The Sound Of Salzburg Austria

It is amazing how one popular movie can put a place on the tourist map. The film version of The Sound of Music was filmed in and around Salzburg in Austria, and the sheer beauty of the settings saw a boom in tourism to the town as many people wished to re-live their own Sound of Music experience.

The Von Trapp Family did indeed live in Salzburg, but, as popular as they were, the city has a much greater musical heritage as suggested by the presence of the Von Trapps, and was home to some of the world’s truly great musicians.

Salzburg was the birthplace of one of the world’s greatest composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart whose family lived on the third floor of the Hagenauer House at Getreidegasse 9 for twenty-six years, from 1747 to 1773. Mozart was born here on January 27, 1756 and the building is now a museum. The exhibits on display include Mozart’s child violin, his concert violin, his clavichord, the harpsichord, portraits and letters from the Mozart family.

Johann Michael Haydn, a composer and choirmaster also lived in Salzburg at the time of Mozart. Although not as well known as his brother Joseph Haydn, Michael, as he was known, wrote 360 pieces of religious music, and was held in high regard by Mozart.

Josef Mohr is another musician who was born in the city. His name isn’t as well known as Mozart’s, but his Christmas carol, Silent Night, which he composed with Franz Gruber, is surely one of the best known and most widely sung songs of all time. Town features a memorial walk to the two composers.

One of the great modern orchestral conductors, Herbert von Karajan, was born and lived for much of his life in the city, although he was associated with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for 35 years. There is a square in the old city that has been named in honour of von Karajan.

Although not known as musicians, but certainly identified with sound are two others who were born in the city.

The scientist Christian Doppler was an authority on acoustics who first postulated on the Doppler Effect, which notes the change in frequency of the sound wave of a moving object relative to its source.

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner may not even play a musical instrument, but he is the only known person in history to break the sound barrier with his own body where he set the world record for skydiving an estimated 39 kilometres (24 miles), reaching an estimated speed of 1,342 kilometres per hour (834 mph), or Mach 1.24, on 14 October 2012, a feat which would have impressed dear Herr Mozart.

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