The folk genre of Hungarian music has undergone a great change since the starting of the 19th centaury. It has now evolved into a music style, which has very meager commonness with its previous form (as it was before the beginning of the 19th century).
Today’s Hungarian music has the chief feature of having extended register, arched melodic line, long phrases and strict composition. This is in sharp contrast to the previous styles, which had a tendency to utilize a descending melodic line.
In 1895, Modern Hungarian music (folk) was first recorded by Bela Vikar. This set the base for the work of László Lajtha, Zoltán Kodály, and Béla Bartók. With the Habsburg Empire in the 18th century Modern Hungarian folk music started its history. Then there came a time when instead of the free speech rhythms of the old style came in the regular metric structure for marching and dancing.
This was the time when the influences of the European countries were at
its crescendo. At that time Folk music consisted of village bagpipers. These
bagpipers were replaced by string-based orchestras of the Roma people or Gypsy.
Verbunkos was undoubtedly the most popular style in Hungary in the 19th century. It comprised of a slow dance, which was followed by a faster dance.
This unique dance form, which utilized the slow as well as the fast dances, is in nature distinctively very Hungarian the verbunkos draws very heavily upon the folk Hungarian music which was composed towards the beginning of the century.