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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

science institution.

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

Aileen Mikula.

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

very attractive.”

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.