Control and Tax: The Licensing and Taxing Systems of Music and Musicians in late Habsburg Prague, 1894–1918

The research project addresses neglected aspects of the music culture of Prague.

Introduction

Risto Pekka Pennanen‘s research project addresses the following completely neglected aspects of the music culture of Prague in the last decades of the existence of the Austro-Hungarian empire: music taxation, music licences for restaurateurs and musicians, and the surveillance of music, musicians and soundscape indoors and on the streets.

However, the subject of the research does not cover music that was performed in private rooms or concert halls, or religious or military music, as these places and genres did not require official approval. Of particular interest are plans by the Prague Municipality in 1913 for a truly extensive entertainment tax and instrument tax which would cover even private homes. These tax plans did not materialize, but there was a tumultuous debate around them both within the City Assembly and in the press.

The research project is funded by the Otto A. Malm Foundation and the Kone Foundation.