About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide





Wiener Prater

'Wienerlied' - Viennese traditional folk songs

The 'Wienerlied' is part of Vienna's unique cultural heritage. It is based on popular culture and blends the comic and the melancholic. The Viennese infatuation with anything morbid surfaces regularly. Its popularity is closely linked to locations of popular amusement like the Prater or the numerous Heurigen in Vienna's suburbs, which keep the tradition alive till today.

With the rise of popular theatre in the 19th century (Ferdinand Raimund, Johann Nestroy and Ödön von Horvath) the Wienerlied entered the theatrical stage. Stars of the Wienerlied were asked to perform and many authors wrote songs for their plays which were exported to the streets.

Typical instruments are zither, harp, violin, guitar and clarinette. A hurdy-gurdy and a special kind of bass guitar represent the rythm section, some add a harmonica to this. Piping, clapping hands and an elaborate kind of yodeling called 'dudeln' support the singing. The Wienerlied has a strong interest in story telling, with up-tempo parts and breaks to create tension. With its fondness of flat tones and half-steps the Wienerlied makes full use of the chromatic scale.

Schrammel quartett
Brothers Johann and Josef Schrammel created their own style of the 'Wienerlied'. A chromatic harmonica, bass guitar, g-clarinette and a 'Pascher' - a specialist in clapping hands! - make up the typical Schrammel quartett. Till today, similar quartetts are called after the family name: Schrammeln.
Today, the Johann Neuwirth Extremschrammeln have managed to blend traditional Schrammel music with contemporary jazz and perform at popular events and jazz festivals alike.
Trudy Mally
and Karl Hodina are contemporary performers of the traditional Wienerlied.
Ludwig Hirsch
and his comical and melancholic songs transform the tradition of Viennese popular music into contemporary pop songs.

Annualy 'Wean Hean' Festival presents Wienerlied, Austrian folk music, world music and jazz in a vibrant and fruitfull combination.