Musical Vienna

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 12656

Music is often identified by its place of origin, such as Motown (Detroit), East Coast, West Coast, Southern Gospel, etc. Ever hear the Vienna sound? Come explore some of the greatest music ever made!


Musical Arts, World

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Wadden concert caricature in Die Zeit

  • Where in the world would people riot over symphonic music?

Some places in the world are famous musical landmarks.

It may have been some great performer or composer who walked the streets there, or it might be the culture of musical performance that the place has developed. The city of Vienna, in the European nation of Austria, is one such place.

Many music lovers would say it’s not just one such place — it is the place!

The Viennese take their music very seriously. They took it so seriously that one night in 1913, the music of composer Alban Berg and other experimental composers sparked an actual riot during a concert at the Vienna Concert Society, and they had to stop the performance.

Listen to one of the songs that drove the crowd to a frenzy and decide whether it deserved such a violent reaction.

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Music is one of the big reasons to visit Vienna, and thousands enjoy some of the finest musical performances in the world there every day.

Browse the Vienna Cultural Events Calendar / Schedule to see the calendar of musical events happening in Vienna's musical city today. Click on at least four or five different events, and write down the names of five composers whose music will be performed.

Reflect on the following questions, then record your responses in a journal entry.

  • Why do you think places like Vienna produce and support so much music?
  • What kinds of music seem to be most commonly performed there?
  • What periods did those musical types and composers come from?
  • If you were going to be in Vienna next weekend, which concert would you see? Why?

The most culturally rich places — those that seem to support arts, literature, and music more than others — are often large economic or political centers. In the United States, for example, large cities like New York and Los Angeles have the population size and wealth to support the arts.

The same has been true of Vienna, which served as the region's political and cultural capital for many years. The United Nations recently ranked it as one of the most prosperous cities in the world.

In the Got It? section, explore some of the great composers who called Vienna home and gave us some of the most beautiful music ever written.

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