Famous Artists and their Circles 6 : Zoltan Kodaly

Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967)

You may wish to use this page along with Merry-Go-Round Booklet p.26: Round and round the garden  : Merry-Go-Round booklet

Moving round in a circle has a sense of completeness – like coming home, back to a place of familiarity, comfort and safety.

In music, sometimes composers write a piece of music called a rondo, in which the same tune, or theme, keeps reappearing with contrasting sections in between. Each time you hear the theme it feels like coming home, back to something familiar.

The Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) used a rondo structure when he composed the Viennese Musical Clock. If you assign a letter to each section of the music, the order is ABACADA. As you watch and listen to this video of an orchestra and dancers performing the music, see if you can spot the theme (A) each time it comes round.








Do you recognise any of the instruments?


Find out more:

Book: The Marvellous Toy – Tom Paxton.

This song tells the story of a special toy given to a little boy by his dad. It works like a rondo with a chorus that comes round repeatedly after each verse:





It went zip! when it moved,

bop! when it stopped,

whirr! when it stood still.

I never knew just what it was,

and I guess I never will!


Do you know any songs that work like a rondo, with a chorus?


Download a pdf version of this page : _Famous Artists and their Circles 6 Kodaly

Produced by An Lanntair as part of Full Circle Arts programme.  Funded through the Aspiring Communities Fund with support from the European Social Fund.