German music…I don’t really know where I should start. I think everybody knows that some really famous composers are Germans. Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Georg Friedrich Händel and Wilhelm Richard Wagner are probably the most famous and also today, we have great musicians who remind us about the rich German heritage of classic music.
David Garret is one of the most famous violinists in the world because he connects classic music with pop.
But let’s switch to more popular music, then the spectrum of German music and artists is wide. As I started to think about this article, I thought it will be easy for me because I wanted to present you only a few of my recent favorite artists in Germany. But that wouldn’t honor all the other great artists which we have in Germany for sure. I want to show give you a quick overview. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to post just 25 different videos, so I’ll try to show the most known artists and bands. I picked only German artists who actually sing in German, although there are also a lot who sing in English. I put them into different music genres which are Schlager (I’m not quite sure about the translation that’s why I stick with the German version), Pop, Hip Hop and Rap and Rock.
Let’s start with Rock. The probably most famous bands are die Ärzte (the Doctors) and Die Toten Hosen (The dead pants). But also OOMPH and Böhse Onkelz (mean uncles) are well known and I guess everybody knows Rammstein although I’m not sure whether they belong in this category or not. The song I picked, it’s from Die Toten Hosen and it was popular last summer. The German national soccer team was listening to this song before they played at the European championship last year.
Let’s enjoy together Die Toten Hosen – Tage wie diese
Besides Rock, there are a lot of Hip Hop and Rap artists in Germany. Die Fantastischen Vier opened this genre to the public. In the 1990ies, they started to produce “fun rap” in German but also intellectually stimulating and philosophical lyrics. Bands like Fettes Brot, Absolute Beginner and Massive Töne followed this example. In the beginning of the new century changed the musical landscape and the sound and the raps got harsher and rivalries aroused between some artists. Big parts of the scene are immigrants who rap about unemployment, racism and drugs and street violence. With the success of rappers like Samy Deluxe, Bushido, Sido, Azad and Kool Savas rose controversial discussions about their songs which are highly discussed as sexiest, homophobic and anti-Semitic. Recently Rappers like Cro or Caspar are more successful which aren’t controversial.
Sido – schlechtes Vorbild
Cro – Easy
My understanding of Pop is pretty wide and I will mention almost all the good German artists which I’m not quite sure in which category to put in. Songs of these artists are fun and really good. I like the lyrics but also the sound. Some motivate you to dance, some to think about your life and some comfort you. Well known and successful artists are Clueso, Tim Bendzko, Seeed, Culcha Candela, Xavier Naidoo, Peter Fox, Deichkind, Philipp Poisel etc. I could write a longer list but unfortunately I can’t show you all of them. Seeed and Culcha Candela are both bands with international artists which produce kind of Reggae music. Philipp Poisel, Clueso, Xavier Naidoo and Tim Bendzko are all solo artists which put the focus on their lyrics instead of the cheerfulness of songs. Furthermore, it is nice that these artists aren’t that famous all over the world so that tickets for concerts are quite affordable and the concerts have the perfect size. Not too big and not too small!
Tim Bendzko – Wenn Worte meine Sprache wären
Clueso – Du bleibst (live)
Culcha Candela – Somma im Kiez
As the last category, I would like to present Schlager. Schlager songs are generally catchy songs with instrumental accompaniment. It is kind of pop music in German. The lyrics aren’t demanding but sometimes sentimental. Often, the lyrics don’t even make sense. Schlager are usually played during Karneval or at the Oktoberfest. Take a look at my article about Karneval to get an impression when Germans listen to Schlager.
http://blog.willamette.edu/~llc_german/2013/02/09/salem-%E2%80%93-olau-helau-oder-alaaf-karneval-in-deutschland-eine-narrische-zeit/ (don’t worry, there is a english translation at the bottom)
Klaus Lage – 1000 mal berührt