To most non-Austrians the mountain filled region of Europe is a place where you go for skiing, were Julie Andrews sings 'The hills are alive with the sound of music' and which main export article is naughty erotic movies. Musically some maybe know that Mozart and Strauss came from Austria, that Vienna is know for it’s operetta theatre and you can hear Yodelling in the mountains. On top of that most people will think that Austrians speak German.

Squashed between former USSR countries and dangling in the shadow of it’s western big brother it’s hard to imagine that just over a century ago this was the centre of Europe with it’s Habsburg Monarchy stretching from Warsaw to Istanbul. And yes they do have their own language. Although very related to German, Österreichisches Deutsch is a dialect in it’s own right. The difference is like American and British English or Dutch and Flemish.

The fall of the Habsburg empire tumbling Europe into WW1 and indirect also WW2 left a deep wound in Vienna and its surroundings. The shock that they were reduced to their current state took a while to overcome. No wonder that it took until the fifties before a new pride for their own dialect arose and in effect a local pop-scene. Keep in mind that Austria wasn’t even a member of the European Union until 1995. With influences coming from all sides now the Austrian music scene is currently very vibrant.





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