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“Haus Der Musik” in Vienna Will Whet Your Appetite for Music

Interactive and innovative — the Sound Museum at Seilerstätte in Vienna’s city centre offers children and adults a unique music experience.

Composing music in the courtyard and playing the piano on the staircase — for visitors at Haus der Musik at Seilerstätte in Vienna the experience begins at the entrance. Children and grown-ups will be equally thrilled by what this “Museum of Music” has in store for them.

Under a glass ceiling in the courtyard, visitors can freely access the composition game “Pop Music 2.0”, which encourages them to arrange their own songs from smaller sound bites. And on the way to the actual exhibition, the staircase doubles as a piano. Every step creates a sound and on their way up, visitors learn to read music, even without any previous knowledge.

Don’t worry! Despite the staircase piano, Haus der Musik is fully accessible for wheelchair users.

A role model for sound museums worldwide

Haus der Musik is an interactive sound museum in the heart of Vienna. Four floors and 5,000 square metres allow for a completely new approach to music. The innovative concept was even awarded the Austrian Museum Award. It was also the role model for a sound museum in Mexico. In 2015, “Casa de la Música Viena” opened in Puebla, about 130 kilometres from Mexico City.

The Viennese original opened in 2000 at the former “Archduke Karl Palais”. The Palais itself has a rich history of music, having served as a home to Otto Nicolai. Nicolai composed the famous opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and founded the world-famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

© Inge Prader

Interdisciplinary and interactive approach

The plan for the museum was developed by a set of professionals from various disciplines. Among others, four Austrian universities, two institutes from foreign universities, a team of musicians and musicologists, sound engineers, architects and artist of various other fields worked together to create this unique experience.

The Sound Museum introduces visitors to a blend of music history, the creation of sound and interactive installations. It brings together people with different tastes in music and various levels of previous knowledge to help them learn more about musicology in a fun way.

Conducting the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Haus der Musik teaches music history, music theory and introduces visitors to famous composers. However, the highlights of the exhibition are probably its interactive elements.

Among them is an imaginary concert hall on the first floor. Here, visitors can relive the highlights of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s most recent New Year’s Concert and Summer Night’s Concert under ideal acoustic conditions.

Two floors up, you can even take it a step further as the “The Virtual Conductor” gives you control over the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra itself. The musicians will do as instructed by their new conductor and adjust to his or her pace and rhythm. Unfortunately, if you happen to be too clumsy in your new job, the Philharmonics will simply stop playing — and they might even complain about your skills.

On the second floor of the museum, “Sonosphere” lets you dive right into the world of sound. You will get to experience the world from an embryo’s point of view, and giant instruments will help illustrate the principles of sound.

© Johannes Deutsch

More than merely kid-friendly

The exhibition at Haus der Musik is predominantly designed with kids in mind. There are guided tours for children and schools, concerts for children and several other events designed to introduce children to the world of music and facilitate music education.

Nonetheless, adults will find the exhibition to be a thrilling experience as well. There is no need for prior knowledge about music, but having it won’t dampen your visit either. The interactive elements are as interesting to professional musicians as they are to absolute beginners. Additionally to the guided tours, the museum offers a special guide app in various languages, both for Android and iOS.

Without a doubt, Haus der Musik is the perfect place to visit with the whole family, whether it’s on top of your Vienna must-see list or a spontaneously visit on a rainy day. The museum is also located conveniently close to Grand Ferdinand, merely three streets over from the hotel’s location at Schubertring.

© HdM
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