An interactive discovery museum located in the heart of Vienna.
Haus der Musik (The Sound Museum) of Vienna was inaugurated on June, 15 of 2000. The building is situated right in the city center and offers 3,000 square meters of thematic surface which is divided into six floors. The ground floor is the courtyard, covered by a glass roof and surrounded by a space dedicated to special exhibitions that can be accessed for free and some little shops where to buy instruments and high quality stereos. The rest of the floors are accessible after checking in.
Photo © Haus der Musik
The stairs have a little sound installation and will guide us through the different museum areas. In the first floor we find an exhibition dedicated to the Vienna Philharmonic, considered one of the most important and finest orchestras in the world. Here we can learn about the orchestra’s history and use the interactive touch-screen terminals to access to some audiovisual complementary information.
Composing waltz by playing the dice! Photo © Haus der Musik
Two bigger installations are also to be found in the same floor: a little cinema-style projection room offering the highlights of the famous Vienna Philharmonic new year’s eve concert in high fidelity, and an interactive installation that let the visitor compose a waltz by playing the dice. The waltz compositions are rarely repeated, and the visitor can take his own “unique” composition certificate home by paying a 2.50 EUR fee.
The second floor offers the Sonosphere, an exploratory world of sounds and tones. Right in the entrance, we feel immersed in a beautiful installation that reproduces our most embryonic and remote memories; the sounds of sensations in a womb.
Laboratory of perception – a set of interactive terminals where to experiment with our audition senses. Photo © Haus der Musik
We spend a long time in the laboratory of perception, a set of interactive pieces that let the user learn more about human audible perception by experimenting and playing with pitch, frequency and space while understanding the real meanings of loud, soft, echo or distortion.
Photo © Haus der Musik
The laboratory of perception is a truly educative and interactive experience followed by the Instrumentarium, a space with very special instruments and some other interactive terminals where we can explore the art of sampling using our own voice and some archived samples.
The gallery of sounds. Photo © Haus der Musik
The Sonosphere exhibition ends with the Gallery of sounds, a place where the visitor can hear and experience diverse sounds of very different nature and finally mix them into a final composition using the Evolution Machine, an interactive terminal which let the user not only create the composition but finally burn it into a CD which you can take home for 7 EUR.
The virtual director game. Photo © Haus der Musik
The third floor offers an exhibition dedicated to the most important and influential composers in Vienna’s history. Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and Mahler are some of the featured composers so far. The artistic installation Exodus remembers all musicians that were expelled or assassinated during the second world war, and at the end of the exhibition area, we find the Virtual Director installation, a game that allows visitors to become an orchestra’s director.
Futuresphere – controlling music by motion. Photo © Haus der Musik
The fourth floor presents Futuresphere, a futuristic view to music and composition featuring Brain Opera, an installation by the M.I.T. Media Lab where the visitors can explore alternative ways of playing, making and touching music. In Futuresphere you can move, touch or use your voice to contribute to a gigantic composition delivered by the Future Music Blender.
Brain Opera. Photo © Haus der Musik
The last floor offers a concert hall with 150 sits which is dedicated to special events, concerts and live performances. We finally end our journey in the great Café-Restaurant of the museum, a perfect place for enjoying a good selection of wine and food.
Haus der Musik is a great educative and interactive experience. You can learn about human audition capacities, compare them to other animals, make your own music in a rare way, direct an orchestra and know more about the greatest musicians in our history. Visiting Haus der Musik is very recommended to everybody!
Haus der Musik (The Sound Museum)
Address: Seilerstätte 30, A-1010 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43-1-516 48
Opening hours: daily 10am – 10pm
Entrance Fees: Adults 10,00, Students (under 27), Senior citizens, Challenged persons 8,50
All prices are in € and include all applicable taxes. Prices and conditions are subject to change.
Text: Eduard Prats Molner