The Ultimate Guide to the Hungarian Music Scene – 48 Bands and Musicians You Need to Hear


Classical Hungarian Music: Before 1945


Seress Rezső



Our pick: Szomorú vasárnap (“Gloomy Sunday“, also known as the “Hungarian Suicide Song, released 1933)


Because: It’s the Hungarian suicide song. No further explanation needed.


Years active: 1925–1968


Summary: His most famous composition is Szomorú Vasárnap (“Gloomy Sunday”) which gained worldwide attention in 1936 because it was connected to a wave of suicides in Hungary. The song was interpreted numerous times and in different languages, the most famous English version is from Billie Holiday. 1966 Seress Rezső tragically committed suicide himself.


See more: wikipeda, fact check



Béla Bartók



Our pick: A kékszakállú herceg vára (Bluebeard’s Castle) (released 1918)


Because: Operas are usually not our thing but this one only lasts an hour and actually has a great and super creepy story. Just read the synopsis – it’ll give you goosebumps!


Genre:  classical


Years active: 1899-1945


Summary: Together with Liszt (see below), Bartók is regarded as Hungary’s greatest composer and he is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century.


See more: wikipeda




Liszt Ferenc



Our pick: Hungarian Rhapsody no 2 (released 1847)


Because: The included piano solo has enjoyed a widespread use in animated cartoons. You’ll know it when you hear it!


Genre:  classical, romantic


Years active: 1820 – 1886


Summary: Liszt was one of the most prominent and influential piano virtuosos and with over 1300 works and arrangements also one of the most prolific composers of the 19th century.


See more: wikipedia




We really hope you enjoyed our backwards time travel through the history of Hungarian music and that we were able to show you something new. Now it’s your turn! Although this list won’t possibly ever be complete, definitely let us know in the comments if we missed your favourite bands, songs, artist or just anything else you can think of that adds value to this article.

4 replies
  1. Joyce says:

    Could you post the names of the songs in the Muzsikás video? I know the first one is “Nem úgy van most mint volt régen.” And I know the last song, “Betyárnóta.” I would love to know what the 2nd, 3rd and 4th songs are. Thank you!

    • catchbudapest says:

      Hi Joyce,

      the songs in the Muzsikás video are:

      00:00 Nem úgy van most mint volt régen
      04:37 Adjon Isten minden jót
      07:51 Tudod-e édesem
      11:59 Vonat
      15:33 Hulljatok levelek

      Enjoy 🙂

      • Joyce says:

        Thank you! I realized after I posted that the last one wasn’t Betyárnótá. That was another Muzsikás song that I learned at the same time.

  2. Mick O’Donnell says:

    Hello there, I remember the guys from a band called Garazs in 1984. They were very welcoming and friendly but sadly I can’t remember their names. I was visiting as a young music and political radio journalist from Australia.


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