Zoltán Kodály

Dances of Galanta

        Although many of his works are popular concert pieces in this country, perhaps the greatest knowledge of Kodály in the USA is through the use of his music education materials in our public schools, where he is highly influential.   Born in what was the sprawling Austro-Hungarian Empire, he spent his childhood in Galanta, a small town near Bratislava, in present-day Slovakia.  Educated in Budapest, he built a distinguished career as ethnomusicologist, composer, and educator.  Around 1905 he began his field trips to record on wax cylinders the folk songs of the Slavic world, and later wrote a PhD dissertation on the subject.   Concomitantly, he began his career as composer; in addition to Hungarian folk elements, his encounter with the music of Debussy on a trip to Paris was a sha