Haus der Musik - House of Music in Vienna

The Haus der Musik or House of Music is a museum dedicated to sound and sound perception

In 2000, the "Haus der Musik" or "House of Music" opened its doors in Vienna with the somewhat pretentious claim to be the World′s first and only museum dedicated to sound. The Haus der Musik is located in the former Palais Archduke Carl, of which Otto Nicolai was a former resident - the founder of the Wiener Philharmonika (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra). Finally, the museum got the conductor Zubin Mehta as a patron and bang, Vienna had another attraction.

Music is a big deal in Austria and no tourist can get around this

And a quite successful one it is, too: Within a year it made it into Vienna′s top 30 sightseeing attractions. The hands-on and multimedia exhibition is presented on a total of 2,000 square metres of exhibition space and spans from the crude attempts of early man to create sound and music to the present day′s music industry.

On the first floor, you can learn more about the Wiener Philharmonika, who use the buildings still as their formal headquarter. The second floor is a lot less conventional: Here you can dive into the basic nature of sound and learn through experiments how sound sensation and transmission works in terms of physiology and physics.

Wiener Philharmonika HQ goes Museum

The interactive nature of the exhibition is carried on to the third floor, where a room is dedicated to each of the really big names in Austrian composition: Haydn, Mozart Beethoven for the Viennese Classic (with Beethoven as the bridge into Romanticism); the Romantic composers Strauss, Schubert and Mahler (with Mahler being the bridge into Modernism); and Schoenberg.

This is Franz Schubert. Hooray!

In a city full of musical kitsch and overblown pomposity, the Haus der Musik is refreshingly modern, light and playful. A final piece of evidence that the whole music thing is not just made up for the touristy crowds, but actually something genuinely dear to the Austrians.

Other nearby attractions include the Kärntnerstraße shopping lane, the Staatsoper, the Malteserkirche and Annakirche Churches, the Musikverein and the Graben area. The Museum für Angewandte Kunst is close, too, and so is the Stadtpark.

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Further Reading

Official Website of the "House of Music"

Essay on the House of Music