Branch societies

The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna has always been a society and as such, it operates within the framework of association law. This legal framework allows for the creation of branch societies and the law states that “A branch society shall act in accordance with the aims and objectives of the parent society and its own objective shall be to fulfil specific duties in the framework of the aims and objectives of the parent society.” 
The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna first exercised its right to form branch societies in 1858, when it founded the Singverein as a branch society of the parent association, thereby creating an organisational structure for its choral activities that remains optimal to this day. This development was founded on the insight that singers who are not being paid for their involvement and cannot be bound by contractual arrangements would be most effectively motivated by being brought together on a voluntary and self-organised basis. This laid the foundations for the Singverein – as an amateur choir – to become one of the best choral ensembles in the work today. The main purpose of this branch society is defined in its statutes as: “The participation without remuneration in performances and associated rehearsals organised by the society”. 
Analogous to the Singverein, the Orchesterverein was founded as a further branch society in 1859 and likewise remains in existence today. The statutes set out that “as a branch society, the Orchesterverein is obliged to further the cultivation and advancement of musical art, in particular the performance of orchestral music by amateurs.”

In 1990, a third branch society of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna came into existence with the founding of the Verein der Freunde des Archivs (Society of Friends of the Archive). According to its founding statutes, the objectives of this branch society are “research in the fields of music history, the sociology of music, musical performance in practice, music theory, the history of composition and the documentation of musical life.”