A Mirror of Culture

Each country possesses its own traditional songs and sounds. The origins are manifold and the developments are different. However, the history of each country and culture is reflected in the development and features of the music.

Music in Austria

From the 18th century until the middle of the 19th century, Austria played a prominent role in the music scene across the globe. Composers such as Josef Haydn, Johann Strauß or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart became world-famous for their moving pieces of music, which to this day still enchant enthusiastic music lovers worldwide. The music capital of this period was Vienna, which was hard to beat in terms of musical culture and diverse productions.

At the same time, the farmers in rural areas learned how to make music and began to develop the first folk music. Over the years, the hurdy-gurdy and bagpipe instruments such as the violin, wind instruments and the harmonica grew in popularity. Since the end of the 20th century, traditional folk music has increasingly been mixed with modern pop music, thus offering a wide range of choice for folk music lovers and contemporary listeners.

African-American music

African-American music is a collective term for the traditional music cultures of South, North and Central America. They were heavily influenced by African music and are closely linked to the history of slavery, especially in North America. This genre is typically characterised by question and answer motifs as well as improvisation. These motifs are especially noticeable in the so-called work songs. These songs were sung by slaves on cotton fields in order to maintain their working rhythm and to pass the time. The migration of many Afro-Americans from the South to the more modern North coupled with many technological achievements gave birth to the Chicago Blues. In turn, this led to Rhythm ‘n’ blues and ultimately to Rock ‘n’ roll.  In fact, gospel, jazz, soul, hip-hop and house are amongst the musical genres that arose out of African-American music.

Music from India

Indian music is any style of music that is heard in South Asia. Classical Indian music is deemed to be sophisticated – in India it has the same significance that classical music has in Europe. There is also folk music in South Asian culture, which is primarily of religious origin and is played and sung at ceremonial occasions and in their temples. Nowadays, however, pop music plays an increasingly prominent role in the Indian music industry. These everyday hits mostly originate from cinema films and are thus also a typical feature of Bollywood films. Elements of classical and folk music are often integrated into modern songs.

The usual instruments vary in nature. Numerous stringed instruments such as the sitar, a plucked lute or the tanpura (a lute that sets the keynote) are an essential part of Indian music. However, the keyboard and wind instruments like the bansuri (an Indian transverse flute) also serve to give Indian music its own distinctive style.