Meet the Composer: Zoltán Kodály

Composer Series
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Age Range: Elementary

Introduction: Composers write music, just like authors write books. In the Class Notes “Meet the Composer” series, we will learn a little bit about the achievements, backstory, and influences of a variety of composers. Get ready to learn about these influential composers and listen to some of their music.

Free Download: Printable Lesson Plan: Zoltán Kodály


Zoltán Kodály [ZOHL-tahn koh-DYE] was born in 1882 in Hungary. Watch this video to learn a little bit about Zoltán Kodály’s life and work.


  1. This is an excerpt, or section, from the piece talked about in the video, Dances of Galánta. Remember that verbunkos, the folk tunes Kodaly used in this piece, change tempo, or speed. There will be one big change in tempo in this excerpt- see if you notice when it happens.

  2. Zoltán Kodály composed a piece for solo cello that requires the player to perform with virtuosity, or advanced skill. Learn about the special skills and techniques required to play this piece in this video. 

  3. Zoltán Kodály developed a music education program based on singing. Listen to a piece he wrote for voices. 


  1. To learn more about how music is affected by where it comes from, try our Music & Geography: Around the World lesson. 

  2. Zoltán Kodály’s pieces that draw from folk tunes often change tempo. Learn more about tempo with our What is TEMPO? lesson. 

Related Lesson Plans

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