Vienna – is often rightly referred to as the capital of classical music. Nonetheless, the Vienna music scene reaches far beyond Haydn and Strauss. We also found magnificent local sounds as well as modern multicultural blends.
Austria and Vienna have, over the last decades, deservedly gained a good reputation among music lovers. Mostly through the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year Concerts or its opera house. And lately for its vibrant contemporary music scene.
The soul of the Viennese
No matter what genre or type of music they like, Music-interested people will find something they like in Vienna. Nonetheless, Austria’s capital has put much effort into offering various events. You can enjoy live music from small pubs to big concert venues. Like most large cities worldwide, Vienna has created a fertile ground for uniquely local music phenomena. To do a deep dive into the character of the Viennese is enough, well at least if you know German, we recommend listening to the so-called Wienerlieder (Vienna song).
Vienna created its musical sound through the Wienerlied, which occurred about 150 years ago. This music is not just a musical phenomenon but also a socio-cultural phenomenon. Wiener Volksliedswerk estimates that between 60 and 70,000 Wienerlieder have been written since its humble beginnings. Thus, one can safely say that this is a popular phenomenon. At least in Vienna. Wienerlieder reflects the Viennese love for drama, melancholy and, of course, their beloved Vienna.
Countless local bands, which often consist of purely amateurs or a mix of amateur and professional musicians, are plentiful in Vienna. They make music in many different genres. They sing just as often in German as in English. Moreover, as a native, I love to hear music in my Viennese dialect. The band Trancitiv has made it into their signature to write all their lyrics in Viennese, accompanied by reggae tunes. Trancitiv writes songs about day-to-day life, for better or worse and dresses them with reggae music. This blissful mixture of Austrian and Caribbean culture works incredibly well and nicely reflects Vienna’s multicultural society.
Danube Party Island
Parts of The Donauinsel (Danube Island), the 21 km (13 mi) long and up to 0,5 km (550 yds) wide island in the middle of the Danube, is functioning all summer as a festival area. The undisputed biggest event, the music festival Donauinselfest is a massive affair attracting 3 million visitors over three days. Besides this mega venue, several smaller other concerts and cultural events take place on the island during the summer. We’ve visited Africa Tage (Africa Days), which is primarily a food and cultural event and has a stage with live music. The live festival ground is a hotpot of exotic impressions from the African food stalls, bustling market stalls and lively rhythms of African and Caribbean tunes.
It’s not possible to disregard classical music when discussing Vienna. A good tip for those who want to hear (see) classic, contemporary or modern music should visit the Wiener Festwochen. Musical events and performances are staged at many different venues throughout the city. Moreover, you can find a repertoire across different cultural genres and venues such as opera, theatre and concert halls. Nevertheless, don’t worry if you miss the festival. Numerous classical music venues are running the year around in the Austrian capital.
For an overview of what the musical Vienna offers, check out the website of the Vienna Tourist Office.
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