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Consonante is a method worked out for people living with severe disabilities. These people live with many physical limitations, so their participation in a musical performance is possible only due to two basic modification in the use and in the tuning of the instruments.

reni-keze2.jpgThe method use custom built-instruments to suit the abilities of the musicians. Learning to play a musical instrument means to develop and practice new, complex and fine movements that build on the given functional motor skills. These method use a "reverse strategy"  creating modified instruments to suit the physical abilities of each individual musician. For some that means to offer a musical instrument that make sound by their continually repeated stereotype movements. Thus, future musicians can use their abilities in a functional and useful way. (See more: Instrumentation)


The method use the pattern of the bagpipe-bass, which is a typical penomenon of Hungarian folk music: accompaniment with base sound and Perfect Fifth. The custom built musical instruments must be altered according to this simplified style of accompaniment, where the base sound, octave, and perfect 5th are dominant. These instruments are always consonant with the main melody, regardless the way how the player uses them. The special, custom built instruments make possible to offer more than simply creating basic rhythmic beats using percussion instruments.

citera5.jpgThe inspiration was the Hungarian zither (citera). The Hungarian zither only has a few strings on which the main melody is generally played; the rest of the strings automatically play exactly the same base sounds, in perfect unison, and perfect 5th, regardless of the melody. Whichever folk song is played on this instrument, accompaniment is given by the unison and the perfect 5th. (See more: The Hungarian Zither)


 Nádizumzum plays only Hungarian folk songs. In the beginning it was just a consequence of the nature of the Hungarian Zither, but since then many other benefits had been discovered: the well-known folk songs are part of our cultural heritage, therefore familiar for the orchestra-members as well as our guests and audience, so everybody can sing along. As the members of the orchestra experienced, those songs are much more captivating than any other melodies. As Zoltán Kodály (1971, p.20) pointed out, folk tradition is never a uniform or homogeneous whole, but varies according to age, social and material conditions, religion, education, place and sex. Therefore our repertoire is highly variable and continually increasing, today it is made up of  150 songs, with a grand variety of topics and musical characteristics


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The limitation of the method is that it only allows participants to play in one key, which means that the leader has to create a collection of folksongs which can be sung in a comfortable interval. The traditional Hungarian zither can be tuned C-G or E-A. Today the strings of the zither are tuned to G and C (or to A and D), but it could be variable, in accordance with the ability of the singers.


Kodály, Z. (1971).: Folk music of Hungary. Engl. ed. / New York ; Frederick A. Praeger Publishers.

Sárosi, B (1986): Folk music : Hungarian musical idiom. Corvina Kiadó Vállalat, Budapest

Tiszai, L. (2014, July) : Bridges of Music: Orchestral work with People Living with Severe Disabilities. World Congress of Music Therapy in Krems, Austria. (Published in English in the conference proceeding)

Tiszai, L. (2013, Oktober) "Consonante" - Method Inspired by a Hungarian Folk Instrument: Citera. Paper presented at VII. SIPE Hungarian Colloquium (Published in English the conference proceeding).

In Hungarian:

Balogh, S. (1998) Citeraiskola : módszertani füzet és példatár kezdő és haladó citerások részére. Magyar Művelődési Intézet : [Óbudai Népzenei Iskola].

Balogh, S., Bolya, M. (2008) Magyar citerazene : tananyag, példatár és adattár az alap-, közép- és felsőfokú tanulmányokhoz / Budapest: Flaccus.

Tiszai, L (2013): Zenéből hidakat A befogadó társadalomról a Nádizumzum zenekar bemutatásán keresztül. Tudomány-Felsőfokon 2013/2 Szárliget, Új Tudós Kiadó.

Tiszai, L. (2013) "Legyen a zene tényleg mindenkié" Nádizumzum - egy halmozottan sérültekből álló zenekar születése. Gyógypedagógiai Szemle 2013/2. 213-222

Suggested citation:

Tiszai, L. 2015, March 07. Consonante /Methodology.