The arts have traditionally had an important position in Hungarian public education. Literature – known simply as “Hungarian” – is taught in a relatively high number of weekly hours, thanks to the role that mother-tongue literature played in the historical process of constructing national identity. The strong personal influence of Zoltán Kodály, composer and reformer of music education, led in the 1950s to frequent singing classes in the lower grades, which still prevails.
Education in art and music in Hungary is available at elementary, secondary, and tertiary level schools. Institutions of basic education in art and music are accessible all over the country. At the secondary level there are 47 schools. Higher level professional art education and training have a long-standing tradition: the University of Fine Arts was established in 1871, and the Franz Liszt University of Music, one of the most prestigious music universities around the world, was founded in 1875 (with the personal involvement of Liszt).