences. One concerns the time when he received his first cimbalom: at the outbreak of WW II, Timi Balázs, a friend of Dr. van Os' father, brought over his spare cimbalom in order to avoid possible confiscation by the occupying Germans.

The other memorable experience took place on New Year's eve in 1956, when the Dutch people organized a party for the recently arrived Hungarian refugees and asked his university orchestra to play.

As part of his research activities in industry, Dr. van Os became familiar with the new phenomenon of the computer. He perfected his computer skills and, after early retirement, started to build websites.

That is also the time when he began the systematic collection of melodies. Hungarian music is his preferred genre, although he also appreciates the music of other surrounding nations.

Meanwhile, he became acquainted with Árpád Zubrits, a Hungarian scout leader in Toronto, who not only gave him significant help but also emphasized the special value of original folksongs. Since Dr. van Os does not speak Hungarian, Árpád first helped with the translation to English as well as with the correct spelling of Hungarian words. And the originally 450 folksongs increased to 1100.

It is through this contact that Dr. van Os also became acquainted with Messzi táborüzek. He found this series of CD's and their acompanying books, which contain the scores and words of the songs, to be a rare and valuable collection. On his site (, which by now already contains 5500 Hungarian melodies, he has created a separate section for Messzi tábortüzek ( He presents samples of every song of the series, playing either the first verse or, occasionally, even the full song.

Recently the Dutch government became aware of Dr. van Os's work and published a story about this valuable cultural interchange on the on-line cultural site of its Hungarian embassy. Meanwhile, we Hungarians can be proud that our music has received such a warm welcome in Holland.

Gábor Dömötör


Oklevél A Külföldi Magyar Cserkészszövetség nevében
In 2010 the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris celebrates the 100th
anniversary of Hungarian Scouting. Preservation of the rich musical trove of
Hungarian folksongs is an integral part of our goals.
This certificate is extended to
Mr Jan van Os
in gratitude and recognition of his outstanding contributions towards
the collection and dissemination of Hungarian folk-music

New York, 2010 september 4                      Gábor Dömötör - Chairman
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