Germany’s Musical Highlights

From classical to electronic, from jazz to techno, from rock to pop, Germany’s musical and cultural highlights offer something for everyone. Important festivals around Germany attract international house-hold names and German conservatories attract students from around the world to learn about classical as well as modern music, more than a third of all students having an Eastern Europe or Asian background. Nowadays Ludwig von Beethoven’s works are considered classical music, but in his days, he was a true revolutionary, while his sound was fresh and unusual, even difficult to understand for many. Classical concerts and festivals enjoy great popularity, some of the Germany’s Cultural Highlights and a MUST for the passionate are the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, the Wagner Festspiele in Bayreuth and the Bach Days in Leipzig.

Room for Everyone on Germany’s musical scene

Now try and compare that to the 20th Century modern music – although jazz has not had historically a big role in German music development, in the last decade, a notable Big Band music scene has developed. In 1987 for example, the BundesJazzOrchester (GermanJazzOrchestra) under the leadership of Peter Herbolzehimer, the famous jazz trombonist, joined this music scene.  It was the birthplace of Roger Cicero’s career as well who in 2007 represented Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest with Frauen regieren die Welt (Women rule the world :).

German pop(ular) music

The German club scenes have many “in” locations, especially in the major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Muenchen and Mannheim, with different styles to suit all tastes: from 70’s disco trends, to the Rap/Hip-hop of the 1980s, to the techno beats of the 1990s and nowadays eclectic rock/pop/electronic mixes, German DJs have liberated themselves to become true sound artists and music producers. Sampling, scratching,  remixing and computer technology have created a sound phenomenon. In Paul van Dyk  and Sven Väth, the “Godfather of Techno”, Germany has found two of the world top stars of the club stages.

Widely influenced by the American pop mainstream, German pop music and many German acts used to and still do sing in English. However this has changed slowly in recent years and German bands which are singing in German have gained popularity. The summer of 2003 was a breakthrough moment for the group Wir Sind Helden (We Are Heroes), followed by other German pop acts such as  Annett Louisan, Juli, Silbermond and last, but definitely not last Tokyo Hotel – this successful German export good. In the meanwhile the other established acts like the Toten Hosen , Herbert Groenemeyer or Die Fantastischen Vier continue to tour the country and be considered Germany’s Musical Highlights. Smudo from the Fantastischen Vier for example or Udo Lindenberg and Xavier Naidoo occasionally teach in Germany’s first pop academy in Mannheim, as a sign of appreciation and recognition of the  academy’s significant role in the development of German music.

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