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The Music of Austria By Kathryn History For centuries, Austria was the center of the classical music world. Still today, musicians flock to Austria for the annual Salzburg Music Festival, among other events.

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History

For centuries, Austria was the center of the classical music world. Still today, musicians flock to Austria for the annual Salzburg Music Festival, among other events.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Austria was a classical music haven, boasting composers like Ludwig von Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Hapsburg family was very supportive of the arts, and this made Vienna become very popular for music and culture.


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Types of Music

Modern Music: Schrammelmusik

The most “folk-like” form of modern Austrian music is Viennese schrammelmusik. It arose when immigrants from several German-speaking countries crowded the slums of Vienna, and collaborated their music with accordians and double-necked guitars. It includes waltzes and laendlers.

Music of the Classical Era:

In the classical era, classical music was the most popular form of music. This included concertos written for several instruments, usually an orchestra, which included instruments like cellos, violins, lutes, and oboes. Some Austrian artists are still creating classical music.

Modern Music: Alpine New Wave

Over the last few years, European artists have strove to create a “new sound”. Alpine New Wave was introduced to Austria in 1991, and it was a huge hit, being typical folk music with a modern twist.



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Ludwig von Beethoven

Ludwig von Beethoven was born in 1770, and was the son of a tenor-singing drunkard. His father would often beat music lessons into him, and force him to play in front of drunken friends. However, Ludwig rose above it.

When he was a young man, his father

passed away. He provided for his family for

several years, and then was discovered by

composer Haydn, who took him as an

apprentice. After awhile, Beethoven com-

posed some wonderful works. However,

deafness unfortunately hit him later in life.


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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1757 to two caring parents, Leopold and Anna Maria. He had one older sister, Maria Anna.

Both children were exceptionally gifted in music, so their father taught them very intensely. At first, music was family business, with Leopold and Maria Anna touring on the road with Wolfgang. However, Wolfgang was eventually writing concertos and touring by himself. He is one of the best-known composers in the world.


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The Von Trapp Family

The Von Trapp family is perhaps one of the best loved families in history. Being the basis for The Sound of Music, they have been the storyline for a German movie, a Broadway play, and one of the most successful Hollywood movies of all time.

The Trapp family lived in Vienna (which is different from the movie---then, the baroness lived in Vienna). The Captain’s wife died, and the children were left with an elderly cousin, so the Captain could be free to travel. Unlike in the movie, Maria was actually raised as a socialist atheist, but was converted to Catholicism after she heard a priest speak. At the convent, she was sent to the Trapp household to be a governess to specifically one ill child, because she was too ill.

The rest happened just like it did in the movie. The family made their premier performance at the Salzburg Music Festival, and then escaped across the Alps on foot. They then opened up a dinner theatre in Vermont.

The Trapp Family Singers

“The Sound of Music” Cast


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