Robert, aged 11, writes:
During our trip to Vienna, we went to the sound museum or the haus der music. The haus der musik is a large, interactive museum full of things to do and information about music in Austria. We started by walking up a set of very special stairs, piano stairs which made a sound when you walked on them. It was so cool and we spent a long time just walking up and down a staircase!
A lot of the first floor was devoted to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and a composer/conductor called Otto Nicolai who used to live in the space where the museum now is. This section was mainly information but there was a room where you could watch Vienna’s New Year concert (which was amazing) and a game where you threw dice and made your own piece of music. This was really cool – especially when mum and I got to hear our composition at the end.
The Second floor, called the Sonosphere, was all about sounds and hearing. In the first room we listened to the sounds and vibrations coming from a mother and the embryo inside her; this was interesting but a bit weird. The next room held a row of screens, all with activities and facts about parts of sound (e.g volume, pitch, frequency). I found this section really fun as I liked the activities we had to do. If this room is busy, I would recommend waiting and to go on at least one of the screens.
Inside the Instrumentarium was four giant instruments (a drum, a xylophone, a pipe and some type of stringed instrument) where you are allowed to take part in the plucking and drumming. Next there were more screens about sound, my favourite was one on morphing. In this activity one sound changed into another, it was cool but rather strange. After that we went into a dark room where you pressed buttons and the room was suddenly filled with the sound. A lot of the buttons were unresponsive though and we didn’t spend much time there.
The Polyphonium is a room filled with over 30 speakers, all different shapes and sizes. All the speakers were playing different noises and I liked guessing what they were before I read the sign.
The next few rooms were all about different composers, the first being Joseph Haydn. The next, rather larger room was on the topic of Mozart. As well as just providing information about the composer, the room included an animated Mozart that copied what you did and a screen that created a piece of music by typing in letters. This meant you could type in your name and get a whole musical piece using those letters which were converted into notes. Beethoven was next, then Franz Schubert, followed by a section on Johann Strauss and the final room was devoted to Gustav Mahler.
After a few more rooms we came to The Virtual Conductor where you chose a piece, picked up the baton and had a go at controlling the orchestra on screen. Unfortunately, all three times I tried conducting, I failed miserably and the orchestra kicked me out. Mum didn’t fare any better though!
There were plenty of things we didn’t have time to do but I really enjoyed the things we did. I would definitely recommend this museum for anyone over 6 as it was fun, informative and very interactive. You can read about our whole trip to Vienna here.
The Haus Der Musik is open from 10am to 10pm every day. It costs €13 and €6 for the under 12s. A family ticket, for two adults and three children under 12 costs €29