Tourist guides of Ghent will always tell you to go to the 14th century belfry. And they are right, inside you can find the ancient dragon that once stood on the top of the belfry and the view over the city is amazing. But instead of looking at the belfry I listen to it. Every first Friday of the month at 20:00, carillonneur Kenneth Theunissen plays music on the carillon according to a specific theme. Pop music, opera, kids songs… I discovered it by accidentally passing by and I recognized a song by the Beatles.
Every day, every quarter of the hour a specific song is played. At a quarter past the hour, you can hear Mia from Gorki, a well known band from Ghent. It’s a tribute to the lead singer of the band, who died recently. On the half hour the bells play ‘t Vliegerke from folk singer Walter De Buck. The one you hear on the third quarter is Boven Gent Rijst (Above Ghent Rises) also known as Klokke Roeland. Klokke Roeland is the clock that hangs in the concrete base next to the new City pavilion.
Being creative with a carillon, no wonder Ghent, together with Bologna, Seville, Glasgow, Bogotá, Harbin and Liverpool, is a Unesco Creative City of Music.
You can hear the traditional carillon music on Sunday morning. But if you can, take a seat on a bench or in the grass on the first Friday of the month and play the ‘Oh-I-know-that-song-game’. Such Fun!