Kecskemét Railway Station

Kecskemét, Hungary | C.1853

Photo Credit: Hanna Ostrom

The waiting room at Kecskemét Railway Station would be more aptly named a distraction room, as any given traveler could easily be entranced by the walls’ top-to-bottom, Mondrian-like mosaic of vibrant tiles and colorful configurations. Kecskemét is located equidistant from two larger cities, Budapest (in the northwest) and Szeged (in the southeast), allowing for an easy commute in either direction.

Among this conveniently-located city’s most notable historical figures is composer, ethnomusicologist, and philosopher, Zoltán Kodály, who developed the Kodály-method as an approach to reform music education in lower and middle schools. The hypnotic train station was built on the site of his family’s home.

The Kodály-method has improved intonation, rhythm skills, music literacy, and the ability to sing in increasingly complex parts. It draws from multiple traditions from folk to composed, symphonic music. Kodály collected, composed, and arranged a large number of works specifically for pedagogical use and in turn, published six volumes of Hungarian folk music, including more than a thousand children’s songs. He bridged the gap between folk and classical music by composing high quality short, simple singing songs and exercises in a book called, The Kodály Choral Method.

Every March at Kecskemét’s Tavaszi Fesztivál (Spring Festival) the town revels in local art, theater, and plenty of music from Kodály. Coincidentally, Budapest holds a Spring Festival around the same time. If you’re In Hungary and have the urge to bring in the Spring festivities in both cities, hop on the MÁV-START Zrt. railway and make a tour of it.

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