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The underground space of the House of Hungarian Music, with a total floor space of almost 2,000 square metres, provides a venue for permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as the Sound Dome. The family-friendly exhibitions in the institute will be somewhat different to conventional music exhibitions, with the active involvement of visitors helping them to access new information about music in a fun and entertaining way. Many exhibitors revel at the opportunity to take full advantage of technology in tandem with conventional exhibits, installations and interactive areas.

Permanent exhibition

Through six main themes, the permanent exhibition demonstrates the vital role Hungarian music has played in the most important landmarks of the history of European music. From the ancient rhythms derived from the sounds of nature and the birth of sound to the cycle of life, it first tells the story of the meaning of Hungarian folk music. Visitors will then be able to journey through the most important turning points in the history of music, from music writing to the development of polyphony all the way to the 20th century, when technology began to take a central role.


The sounds and styles of these contrasting eras can be discovered through the lives and works of iconic composers: Monteverdi’s touching works, for example, will give you an insight into the transformation of the opera, while the exhibition will also journey to the European centres of classical music by presenting artists such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Erkel and Liszt, reveal the secrets of meaning hidden in the works of Bartók and Kodály, and present the role of 20th century experimentalists like Ligeti and Cage. This walk through the history of music closes with the major milestones of today’s diverse world of pop music. As part of the exhibition, children and adults will also have the chance to try out and play a range of different instruments.

Temporary exhibition

While the permanent exhibition provides an overview of the history of European music, the temporary exhibition space offers an opportunity to explore a variety of musical topics in detail: on two to three occasions throughout the year, the goal is to introduce and investigate individual eras, genres and emblematic personalities. The House of Hungarian Music is not only devoted to its own exhibitions, however. The idea is to also welcome large-scale, international exhibitions with a musical theme. The opening of the House of Hungarian Music will give Budapest a chance to become one of the world’s most visited venues for musical exhibitions alongside London, Paris and Vienna.


The initial plans for temporary exhibitions include an introductory exhibition on Hungarian pop music of the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition will provide an insight into the world of Hungarian pop music from the 1950s to the 1990s, as well as taking a look at important landmarks and movements in Western musical history during the same era. Visitors will be able to take a closer look at the musical scene during the suffocating atmosphere of the Communist one-party system, the influence of politics on music, and the most important groups and songs of the era. The temporary exhibition will also bring the most important clubs, concert venues and even house parties of the period to life for its visitors.


With the support of the Hungarian National Fund for Culture and the Hangfoglaló pop music programme, the exhibition will be curated by a team of eminent Hungarian music experts to present the development of Hungarian pop music using the edutainment solutions characteristic of the House of Hungarian Music.

Sound dome

The House of Hungarian Music also contains a Sound Dome, a special half spherical dome-like room where around 200 loudspeakers create ‘hologram-like’ walls of sound, giving visitors the chance to enjoy the music and visual world of exciting venues, including the natural sound found in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, a dance at a Transylvanian wedding or the experience of a symphonic concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall.


The idea for the Sound Dome originated with Karlheinz Stockhausen, who built a spherical concert hall to create a genuinely three dimensional aural experience. The sound dome of the House of Hungarian Music has been designed with cutting-edge electro-acoustic and visual effects and a stretched canvas dome, offering visitors a unique audio and visual experience.