The verbunkos, a Hungarian Roma dance.
The third movement of Brahms’s Violin Concerto in D Major.
The young Brahms first heard Roma music as a boy in Hamburg, which was a way station to American for refugees from the many failed revolutions throughout Eastern Europe in 1848-49. In 1851 he embarked on a tour with the Hungarian violinist Eduard Reményi, who styled himself a Romani, introduced him to verbunkos music. Some of the folk melodies that Reményi taught Brahms appear in the latter’s Hungarian Dances for four-hands piano.
Was what Brahms did cultural appropriation?
Was what Reményi did cultural appropriation, since in reality he was Jewish, not Roma, and was born Eduard Hoffmann?
This is a Romani instrument called a cimbalom.
In his Hungarian Rhapsody no. 11, Franz Liszt directed the pianist to play “quasi un zimbalo” — like a cimbalom. Does the piano sound like the cimbalom?
In fact, Liszt, who declared, “I remain from birth to the grave, in heart and mind, a Magyar” (i.e., Hungarian), was unable to speak the Hungarian language (he did speak German, French, and Italian).
Do you think Liszt engaged in cultural appropriation by composing in the style of a Romani instrument?
What about Bizet’s Carmen?