Österreichisches VolksLiedWerk
Volksmusikland Österreich
Collecting Commission

In 1904, a commission of philologists, folklorists, music scientists and folk music researchers was convened as the "Österreichisches Volksliedunternehmen" (Austrian Folk Song Enterprise) on the orders of the imperial ministry of culture and education under minister Wilhelm Ritter von Hartel. The commission was given the task of recording all folk songs, dances and popular poetry of all ethnic groups in the imperial state and of documenting its results in a complete edition. The aim of this collecting activity was that of revitalising national cultural heritage and promoting practical musicality, thus leading to better understanding between ethnic groups. The great collection finally failed due to historical events.

However, as modernisation continued to make progress, the search for musical roots and above all the endeavour to document and maintain them lived on. This led to more and more societies and groups being founded in urban areas to preserve and uphold local cultural heritage. Based on the classical model of chamber music, parlour music (harp, hammered dulcimer, zither, guitar) became more and more popular.