Music Museum Vienna. The House of Music is Vienna’s top museum for sound and learning about Austrian composers the fun way. It is a top choice if music interests you, and if you look for things to do in Vienna for kids. Here is my review.
The House of Music blends classical music with mind-blowing technology. It has deepened and totally spiced up our family’s musical experience of traditional Vienna. We had planned our visit to entertain our kids but found that playing waltz dice games, virtually conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and directing an opera fascinated us just as much.
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. 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
Music Museum Vienna. It’s a little spooky and almost spiritual when you hear and feel the sounds an embryo would listen to in the mother’s womb. Visualising sound and testing your own perception of different sounds was magical: We pinned our own sing sang and words against a few lines of staff on an electronic fluorescent wall, creating blobs, swirls, waves and grids.
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.
FOUR MUSEUMS SAVER PASS: Save up to USD 28 with one pass for four museums: House of Music (Archduke Karl town palace), Mozart House Vienna, Kunsthaus Wien, and Vienna’s Jewish Museum (Eskeles town palace).
Austrian Composers At House
Music Museum Vienna. The third floor was about going back to classical music history, though with a twist. We entered a few rooms packed with note stands; life-size figures of Austrian composers such as Wolfgang Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Johann Strauss II; note stands; and original furniture from desks to Joseph Haydn’s sedan.
Again, we were falling for the techie game stuff – NAMADEUS, an interactive computer game based on Wolfgan 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 transforming my first name into music.
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…
Directing An Opera
Music Museum Vienna. This bit is the House of Music’s latest innovation. Enter ‘virto|stage’ and 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.
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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