If you are after a top music museum Vienna hosts the House of Music. This interactive place lets you explore the world of music in a uniquely comprehensive way: from the creation of sound and voice to musical instruments, composing music, and the stories of Austrian composers. In the lobby piano enthusiasts will even find a piano to play on. My kids especially loved the Musical Stairs (see photo above) and virtuall conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra! In particular, the House of Music blends traditional music making with state-of-the-art technology. As a consequence, our visits totally spiced up our family’s musical experience of my hometown Wien. Here is what you can expect from a visit to the House of Music.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Museum Vienna. The House of Music is located in the former home town palace of Otto Nicolai, founder of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. I had listened more to its music than I knew why it was founded, why its sound is so special, and what it really takes to become a part of it. Our guide filled all these gaps as she walked us through the first floor.
Playing the Vienna waltz dice game next door was cool fun. Two players would each throw a dice on an electronic board. Each of the numbers thrown would then add a little tune. After eight throws, you complete your own Viennese waltz melody.
Austrian composers Wolfgang Mozart and Joseph Haydn loved playing musical dice games, and so did we, as we threw the dice to compose our own unique Vienna waltz.
Experimenting With Sound
A big hit for our kids was playing with gigantic instruments, like a huge drum, a walk-in organ pipe, a massive xylophone hanging from the ceiling, and an enormous string instrument.
Austrian Composers At House of Music
Music Museum Vienna. The third floor was about going back to classical music history, though with a twist. We entered a few rooms, each dedicated to a particular Austrian composer.
Along with the stories of Ludwig van Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, Wolfgang Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Johann Strauss II came original musical instruments, note stands, life-size figures and original furniture. My favourites were Johann Strauss’ collection of violins, and the forest lay out in Gustav Mahler’s room.
Again, we were falling for the techie game stuff – NAMADEUS, an interactive computer game based on Wolfgang Mozart’s musical ‘name game’. He had set the alphabet to music to create personal tunes of first names. The photo shows my little daughter’s hands transforming her first name into music. You can choose between three different modes of play, and even print out your score and take it with you.
On the top floor, the ‘virto|stage’ enables you to direct a multimedia opera. If you stand in the middle of the opera scene, your movements will impact what is being staged: music, singing, and the plot itself. You can choose between two operas composed for virto|stage, one of them for children. You can impact the plot – an opera singer remembers her glamorous opera peformances – at three stages. The opera does without language to open up for visitors from all over the world.
Virtual Conductor Game
Music Museum Vienna. Every time I watch a concert I wonder how it must feel to conduct an orchestra. Now I know, it’s thrilling. A side room at the House of Music holds the virtual conductor game. Wave your magical conductor stick at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on a screen in front of you. Try to follow the tunes of Mozart’s A Little Night Music, Johann Strauss II’s ‘Danube Waltz’, or Johann Strauss I’s Radetzky March, not an easy task. If you fall out of the bar, be prepared for a virtual rant of orchestra members…
Music Museum Vienna: Tickets And More
Address: Haus der Musik, Seilerstätte 30, 1010 Vienna
Opening Hours: daily, 10am to 10pm
Tickets: get tickets
Vienna Card discount: none
Public transportation: Underground U1, U2 or U4 to Karlsplatz; U1 or U3 to Stephansplatz; tramway 1, 2, D and J to Oper
On site facilities: rooftop restaurant Huth, with great views over the roofs of Vienna and Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral).
Other great Vienna museums: Belvedere Vienna, Albertina Vienna, Vienna Museum, Hapsburgs Museum of Furniture (Hofmobiliendepot)
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