• INSTRU-MENTOR

Hungarian folk instruments - The hurdy-gurdy

family and youth events

cancelled
Glass Hall
  • Produced by Müpa Budapest
The performance has been cancelled.

Dear guest,

With consideration for the health of both our visitors and staff, Müpa Budapest will remain closed for the rest of the 2019/20 season. This means that all planned performances have been cancelled up to and including 7 July. Any tickets purchased for events organized by Müpa Budapest will be refunded by Müpa Budapest. Click here for more information about the refunds.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


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What is a hurdy-gurdy, exactly? Known as a 'tekerő' in Hungarian, it is a folk music instrument whose shape resembles a cello and that is played by plucking strings. On this occasion, you will also have the chance to hear a distinctive Hungarian folk percussion instrument, the gardon. The gardon is made from the trunk of a tree and will provide a rhythmic accompaniment. The extremely talented players of the two musical instruments will offer a dance house atmosphere and an entertaining presentation of details from music history. Béla Szerényi and his son will play the hurdy-gurdy. They will be joined by the permanent host and director of the series, Zoltán 'Batyu' Farkas, on the gardon.

Also described as 'holy spirit music' or the 'beggar's lute' in Hungarian, the hurdy-gurdy is played according to the principles of stringed instruments. The musician makes the strings vibrate by turning a waxed wooden disc while using a keyboard to play the melody. For centuries, this instrument of medieval origin was a popular instrument among the nobility and aristocracy. The 19th century bought big changes, as the hurdy-gurdy began to be used primarily by beggars and street musicians. As a result, its musicians, lacking the special melodic repertoire typical of the hurdy-gurdy, began using it to play well-known and popular lyrical songs. Béla Szerényi is a certified master instrument maker, director of the Óbuda Folk Music School, a folk artist, a folk music researcher and a renowned hurdy-gurdy player whose family has inherited this noble tradition: the other performer is his son, Béla Szerényi Jr, who will play the same instrument.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest

Parking information

The Müpa Budapest underground garage gates will be operated by an automatic number plate recognition system. Parking is free of charge for visitors with tickets to any of our paid performances on that given day. The detailed parking policy of Müpa Budapest is available here.

Safe ticket purchase

Dear Visitors, please note that only tickets purchased from the Müpa website and official ticket offices are guaranteed to be valid. To avoid possible inconvenience, we suggest buying tickets to our performances and concerts via the mupa.hu website, the Interticket national network (jegy.hu) or at our official ticket offices.

  • hurdy-gurdy
    Béla Szerényi, Jr. Béla Szerényi
  • presenter
    Zoltán "Batyu” Farkas



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