Tower brass concert
Every Sunday just before noon, the sounds of trumpets can be heard from high atop Hohensalzburg Fortress, echoing throughout the historic district of Salzburg and reminding everyone about a tradition known here as “Turmblasen”.
At almost all of the most important courts in Europe, in earlier times trumpet fanfares were used in order to signal impending danger or to accompany important public occasions. This tradition had also existed at the court of the Salzburg prince-archbishops since the Middle Ages, and even a so-called “Trumpeter’s Tower” was built at the fortress for that very purpose.
The legacy in this city of music
Music performed on trumpets and drums was regarded, for the most part, as serving a purely functional purpose until around 1800, with musicians merely part of the court retinue. This also explains why so few compositions have survived. However, in Salzburg a number of pieces for festive gatherings have indeed been preserved in the archives of Nonntal Abbey. They were mainly composed by the Salzburg court trumpeters and continue to be performed at the fortress every Sunday between 11:45 AM and noon.