We delve into the fascinating history of music and sound at Vienna’s five storey, interactive museum of music, Haus der Musik.
I love everything about music, and while I’m admittedly more Hendrix than Haydn, when I heard we were heading off to explore all the beauty and fun of Vienna, home of the OG rockstars Mozart, Strauss and Beethoven (who, though technically German, spent most of his life in Austria), I knew I had to delve as deep into Vienna’s music scene as I would to Vienna’s food scene. And I found the perfect place to do it.
Haus der Musik Vienna, or House of Music, is an insanely cool five-storey museum boasting heaps of interactive activities as well as a whole lot of knowledge and was so much more fun than I could have ever imagined. In fact, when mum said we were going to a music museum, I had imagined some dusty old place that would leave me yawning. Boy was I wrong!
Haus der Musik took us on a musical journey, offering a glimpse into the world of the classic composers but also a surprising insight into the modern-day science behind sound. Even the staircase into the museum was fun, each step part of a massive interactive piano. That alone kept my music loving family busy for 10 minutes as we hopped out tunes, before we finally delved into one of the coolest, most unique museums I’ve ever visited.
Whether you love music or not this place is amazing. You can compose your own unique waltz with virtual dice, enjoy screened showings of some of the best orchestras in the world and test your own musical prowess as a virtual conductor (trust me, it’s a lot harder than it looks).
I was especially fascinated with the section based on the physics of sound, where I experimented with different sounds, altering pitches and frequencies, explored how the production of sound works on different instruments, and even created my own bizarre, colourful “clong”, a visualisation of sound that once bough to life I could view through VR glasses in the theatre room next door.
Of course, with so many important figures from music history connected with Vienna, they get a look in with a gallery dedicated to Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss, Gustav Mahler and more. In each there are 3D renderings of the artists, historic documents, models and costumes, as well as some of their actual handwritten work and instruments. Perhaps the coolest part of this is “NAMADEUS,” an interactive computer program, based on an actual musical game Mozart used with his students, that allowed us to turn our names into a unique piece of Mozart music. So cool!
We even got to play some music ourselves! As we were leaving my sister spied a baby grand in the foyer that was just begging for attention, so she hopped on and delivered a mini-concert, singing and belting out tunes on the beautiful instrument before we bit adieu.
I cannot stress enough how much I recommend this experience, whether you’re as passionate about music as I am, you’re just getting into it, or absolutely hate the stuff, I guarantee that you will have an amazing time.
Reviewed by Raff – 14
Haus der Musik
1010 Vienna, Austria
PH: +43 1 5134850