Major, Ervin, Hungarian musicologist and composer, son of Gyula (Jakab) Major (real name, Mayer) ; b. Budapest, Jan. 26, 1901; d. there, Oct. 10, 1967. After initial training with his father, he studied with Kodály (composition) at the Budapest Academy of Music (1917–21), philosophy at the Budapest Scientific Univ. (1920–24), and musicology at the Univ. of Szeged (Ph.D., 1930, with the diss. A népies magyar m’uzene és a népzene kapcsolatai [The Relation of Hungarian Popular Music to Folk Music]; publ. in Budapest, 1930). He was ed. of the journal Zenei szemle (1926–28), and then taught composition, theory, and music history and was librarian at the Budapest Cons. (later known as the Bela Bartók Music School; 1928–44; 1945–63). He also taught Hungarian music history at the Budapest Academy of Music (1935–41; 1945–66). Among his compositions were chamber music, piano pieces, organ music, choral works, and arrangements of Hungarian melodies.
(all publ. in Budapest): Bihari János (1928); Brahms és magyar zene (Brahms and Hungarian Music; 1933); Fáy András és a magyar zenetòrténet (András Fáy and the History of Hungarian Music; 1934); A Rakoczi-indulo koruli kutatasok ujabb eredmenyei (New Results of Research into the Rakoczi March; 1937); Lizst Perene és a magyar zenetörtenet (Ferenc Lizst and the History of Hungarian Music; 1940); Bach és Magyarország (Bach and Hungary; 1953); Mozart és Magyarország (Mozart and Hungary; 1956); Fejezetek a magyar zene tò’rténetéből (Chapters from the History of Hungarian Music; 1967).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire