35 Years of the IKS

“Good music has to be fought for, and this fight cannot be fought with any success by one country alone
within its boundaries.” (Zoltán Kodály)

1975 – 2010
35 years International Kodály Society

It was at the 1st International Kodály Symposium in 1973 at the Holy Names College (today Holy Names University) in Oakland, California, that initial talks began for the foundation of an International Kodály Society. The Symposium, organized by Sister Mary Alice Hein, brought together many people who later would play a prominent role in the dissemination of the Kodály Concept. Among them was also Mrs. Sarolta Kodály.

At the instigation of the late Alexander Ringer, Erzsébet Szőnyi and Sister Mary Alice Hein, the necessary steps were taken for a formal foundation at the next International Kodály Symposium in Kecskemét, Hungary. It was there, in August 1975, that the International Kodály Society (IKS) was officially established during the 2nd International Kodály Symposium.

The first Board consisted of Mrs. Sarolta Kodály, lifetime Honorary President, Deanna Hoermann, President, Péter Erdei and László Vikár, Vice Presidents, Sister Mary Alice Hein, Secretary Treasurer, Davide Liani (†), Pierre Perron and Éva Rozgonyi, Directors.

In the Founding Statutes it reads: The principal aim of the International Kodály Society shall be the world-wide propagation of the musical, educational and cultural concepts associated with Zoltán Kodály for the benefit of music generally and in particular, for the educational advancement of youth in the service of mutual understanding and friendship among all nations. The Society shall serve as an international forum for all who are active in the spirit of the Hungarian master as composer, scholar and educator. All present at the Foundation Meeting became Charter Members and are recognized as such.


In the past 35 years the following colleagues gave us the benefit of their expertise, serving one or more terms on the IKS Board:

  • President: Deanna Hoermann, Kazuyuki Tanimoto (†), Jean Sinor (†) and Gilbert De Greeve
  • Vice-President: László Vikár, Péter Erdei, Katalin Forrai, Kazuyuki Tanimoto (†), Gilbert De Greeve, Mihály Ittzés, Judith Johnson, Miklós Szabó, Jerry-Louis Jaccard and Judit Hartyányi
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Sister Mary Alice Hein, Géza Szilvay, Lois Choksy, Jeanette Panagapka, Ki Adams, Michalis Patseas and David Vinden
  • Directors: Davide Liani (†), Pierre Perron, Éva Rozgonyi, Takao Nakamura, Margaret O’Shea, Jean Sinor (†), Alois Slozil (†), Timo von Creutlein, Albert van der Schoot, Henriette Pedersen, Miyako Furiya, Ildikó Herboly, Michalis Patseas, David Vinden, Joy Nelson and James Cuskelly

We also acknowledge the invaluable work of Professor Erzsébet Szőnyi who served the IKS Board for many years as special advisor for methodology.

From the very beginning the elections for Board positions were based on nominations and Professor Szőnyi was responsible for many suggestions of nominees. In 1993 the Board decided to work with a Nomination Committee (now called Election Committee). A number of our colleagues served as Chair of this committee: Éva Rozgonyi, Ildikó Herboly, Katalin Forrai (†), László Eõsze, Judit Hartyányi, Paula Somorjai, Gabriella Thész, and Klára Natter Nád Márkus.

From its foundation the IKS counted on the great expertise of Dr. László Eõsze as Executive Secretary. He served in that position from 1975 until 1995, assuming responsibility for the administration of the organization and also of the publication of the Bulletin. He was succeeded by Ms. Lili Vandulek who continues in this role.

Mr. József Horváth (†) assisted in the financial matters of the Society until 1987, followed by Ms. Anna Hernádi.


The first Bulletin was published one year after the founding of the IKS. On the cover were 3 quotes of Zoltán Kodály and a short message of Mrs. Sarolta Kodály. In the first year, 1976, there was only one issue of the Bulletin. Since 1977 the IKS Bulletin has been published twice yearly (spring and fall). In 2005, on occasion of the 30th anniversary, an IKS Archives CD was published containing all Bulletins from 1975 to 2005 in PDF in full copy similar to the paper publication and with every article published separately. It is an outstanding research tool worthy of being available in every library. Since 1999 the IKS Bulletin has been peer reviewed publication. We are grateful to all who helped us to achieve this goal as lead editor: Dr. László Eõsze, Dr. Mihály Ittzés, Dr. Lois Choksy, Professor Jeanette Panagapka, Professor Judith Johnson, and Dr. Jerry-Louis Jaccard, and of course, Ms. Lili Vandulek for the technical side of the publication.

The Website: www.iks.hu

The IKS Website provides information about the aims and objectives of the Society, its structure, publications etc. It has also a Newsletter in journal style about the daily life of the IKS and its members as well as interesting articles about various topics.


Since its foundation in 1975 an International Kodály Symposium has been organized every two years.

  • 1977 in Wolfville, Canada (with the theme Music belongs to Everyone),
  • 1979 in Sydney, Australia,
  • 1981 in Sapporo, Japan (with the theme Music for Humanistic Life and its Education),
  • 1983 in Antwerp, Belgium (with the theme Music a Universal Language for all Peoples and Cultures),
  • 1985 in London, UK (with the theme Music in a Multicultural Society),
  • 1987 in Kecskemét, Hungary (with the theme Source and Vitality of Kodály’s Music and Educational Ideas),
  • 1989 in Athens, Greece (with the theme Constant Values in the Changing World of Education – the Significance of Kodály’s Philosophy),
  • 1991 in Calgary, Canada (with the theme Toward Universal Music Literacy in the 21st Century),
  • 1993 in West Hartford, USA (with the theme Partners in Artistry),
  • 1995 in Assisi, Italy (with the theme Music as Poetry – Kodály’s Genius towards the Future),
  • 1997 in Manila, Philippines (with the theme East meets West through Music – The Universality of Kodály),
  • 1999 in Kecskemét, Hungary (with the theme Survival and Revival of Kodály’s Heritage: Back to the Sources),
  • 2001 in Helsinki, Finland (with the theme Kodály, the Human Voice and Instruments),
  • 2003 in Newcastle, Australia (with the theme Making Music together),
  • 2005 in Leicester, UK (with the theme Kodály, the Whole Man and his Inspirational Gift to the 21st Century),
  • 2007 in Columbus, USA (with the theme Let all the World in Every Corner Sing), and
  • 2009 in Katowice, Poland (with the theme On Values of Music).

The 2011 Symposium is scheduled to take place in Brisbane, Australia, with the theme Shared Visions – Connecting with Kodály. Detailed information is available on the website. The biennial Symposia are among the key events in the life of the International Kodály Society. They provide the members with the opportunity to meet with colleagues from around the world, and share ideas, expertise, common concerns and common dreams in a spirit of friendship and mutual respect.

Committees (Fora)

From the beginning the Society had a number of Committees concerned with particular issues. There was a Folksong Committee, chaired by László Vikár, a Research Committee, chaired by Florence Caylor and a Performance Committee chaired by Péter Erdei, Due to various reasons, including lack of funding to bring together the members of the Committees on a regular basis, their activities were on a low profile for several years. Since 2007 the Board decided to replace the work of the Committees by IKS Fora — a series of meetings or mini-conferences on various topics. The purpose of these Fora is: to offer the members clear domains of interest, to stimulate communication and create direct exchange of know-how, to involve the membership more in the daily life of the Society, to have a greater benefit of the members’ professional expertise. The Folk Music Forum, chaired by Vice President Dr. Jerry-Louis Jaccard is already quite active and had a meeting at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico in 2009. Further initiatives are being planned.


The Scholarship program of the IKS began in 1984. We acknowledge particularly the generosity of Mrs. Sarolta Kodály for funding one of the two scholarships. In the course of the past decennia 78 applicants received a scholarship. A complete list of the Scholarship recipients is available on the website www.iks.hu.  In the beginning the scholarship was usually offered for a limited period of time but for many years now the scholarships have been offered for a full year study at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary. We are very pleased to see how many of the Scholarship recipients have become instrumental in the dissemination of Zoltán Kodály’s vision.

Affiliated Members

Since the early 1970’s National Kodály Organizations have been established in several countries. In 1982 the need arose to come to a closer international collaboration and to an affiliation between National Organizations and the IKS. At present the IKS has 15 Affiliated National Institutional Members:

  • The British Kodály Academy, Ms. Miranda Zwalf, Chair
  • The Chinese Kodály Society, Ms. Yang Limei, President
  • The Danish Kodály Society, Mr. Palle Jespersen, President
  • The Finnish Kodály Society, Ms. Sari Kaipainen, President
  • The Greek Kodály Society, Mr. Valentinos Patrikidis, President
  • The Italian Kodály Society, Dr. Paolo Bon, President
  • The Japanese Kodály Society, Mr. Keiji Usuki, President
  • The Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia (K.M.E.I.A.), Ms. Gail Godfrey, President
  • The Kodály Society of Brazil, Mrs. Marli Batista Ávila, President
  • The Kodály Society of Canada, Mrs. Connie Foss More, President
  • The Kodály Society of Ireland, Mr. Daniel Walsh, President
  • The Kodály Society of the Philippines, Ms. Daisy Marasigan, President,
  • The Korean Kodály Society, Mr. Yoo Byung Moo, President
  • La Voix de Kodály en France, Mme. Chantal Bigot, Présidente
  • The Organization of American Kodály Educators, (O.A.K.E.), Dr. Joy Nelson, President

The Society has also affiliated local Institutional Members. These are organizations that have affiliation but do not represent a country.


The Society has the following categories of membership. Individual: Regular, Retired Persons, and Student Membership. Furthermore: Registered Supporting Membership and Institutional Membership. Membership fees are kept intentionally moderate to assist our colleagues from countries where even 30US$ (the full Regular Membership) is expensive. Retired Persons’ Membership is 20 US$ and Student Membership is 18 US$. Registered Supporting Membership is only 5 US$ and Institutional Membership (for organizations, schools, etc.) is 30 US$.

Individual Members are invited to

  • take part in the activities of and attend events organized by the Society
  • elect and be elected for posts in the Society
  • receive two scientific Bulletins yearly
  • submit scientific articles for the Bulletin
  • submit articles and announcements for the Newsletter
  • be listed with all personal and professional information in the IKS Who's Who
  • receive reduction on International Kodály Society publications
  • apply for an International Kodály Society Scholarship for study in Hungary
  • appeal to the International Kodály Society office in Budapest for specific information concerning Zoltán Kodály's lifetime work and about present Kodály programs in Hungary and abroad
  • include professional information in the Directory on the International Kodály Society website
  • participate actively in the work of the Fora of the Society
  • exchange information and documentation with fellow members
  • participate in the biennial International Kodály Symposia

Registered Supporting Members are invited to

  • take part in the activities of and attend events organized by the Society,
  • receive 4 times a year one article of the IKS Bulletin in the e-mail,
  • be listed with name and e-mail address in an addendum of the WHO's WHO,
  • submit articles and announcements for the Newsletter,
  • request the International Kodály Society office in Budapest for specific information concerning Zoltán Kodály's lifetime work and about present Kodály programs in Hungary and abroad,
  • exchange information and documentation with fellow members.

Institutional Members receive the same benefits as individual members. For the election process, they may give a mandate to one of their members, who can, on their behalf, vote and be elected. However, as institutional members, they cannot apply for a scholarship.

The Society has granted Honorary Membership to persons who played an important role in advancing Zoltán Kodály’s musical, scientific and educational heritage. Honorary Membership can only be granted after a unanimous decision of the Board of the IKS. Since its Foundation the following persons, many who have passed away in the meantime but who remain in our thoughts for their so important support, have received and accepted Honorary Membership: Jenő Ádám (†) , Ilona Andor (†), Denise Bacon, Lajos Bárdos (†), Béla Bartók jr. (†), Mrs. Béla Bartók (†), Péter Bartók, Mario di Bonaventura, Irma Bors (†), Lois Choksy, Katinka Daniel, Denijs Dille (†), Antal Doráti (†), László Eõsze, Lenke Erdélyi Rauhala, Ferenc Farkas (†), Árpád Fasang (†), János Ferencsik (†), Annie Fisher (†), Géza Frid (†), Katalin Forrai (†), Andor Földes (†), Edouard Garo, György Gulyás (†), Hani Kyoko, Erzsébet Hegyi, Sister Mary Alice Hein, Brita Helenius (†), Zoltán Horusitzky (†), János Jagamas (†), Wojciech Jankowski, Judith Johnson, Richard Johnston (†), Dmitri Kabalevsky (†), Pál Kadosa (†), Louis Kentner (†), György Kerényi (†), Dezső Keresztury (†), Melinda Kistétényi (†), Dezső Legánÿ (†), Ivan Martinov, Yehudi Menuhin (†), Antal Molnár (†), Kálmán Nádasdy (†), Márta Nemesszeghy (†), Eugene Ormandy (†), Imre Palló (†), Pierre Perron, Christiane Pineau, Benjamin Rajeczky (†), Jacquotte Ribière-Raverlat, Svyatoslav Richter (†), Alexander Ringer (†), Alfred Schlee (†), Tibor Serly (†), George Solti (†), Leopold Stokowski (†), Imre Sulyok (†), Sándor Szokolay, András Szőllősy, Erzsébet Szőnyi, Jenő Takács (†), Emil Telmányi (†), Cecilia Vajda (†), Lajos Vargyas (†), Tamás Vásáry, Sándor Veress (†), László Vikár, Sándor Weöres (†), Percy Young (†), Sister Lorna Zemke.


Apart from the biannual Bulletin the IKS has a number of other interesting publications.


Music, a Universal Language, 31 folksongs from 21 different countries with an arrangement of each song for 2- or 3-part children's or youth choir. With 2 CDs.

“To understand other people we must first understand ourselves. Nothing is better for that than our folk songs. And to know other people, their folk songs offer the best means, as well." (Zoltán Kodály)

The International Kodály Society Songbook Music, a Universal Language is the first volume of a series in which folksongs of different countries are connected to an original setting for 2- or 3-part children’s or youth choir done by a resident composer of the country involved. The intention of the publication is not only to provide music teachers with excellent materials from various cultures, but also to raise the interest of composers worldwide in writing again more for children and youngsters, in the same sense as Zoltán Kodály did in Hungary. The book contains the score of the particular folksong and of the setting for choir as well as information about the various songs. There are also biographical notes about the composers. Furthermore there are two CDs attached to the book. These CDs have three items for each song: (i) the “spoken text”, especially for the sake of pronunciation, (ii) the original folksong, sung by one or a few, to provide a stylistic impression of the way it is sung in the country involved, and (iii) a recording of the choral setting. The book contains a treasure of beautiful songs and settings, performed on the CDs by musicians from the various countries and is, in fact, a must for the library of every school and music education program.

An Ode For Music, 11 analyses of choral compositions of Zoltán Kodály. Compiled by Judit Hartyányi. This is a publication in particular interesting for choir conductors, composers and researchers.

All those who have felt the sense of meaning that comes from collective singing know how much we owe to Kodály's prophetic understanding that the human hunger for community can be uniquely fulfilled through shared music. We are indebted to him as well, for his recognition of the immensely inspiring force that can be found in the ancient melodies of one's own land - a force that arises from the deepest roots of the human mind and heart in all cultures and at all times. The volume is a tribute to the composer's legacy in the field of choral music. It includes contributions from eleven prominent musicians, composers, conductors and musicologists who have dedicated their lives to carrying on Kodály's work. In their writings we may feel the depth of understanding that comes from a lifetime of devotion, as artists and teachers, to the model set by Kodály himself. The performances of the pieces on the CDs are chosen from among the best available. The recording of the Budavári Te Deum is an historic one conducted by Zoltán Kodály himself.

Music Should Belong to Everyone, 120 quotations from Zoltán Kodály's writings and speeches. Compiled by Ildikó Herboly Kocsár.

This publication is in English and Hungarian. Did Zoltán Kodály write a book on methodology? Hungarian and foreign music educators have often asked this question. The answer is definitively no. However, in reading his writings, statements, forewords and epilogues to his reading-practicing exercises, we can get a clear picture of an explicitly outlined concept of w h a t, w h e n and h o w music should be taught in order to become accessible for everyone. The 120 quotations refer to the role of music in the nurturing of youth in public education, the primary importance of singing,  children's songs and folksongs in the kindergarten and school curricula, the importance of musical reading and writing, the use of relative solmisation as the most effective tool, the use of the early introduction of polyphony, the real connoisseur of music, listening to music-program music, good music-bad music, the effect of music on general human behavior, the role of the teacher, the importance of singing in choirs, contemporary music, the adaptation of the concept in other countries.

IKS Bulletin Archives CD. A CD (in searchable PDF form) with the first 30 years of International Kodály Society Bulletin publications (1976 – 2005).

This CD contains an invaluable source of articles and research data including 59 Bulletin Booklets publications, 455 articles including photographs and general information about the International Kodály Society. The materials are available in “Bulletin-form” (as an exact reproduction of the hard copy publication) and as “individual articles” per publication. Research can be done in every possible way: names of authors, subjects, titles, etc. Furthermore there is an excel file with an alphabetical list of the authors and the titles of their contributions, a read-me.doc and a file with the Hungarian font, necessary for certain search commands. This new IKS publication is in particular valuable for researchers and libraries, greatly facilitating consultation.

The Legacy of Zoltán Kodály. An Oral History Perspective. Edited by Sister Mary Alice Hein.

Sr. Mary Alice Hein collected "oral history" from among Zoltán Kodály's surviving colleagues and students in the late eighties. This volume contains twenty interviews that are the result of her devoted and enthusiastic research on the sources of Hungarian music education and its international dissemination. The book gives us a fascinating insight into the inception and development of Kodály's educational work from the thirties up to his last day. It traces his growing ideas on the interdependence of folk music research and pedagogy, in the process of music learning and the application of his ideas to the vital experiences of musical material for children. Many areas of musical activity would be enriched by an understanding of his conception. Readers will certainly be more acquainted with the exceptionally rich, many faceted aspects of the life and work of Zoltán Kodály. Interviews include: Lajos Bárdos, György Kerényi, Benjamin Rajeczky, László Agócsy, Dénes Bartha, Irma Bors, Irén Forrai, Miklós Forrai, György Gulyás, Dezsõ Legánÿ, Zoltán Pongrácz, Emma Serényi, László Eősze, Katalin Forrai, Erzsébet Szőnyi, László Vikár, Erzsébet Hegyi, Helga Szabó, Sándor Szokolay, Zoltán Tarcai.

Jubilee Bulletin. A compilation of major articles published in the past decades, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the IKS.

All publications can be ordered on line via the IKS website www.iks.hu or through contacting the office in Budapest.

A special tribute

In the past 35 years numerous persons helped IKS directly or indirectly, financially, materially and mentally. Because it is impossible to name all without forgetting someone, I would simply say: thank you!!! You have given us a chance to do things that we would not have been able to do without your help.

Our gratitude also goes to our distinguished Patrons who give us the invaluable support of their name: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Emanuel Ax, Pierre Boulez, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Árpád Göncz, György Kurtág, György Ligeti (†), Kurt Masur, Lady Solti, János Starker.

The degree to which Kodály is known and acknowledged in the world became very clear through the numerous concerts, conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. organized worldwide in 2007, to commemorate the 125th anniversary of his birth. If we were able to count all of the activities they would number in the thousands…. However the conclusion of the celebration year was not an end-point. In the years to come Zoltán Kodály will remain a remarkable man — a man who was at the same time and in the same way, one of the great composers of the 20th century, an exceptional ethnomusicologist, a revolutionary educator, a skilled linguist and even a few things more. Above all, he was a great and gentle human being who cared for other people in a friendly and humble way. Zoltán Kodály’s vision has reached a status that goes far beyond the borders of Hungary and has proven to be timeless. It is truly the remarkable impact of an exceptional man on the musical life of the world.

With cordial regards on behalf of the International Kodály Society Board

Gilbert De Greeve
International Kodály Society