Sound of Music World – Museum & Exhibition

The main interest of the Sound of Music World lies in important chapters in the lives of the Trapp family.

The story of this famous singing family deals with events, changes, continuities, and disruptions in Austria in the first half of the 20th century.

The exhibition focuses on three topics:

  • The family story
  • the history of the Villa Trapp, which was used as Field Headquarters Bergwald by Himmler
  • and a confrontation “film versus reality

One focus is laid on Georg von Trapp, Corvette Captain, author and then representative of the extinct Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. A beautiful contemporary document, which provides a close approach to the historical reality of life in “old Austria”, is the description of Georg von Trapp’s wedding to Agathe Whitehead in 1911. The booklet printed for friends and acquaintances of the family describes the three-day wedding festivities. After Agathe’s death in 1922, the family’s move from Lower Austria to the Villa Trapp, and Georg’s wedding to Maria Kutschera in 1927, the family lost a large part of their fortune in the course of the Great Depression. Out of necessity the family started to perform publically as a choir. At that time they sang for the Austrofascist Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg as well as for the Italian dictator Mussolini and Pope Pius XI.

After the “Anschluss” (annexiation) in 1938, the family planned their emigration from Nazi Austria. This exhibition reports the Trapps’ migration until they gained a foothold in the USA.

The cinematic reality in Robert Wise’s movie “The Sound of Music” is contrasted to the reception, the filming reality as well as to Austria’s history at that time in 10 ways. Due to the variety of topics, the Sound of Music World provides information apart from the common family story as it is shown in the commercial film and musical. Right from the beginning the exhibition has been designed so that not only fans of  “The Sound of Music” will be interested, but also the citizens of Salzburg.

  • Project management: Marianne Dorfer, Reinhard Mechtler, Christopher Unterkofler
  • Scientific editing: Helga Embacher, Barbara Huber, Hasan Softic, Jacqueline Vansant
  • Translation: Mel Greenwald
  • Graphics: galcom – Gallei Communications OG
  • Furniture and Cabinetry: Holzmanufaktur und Vitrinenbau Auer GmbH (wood manufacture and cabinetry Auer LLC)