A r t s & L i f e
OPEC bulletin 5–7/17
Of course, in the 20
century there is the media, he
observes. It is a transporter of music and it hasmultiplied
According to Schmidl, the internet has also impacted
how people consume music. “You can download it, you
do not buy the CDs and … you do not have to listen to
a whole symphony or a
whole album — you tend
to select or listen quicker
than in earlier times.
Definitely it changed.”
Over the years, con-
cert halls also evolved.
Today there are special-
ized concert halls like
the opera house, the
concert house or the
Musikverein, but, historically, architecture was not
devoted to music.
“This is a very recent phenomenon from the 18
century. Before that, buildings were used for multi-
ple purposes,” says Schmidl.
Concert halls really exploded in the late 18
The Austrian Academy
of Sciences (OeAW) is
Austria’s central non-
university research and
L–r: Maureen MacNeill,
of the OPEC Bulletin;
Roxana Gheysar; Dr
Stefan Schmidl, Austrian
Academy of Sciences,
Institute of History of Art
and Musicology; and
when music came more to the common people and
bridged social classes to some degree.
Schmidl points out: “It is unique that music was used
as a discourse medium and was accepted and consumed
by all classes of society. I think this changed in the 20
century. We do not have this broad impact on society
through music anymore.”
Historically, though, Vienna was definitely a hot spot
for many reasons.
“Vienna was and still is very attractive for compos-
ers and I think this had to do (then) with the condition of
Vienna being the capital of the Habsburg Empire, which
was very multiethnic and multilingual. All came together
in Vienna from this huge empire, so for a composer it was
Schmidl explains: “You had music from all parts of
the empire. You could hear Hungarian music, Slovak
music, Romanian music and for a composer this was very
fruitful. Brahms is an example of this. He could not have
had this in Munich or Hamburg or other cities.”
In addition, there were all kinds of audiences from
every class. And the more types of audiences, the more
money, he states.
Many types of people are still very attracted to Vienna
for its music scene and they travel far and wide to partic-
ipate in it as consumers or producers.