Music of Austria


Vienna   has long been an important center of musical innovation. 18th and 19th century composers were drawn to the city due to the patronage of the Hapsburgs, and made Vienna the European capital of classical music. Slavic and Hungarian folk forms influenced Austrian music. Vienna's status began its rise as a cultural center in the early 1500s, and was focused around instruments including the lute.


The most popular form of modern Austrian folk music is Viennese schrammelmusik, which is played with an accordion and a double-necked guitar. Modern performers include Roland Neuwirth, Karl Hodina and Edi Reiser.

Schrammelmusik arose as a mixture of rural Austrian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Moravian and Bavarian immigrants crowded the slums of Vienna. At the time, waltzes and ländlers mixed with the music of the immigrants absorbing sounds from all over central and eastern Europe and the Balkans. The name schrammelmusik comes from two of the most popular and influential performers in schrammelmusik's history, brothers Johann and Josef Schrammel. The Schrammels formed a trio called N'Dusseldorf along with bass guitarist Anton Strohmayer and helped bring the music to the middle- and upper-class Viennese, as well as people from surrounding areas. With the addition of a clarinetist, George Dánzer, schrammelmusik's form settled on a quartet.

Neuwirth is a younger performer who has incorporated foreign influences, most especially the blues, to some criticism from purists.

Alpine New Wave

The band Attwenger released Most in 1991, kickstarting the Alpunk (Alpine New Wave) of folk and punk rock that soon came to include bands like Die Knödel and Broadlahn.


The ländler is a folk dance of uncertain origin. Known under several names for a long period, it became known as Landl ob der Enns, which was eventually shortened to ländler. The dance became popular in about 1720. It required close contact between members of the opposite sex, and was thus denounced as lustful by some church authorities. Ländlers were first brought to Vienna, then to as far away as Ukraine. The ländler eventually evolved into what is known as the waltz. 




  • (cordofoni) double-necked guitar

  • (aerofoni)

  • (ancia libera)  accordion

  • (membranofoni)

  • (idiofoni)

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