The most important centers of Austrian musical culture in the Middle Ages were constituted by the monasteries, among which those of Sankt Florian and Kremsmünster in Upper Austria, of Klosterneuburg, Melk, Göttweig, Heiligenkreuz, Herzogenberg in Lower Austria, of Admont, Sankt Lambrecht, Seckau stood out. in Styria and those of Tyrol. At that time profane music was the prerogative of the minstrels (Spielleute), gathered in powerful guilds (the oldest seems to have been that of St. Nicolai of Vienna, founded in 1288), and above all of the Minnesänger , particularly active at the court of Babenberg and Lower Austria. Among the most important are the South Tyrolean Walther von der Vogelweide, Ulrich von Lichtenstein, Burk Mangolt, who set to music the poems of his lord, the Duke of Vorarlberg Hugo von Montfort, the Salzburg monk Hermann and the Tyrolean Oswald von Wolkenstein. The Tyrol was in the sixteenth century the most notable center of the Austrian Meistergesang; the first Singschule was founded here (Schwaz, 1532), followed by those of Steyr (1542) and Wels (1540). Polyphonic sacred music was strongly protected and encouraged by the Habsburgs from the first half of the fifteenth century. The seven so-called codices of Trento (as they are currently preserved in this city, at the Buonconsiglio castle) have handed down the repertoire of the imperial chapels of Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz, where some of the greatest international composers of the time were active (H. Isaac, J. Vaet, J. Regnart, Ph. De Monte, L. Senfl, A. von Bruck, H. Finck), as well as the first important Austrian musicians: H. Edlerauer, Hans Judenkünig, C. Celtes, P. Treibenreif (Tritonius) and, above all, P. Hofhaimer and L. Lechner. Between the second half of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century, musical life was dominated by a group of foreign musicians (Th. Stoltzer, Ph. De Monte, J. Buus or Bohusius, J. Vaet, J. Regnart and J. Handl), who grafted elements of the Italian Renaissance tradition onto the common matrix of the Flemish counterpoint technique. The Italian influence became decisive during the seventeenth century, when works, not only theatrical, by C. Monteverdi, A. Cesti, A. Draghi, MA Ziani, GB Bononcini, A. Caldara were performed in Vienna and in other centers of the country., F. Conti; among others, O. Benevoli wrote the grandiose solemn Mass in 54 parts for the rededication of the cathedral of Salzburg (1628).
According to neovideogames, among the composers of the Austrian Middle and Late Baroque were noted P. Peuerl, I. Posch, W. Ebner, JH Froberger, A. Poglietti, JH Schmelzer, HIF Biber, Georg and Gottlieb Muffat and the eminent composer and theorist JJ Fux. With the eighteenth century the most glorious period began, that of the so-called Viennese classicism. If with Ch. Gluck, who in Vienna elaborated his melodramatic reform (Orfeo ed Euridice, 1762), Austria broke away from the subjection to the Italian operatic taste, underlined by the presence at court as Caesarean poets of writers such as A. Zeno And P. Metastasio, with FJ Haydn, WA Mozart and L. van Beethoven it placed itself at the center of the European musical experience. Alongside the triad of the great classics, other important musicians were noted in the same cultural climate, such as JM Haydn, K. Ditters von Dittersdorf, JN Hummel and C. Czerny, while F. Schubert summed up the spirit of the highest Viennese musical romanticism. In the first decades of the nineteenth century, Vienna shared the pride of the European capital of music with Paris; institutions such as the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (1812), the Conservatory (1817), the Philharmonische-Concerte (1842), the Gesellschaft-Concerte and the Singverein (1859) formed the centers of a flourishing concert activity. At the same time dance music developed (not disdained even by Schubert in certain aspects of his minor production), with J. Lanner, creator of the Viennese waltz, J. Strauss and J. Strauss jr., which was equally fruitful in the field of operetta having fortunate rivals such as F. von Suppé and K. Millöcker. The richness and versatility of the Viennese musical life of the second half of the nineteenth century can be deduced from the lively controversies that opposed the Wagnerian current, in whose vein were framed A. Bruckner and H. Wolf, the proponents of pure music, symbolized by J. Brahms, who moved to the Austrian capital in 1862, and theorized by E. Hanslick. G. Mahler in the period between 1897 and 1907, during which he was the artistic direction of the Vienna Opera, he splendidly sealed a century of glorious musical supremacy in the city, certainly not emulated by the analogous experience (1919-24) of R. Strauss, whose successful collaboration with the librettist H. von Hofmannsthal should nevertheless be remembered. The “second Viennese school”, centered on the personalities of A. Schönberg and his pupils A. Berg and A. Webern, constitutes the most important event in the Austrian musical panorama of the century. XX, however, destined to have greater repercussions abroad than in the country and from 1933 to 1945 forced to suffer the weight of Nazi political oppression. Among the most important Austrian composers of the second half from the century. XX are worth mentioning EW Korngold, F. Schreker, J. Marx, H. Gal, E. Toch, JN David, E. Kornauth, E. Wellesz, the latter a follower of the dodecaphonic technique together with E. Krenek, H. Jelinek, HE Apostel, G. von Einem. Austrian musical life is uniquely thriving both in Vienna and in Salzburg, where a festival of international resonance has been held since 1917. Also noteworthy is the Bregenz Festival, in which, in addition to symphonic concerts, there are set-ups of operas, operettas and theatrical pieces. Notable importance, alongside opera and concert institutions and publishing activity, are musicological studies that boast a glorious tradition in the country, illustrated by scholars such as G. Adler, E. von Hornbostel, E. Wellesz, R. von Ficker, OE Deutsch, R. Haas, E. Schenk, L. Nowak.