Kodály Center improves documentation of historical folk songs

The University’s Kodály Center for Music Education has been receiving lots of press recently for its plans to update the American Folk Song Collection website—the only site with recordings of traditional folk songs and their transcriptions—with additional content and improved functioning. You can read more about it in articles published by the San Francisco Chronicle and KQED.

The center was founded on the Holy Names campus in 1969 and teaches students pedagogical strategies inspired by Hungarian composer and educator Zoltan Kodály (1882–1967), who catalogued folk songs and emphasized the importance of music in the intellectual, emotional, physical, and social development of children.

The website’s song database will double in size from 350 songs to more than 700 songs. Songs that are underrepresented on the site will be added, broadening the site’s coverage of geographical regions, ethnic groups, and song types—for example, sea chanteys, spirituals, and ballads. New material will include Spanish songs and songs from the Library of Congress.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has granted HNU $75,000 that will be applied to this project. The website was originally created with the support of a previous foundation grant.


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