The training I received at the Academy was difficult and at times harsh, but those who survived the experience emerged as real musicians.

Sir Georg Solti

Elective Courses

This list of elective courses is not exhaustive and some courses might not be announced in a given semester. For further information please turn to the Study Department.


Purpose of the course: This course is designed to disseminate to a global audience the contributions that African American composers and arrangers have made in the areas of spirituals, art songs, oratorios, operas, cantatas, vocal chamber music and musical theater. In the course, students will be able to understand the black aesthetic and how it is a part of the fabric of American culture. Parallels will be drawn between Hungarian folk song and Negro folk song. The course will give students an opportunity to study poets and librettists of select repertoire, to analyze and compare black idioms and Euro-American classical techniques and their fusion and to become acquainted with bibliographic works and publishers of music in the aforementioned genres. The course will integrate history, performance practices and pedagogy.


Description of the course: The course will consist of discussions of reading assignments, a survey of specific repertoire in the various vocal genres, listening sessions, musical and textual analyses of scores, construction of recital programs in the genres, based on examples from the instructor’s collection; and individual and group singing. Students will be given a syllabus with the topics and assignments for each class session, as well as the specific repertoire in each genre for the entire semester. Students will also receive forms for analyses and listening evaluation that will be provided by the instructor.


Attendance requirements and assessment: Students are expected to be present for all classes and be prepared to participate in all activities for each session. Students will be assigned individual repertoire by the instructor based on their vocal categories. They are encouraged to prepare the individual work with the private voice teacher, especially the repertoire that will be performed publicly. Students’ grades will be based on written and demonstration assessments as follows:


Test One (in the early weeks of the semester)

Test Two (midway the course in October)

Test Three (December)

Test Average: 30%

Assignments (written, listening): 20%


Performance One (midway the course in October)

Final Performance (December)

Performance Average: 50%


Total: 100%


Course literature: The instructor will bring scores and articles from his personal collection. However, students should consult with their private instructors to see if they have the Anthology of Art Songs by Black Composers, comp. Willis Patterson; Negro spiritual collections by Edward Boatner, Hall Johnson, Margaret Bonds, Moses Hogan and Harry T. Burleigh.



A musicological course in English at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music (University), for MA and DLA students

(Bartók Archives, Institute of Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Faculty of Musicology, Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music)

Courses, both introductory and specialized ones, on the composer and musical folklorist Béla Bartók's work form part of the general musicological curriculum at the Liszt Academy. The Budapest Bartók Archives, a major collection of documents and centre of Bartók studies plays a significant role in it. Since many foreign students come to Hungary specifically to study his music, to offer an English language course on his art seems natural.

The first semester of the two-semester course offers a lecture series on Bartók's biography and main compositions. It introduces participants to different editions of Bartók's compositions and the basic scholarly literature with special emphasis on English (and, depending on the interest of the group, other) foreign language publications on the composer. Bartók's ethno-musicological studies, especially in connection with his own music, will also be discussed. The programme of the second semester will mainly be drawn up according to the interest of the participants in order to study and discuss more specialized selected topics in greater detail. Although the students' active participation (discussion of scholarly articles, analysis of compositions) is also envisaged for the first semester, the second should be built more expressly on the contributions of the participants in order for the individual students to work on a topic of their own choice. Accordingly, a paper on the chosen topic and its presentation in class is integral part of the program in the second semester.

Taught by László Vikárius



Content of the course: Practical study of the following compulsory or elective pieces.

20th century and contemporary: János Vajda: Just for you, Sándor Balassa : Utolsó pásztor (The Last Shepard), Kurtág's cello pieces for soloists, Attila Bozay: Cello Sonata, Rózsa Miklós: Toccata Capricciosa op. 36, Péter Tóth : Last Letter of Cyrano de Bergerac, Ligeti: Solo Sonata, George Crumb: Solo Sonata, Isang Yun: "Glissees" Solo Sonata, Krzysztof Penderecki: Per Slava, Kaija Saariaho: Spins and Spells, Seven Butterflies, Alfred Schnittke: Sonata No. 1 and No. 2, Arthur Honegger: Cello Sonata, Francis Poulenc: Cello Sonata, Elliot Carter: Figment I and II for Solo Cello, Benjamin Britten: Cello Solo Suites, Lutoslawski: Grave for Cello and Piano, Sacher Variations for Solo Cello, Cello Concerto



The course focuses on Hungarian violin music. Participants of the course can acquire a better understanding of Hungarian artists' works through an introduction to their lives and works.
The couse is open to all who are interested, not only students of strings.




Discrepancies, ambiguity and analogy  in common use of Italian Music terms in Music Literature.

Content of the teaching programme:

The lecture.

The presented work goes through different steps of mutations or assumed meanings by the comparision of scores of different  works of the composer himself and of his contemporaries or predecessors.

An introduction to the work will also deal with Motion and Phrasing and  motion and “gesto” :the “Gesto” as medium from the musical idea via creation of sound to the reception of the listener.

By checking what above mentioned and through an analysis of the music material of the investigated part in the selected scores compared, it is possible to reduce the range of interpretation of the Italian terms and  to better point their delivering in piano playing, besides the indication coming from the mere translation of the terms.

We will  also  find out as many terms such as “con Brio, con Spirito, Sostenuto, teneramente, mezzavoce,mesto, spianato” have been specifically and very properly used by composers, more than we think.

Examples of the terms will be also provided through a comparative study and showing of scores where the terms occurred in same or  different ages or composers.

Historical links.

The work takes also in account many Italian terms used in piano scores that  were derived from performance practice of other fields, such as, primarily, the vocal and drama artistic world, just in the period when the invention of the piano by Bartolomeo Cristofori opened horizonts to new timbrical and expressive instrumental possibilities.

The way to produces the  illusion of singing a musical phrase as well to get different qualities of sound on the keyboard (the legato illusion) represented  the research field for many composers-executant of that time.

They started to investigate how to get it and before we got at the present day the  meaning of Italian indications to perform music on the piano, we may find in their trateases the technical descriptions addressed to the executants  to let them get on the instrument of that time the sound which were defined  like “suono piangente, metallico, morente, brillante ecc.(cfr. Angeleri, F. Pollini, C.Czerny ,ecc.)

This is also another point of view to explain the context where many terms occur.

The work is also showed in powerpoint with links in hypertext form to let audience follow the lecture and  immediately look at the compared scores and critical points quoted.

Some parts of the lecture may be provided of music examples at the piano.

Main chapters of  the lecture are:

Tempo Marks

Expression Marks/ Sound intensity/agogic terms

In place of…

The adverb “Poco”

Sostenuto term

“Suffering” terms

Mesto, spianato and other terms

Some examples of presented work are:

1) Tempo marks similar but not the same.

From Largo to Allegrissimo.

Largo or Grave terms.

2) rallentando and calando terms

3) other terms as ritenuto, ritenente, or trattenuto, or morendo, estinto, animando, con anima or animato, andantino, poco lento, larghetto.They often may represent critical points of delivering music.

4) “con Brio, con Spirito, teneramente, mezzavoce, ecc.” have been specifically and very properly used by composers, more than we think.


Topic: Discrepancies, ambiguity and analogy of in common use of Italian Music terms in Music Literature.


The comparative analysis of Italian words is grounded on piano, strings, winds, chamber music and orchestral repertoires and will be presented through music examples and scores collation, audio and video materials as well as examples at the piano, in order to show how mood and tempo terms as well as agogic and sound intensity variation terms might be used in current performances.

Moreover, during the course I will make reference to music terms from languages other than Italian, such as German and French.

Music terms in use will be showed not only referring to the simple translation but discussed from different perspectives just in the musical context of the score and supplied by historical information or by examples focused on use, context, performance tradition, historical periods and possible solution adopted by the performers on their instrument.

Examples will incidentally show aspects of compositional material (in metrical, formal, harmonic, timbrical elements) in reference to terms in use or to directions of the composer in the score.


Main purpose of the course is to offer to the performer a more precise range of interpretation of the Italian musical terms on the score, in the way they have been used by a single composer or by other prominent composers, and during same era or in different ages (with diachronic and chronologic way of comparison).


Course attendance: compulsory, verified by signed attendance sheet

Taught by: Francesco Possenti



Both composers and performing artists need to know the basics of copyright and related rights concerning their own pieces or the regulations they have to consider.

Course content:

The basics of copyright
Performers' rights
Publishing rights (music publishers, sound recording publishers)

Specifications of regulations

Overview of rights entitled to composers and performers

The legal terms and conditions of making adaptations

Making recordings and distributing music on the internet and on physical storage media

The legal terms and conditions for the usage of sound recordings on screen, websites, etc.

Course attendance: compulsory, verified by signed attendance sheet

Taught by: Máté Hollós



The aim of the course is to introduce basic dance steps that singers might need during their career (tango, waltz, jazz, etc.), and to help advance concentration, focus and cooperation skills. Participants of the course can acquire practical knowledge about all types of dances on stage. The advantage of the course is that no previous dancing experience is required, but it can provide continuous physical training, and it can introduce the joy of dancing to students. It provides both practical knowledge as well as physical skills.

Taught by: Ákos Tihanyi


ORCHESTRATION as elective subject

Acquiring knowledge of technical and sound qualities and combinations of certain instruments through in-depth analysis of historical and contemporary pieces; solving orchestration tasks involving historical chamber music and orchestra instrument combinations.

Taught by: Miklós Tihanyi



In this course, international students are introduced to representative dances of various regions of Hungary.  They get to know the relationship between music and dance through practice.



Students who are proficient in an instrument that is not their main subject might take secondary instrument classes for elective course credits.

Request for adding a secondary instrument is only possible if consented by the Head of  the relevant Sub-Department, and the professor teaching the subject. The Secondary Instrument Request form is available from and to be submitted at the International Office (Room 014) by the end of the week before the classes start in the given semester.





This course is designed to strengthen basic English language skills of budding musicians seeking to work in the international music world. A student-centred focus on useful, real world language production, especially spoken, is emphasised with relevant, contextual, functional language, using a variety of pair and group-work activities. Topics centre on the functional needs of performing musicians.
This course requires a basic understanding of English.



This course is designed to augment, expand, and refine the real world English language skills of budding musicians seeking to work in the international music world. A student-centred focus on accurate language production, both spoken and written, is followed, with some grammar instruction as needed. Topics centre on the specific needs of performing musicians.

This course requires an intermediate or better level of English.



The objective of teaching European Cultural History at LFZE in English language is to provide students with an overview of the European culture, including aspects, periods, outstanding artists and artworks, as well as highlight the cultural context of the creation of musical art pieces.
In the first term an overview of the history of European culture is provided in course of a series of lectures illustrated by projected images and slides. The knowledge gained shall be proven in form of an oral exam at the end of the term. The objective of the second term is to focus on the practical use of the terminology and knowledge gained in course of the first term.

Taught by: Zoltán Körösvölgyi



The objective of teaching Art History is to provide students with an overview of the history of visual arts, including periods, outstanding artists and artworks.
In the first term an overview of the history of visual arts is provided in course of a series of lectures illustrated by projected images and slides. The knowledge gained shall be proven in form of oral exam at the end of the term. The objective of the second term is to focus on the practical use of the terminology and knowledge gained in course of the first term.

Taught by: Zoltán Körösvölgyi