German music has a rich and rhythmic history going back to historic icons such as the deaf genius Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Bach, Brahms, Schubert, Hildegard von Bingen, and perhaps even the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The timelessness of their compositions enchants aficionados even in these modern times when punk rock and heavy metal bands hold sway.
German hit songs from the 1960s known as Deutsche Schlager still find favor with the older generation. German polka, Walzer, and Volkslieder or folk music have never lost their charm and often burst forth when the mood is right.
The 17th century marked by the Renaissance period saw famous composers such as Desprez, while the Baroque period brought forth Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel. The late 18th and early 19th century saw such geniuses as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. The following period known as the Romantic enjoyed the music of Wagner, Brahms, Bruckner, and Strauss among others.
Though the early history of music in Germany was dominated by the classics, there was a class of popular music enjoyed by the working class and the other sections of society. These traditional ditties and rhymes came down through the generations and are unique to specific regions.
In the early part of the twentieth century German music broke further ground and came under the influence of American and British music. German bands such as the Scorpions, Alphaville, and Dire Straits made their presence felt in the international scene through the 1970s and 80s.
Heavy metal bands and Gothic music were hugely popular in Germany. The electro pop group Kraftwerk definitely had the attention of the world with their modern electronic sounds that stood out from the rest.
East Germany made its own contribution in the form of Rammstein of the 1990s, a heavy metal outfit that knew no limits.
Hip hop soon entered the German music scene and break dancing became a popular art form. Groups such as the Die Fantastischen Vier, Fettes Brot, and Advanced Chemistry were extremely popular. Immigrant groups found a release in hip hop and it came to be identified with their angst. Around 2000 there was a rise in gangster rap culture with groups such as Aggro Berlin holding sway.
German music has indeed come a long way and has established its hold on the world music charts. But it might interest you to know a bit about the early days when music was a more soothing occupation than it is today. Most of the famous carols, rhymes, and ditties that we today take for granted have their origins in Germany.
For instance, did you know that the popular nursery rhyme, Twinkle, twinkle little star was composed by none other than the young Mozart? The eternal notes of the most popular Christmas carol, Silent Night, was composed by Franz Guber to the lyrics of Father Joseph Mohr in a shabby little church on a mountain, on Christmas Eve of 1818.