Development of polyphonic skills and part-singing based on the
Kodály - Ádám
Énekes könyv (Singing Books) series

Book 4 (age 9-10)


Summary of musical concepts learnt through the folksong repertory Kodály-Ádám Singing Books, Book 4.

Rhythmic elements, metre:

  • 4/4 metre
  • quaver rest

Melodic elements and scales:

  • from “d” pentatony to the major scale
  • from “l” pentatony to the aeolian scale
  • modes: dorian (re-scale)


Two-part “knocking” and other rhythm exercises


Rhythm exercises in 2/4 metre

Example 42

Example 43


At this level “knocking exercises” are constructed from more independently moving parts.


Example 44

Teaching tips:

Sing the lower part on “doh”, the upper part on “soh.”
Replace the solfa name with rhythm syllables or neutral singing syllables (la- la).


Example 45

Example 46

Rhythm exercises for practising 4/4 metre

Example 47

Teaching tips:

Sing the lower part on “doh”, the upper part on “soh.”
Replace the solfa name with rhythm syllables or neutral singing syllables (la- la).


Example 48

Example 49

Example 50

Example 51

Example 52

Example 53



Simple rhythm activity incorporating singing


Example 54

Rhythm canon

Example 55 

Teaching tips:

“Initiative and canon-like measures should be included among the exercises, establishing the bases, and the foundation of two-part singing. Begin with the simplest exercises and work toward more difficult ones.” (Jenő Ádám: Growing in Music with Movable Do, p. 182.)
“The tempo should always be slow at first. In future exercises, we may increase the tempo, but do only as many exercises as will interest and stimulate the child. The diversity of our percussion instruments almost insures interest. The parts should, of course, be interchanged regularly.” (Jenő Ádám: Growing in Music with Movable Do, p. 182.)


Example 56-57

Teaching tips:

Change parts!


Rhythm exercises for practising quaver rest in 2/4 metre

Example 58

Example 59

Example 60

Example 61

Example 62

Example 63

Example 64

Rhythm exercises for practising quaver rest in 4/4 metre

Example 65

Example 66

Three-part rhythmic exercises

Example 67

Example 68


Simple two-part intonation exercises

Example 69-71


This form of two-part singing is one of the most rudimentary forms of polyphonic development: one group sustains a note while the other group sings a slowly moving melodic line.


Example 72-74

Example 75

Example 76

Example 77


Simple melodic line accompanied by a melodic ostinato.
Further suggestion:

Kodály, Zoltán: Bicinia Hungarica No. 3.

Example 78

Example 79

Example 80


In this exercise both parts move.
Teaching tips:

“In the interest of saving time learn to use double hand signals. However, do not neglect written notation. Initially, as a springboard, it is best to begin with the same note.” (Jenő Ádám: Growing in Music with Movable Do, p. 185.)


Example 81-86

Example 87-91

Example 92

Example 93-95



Canon singing


Example 96 (“Szélről legeljetek...” Hungarian folksong)

Example 97

Example 98

Example 99

Example 100


Two-part folksong arrangements


Example 101

Example 102

Example 103


Two-part material, imitative counterpoint


Example 104



About Kodályhub

The Kodály HUB is a public on-line Knowledge Centre in which a Musicbook, a Community, a Calendar and further resources are available to assist teachers in their everyday work. The Songbook contains several hundred songs and music listening materials from all over the world. The songs are analysed using many key, searchable parameters and (when relevant) accompanied by a game or movement activity to support the teaching objectives and increase the enjoyment of the lesson. 

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In 2019, 2020, 2021, the maintenance of the Kodály HUB has been supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary and the "Everyday Singing" programme of the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary, the fee of the logo registration was covered by the National Research and Development Office of Hungary.

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