Romani music is as diverse as the various Romani cultures. Hungarian Romani music is no exception, and even within the genre there are many variations. Most Hungarian Roma are subdivided into the Romungro, Lovari, and Boyash groups.
Partly as a result of prejudice and racist policies, many Roma in Hungary – particularly Romungre and Boyash – do not speak Romani, but rather Hungarian. In 1783 Emperor Joseph II decreed a blanket prohibition on the use of the Romani language, under penalty of 24 cane strokes, as part of a larger and draconian law aimed at breaking up and assimilating Romani families. Some Roma in Hungary, however, speak a mixture of Hungarian, Romani, and/or other languages, such as the Beás (Boyash) dialect of Romanian.