||This article possibly contains original research. (November 2007)|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2007)|
|Music of Germany|
|Media and performance|
|Music charts||Media Control|
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
|National anthem||Das Lied der Deutschen|
Although German rock music (Deutschrock) didn't come into its own until the late 1960s, it spawned many innovative and influential bands spanning genres such as krautrock, New Wave, heavy metal, punk, and industrial.
Rock and roll itself arose in the United States in the 1940s, and spread across the world beginning in about 1956. There were few German performers at that time, even though American rock was popular in (West) Germany. Rockabilly stars like Bill Haley & His Comets were of particular popularity. The reasons for this lack of German musical innovation were the suppression of "degenerate" forms of music by the Nazis and/or the traumatic effects of the war—while Germany was a center of several forms of modern music before the Nazi era, it had difficulty developing its own music culture after its occupation.
1960s and 70s: Krautrock
Mostly instrumental, the signature sound of krautrock mixed rock music and "rock band" instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums) with electronic instrumentation and textures, often with what would now be described as an ambient music sensibility.
By the end of the 1960s, the American and British counterculture and hippie movement had moved rock towards psychedelic rock, heavy metal, progressive rock and other styles (from which Scorpions rose to prominence), incorporating, for the first time in popular music, socially and politically incisive lyrics. The 1968 student riots in Germany, France and Italy had created a class of young, intellectual continental listeners, while nuclear weapons, pollution and war inspired protests and activism. Music had taken a turn towards electronic avant-garde in the mid-1950s.
These factors all laid the scene for the explosion in what came to be termed krautrock, which arose at the first major German rock festival in 1968 at Essen. Like their American and British counterparts, German rock musicians played a kind of psychedelia. In contrast, however, there was no attempt to reproduce the effects of drugs, but rather an innovative fusion of psychedelia and the electronic avant-garde. That same year, 1968, saw the foundation of the Zodiak Free Arts Lab in Berlin by Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Conrad Schnitzler, which further popularized the psychedelic-rock sound in the German mainstream.
Originally Krautrock was a form of Free art which meant you could receive Krautrock bands' records for free at Free Art Fairs.
The next few years saw a wave of pioneering groups. In 1968, Can formed, adding jazz to the mix, while the following year saw Kluster (later Cluster) begin recording keyboard-based instrumental music with an emphasis on static drones. In 1971, the bands Tangerine Dream and Faust used electronic synthesizers and advanced production techniques to make what they called Kosmische Musik.
In 1972, two albums incorporated European rock and electronic psychedelia with Asian sounds: Popol Vuh's In Den Gärten Pharaos and Deuter's Aum. Meanwhile, kosmische musik saw the release of two double albums, Klaus Schulze's Cyborg and Tangerine Dream's Zeit, while a band called Neu! began to play highly rhythmic music. By the middle of the decade, one of the best-known German bands, Kraftwerk, had released albums like Autobahn and Radio-Activity, which laid the foundation for electro, techno and other genres later in the century.
Neue Deutsche Welle
Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) is an outgrowth of British punk rock, post-punk and New Wave which appeared in the mid-to late 1970s. The field did not last long, however, done in by over-commercialization in the early 1980s. Since ca. 2003, it seems that a new "Neue Deutsche Welle" has arrived. Many German singing young pop and rock groups become successful in Germany (Tokio Hotel, Wir sind Helden, Silbermond, Juli and Revolverheld for example), although the international breakthrough is not yet in sight, if not counting Tokio Hotel who are gaining success in Europe, The U.S., Israel and Latin America.
Ostrock refers to rock music scene from the former German Democratic Republic (also known as East Germany), which began at roughly the same time as in the West. Its best-known groups are The Puhdys and Karat.
German Heavy metal
Heavy metal scene arose in Germany in late 70s and early 80s. Hard rock band Scorpions is credited for seeding the genre in their country. Among the most notable acts of this time were Accept, led by Udo Dirkschneider, and female-fronted Warlock led by Doro. Speed metal subgenre was popular with bands like Rage, Grave Digger and Running Wild producing this kind of music. Notable innovative thrash metal bands, such as Kreator, Sodom and Destruction spread their influences over the seas in the late 80s. German bands Helloween and Blind Guardian are credited for invention of Power metal subgenre, that gradually grew up from Speed metal and gained mainstream popularity in 90s.
Hamburger Schule (School of Hamburg) is an underground music-movement that started at the late 1980s and was still active until around the mid 1990s. It has similar traditions as Neue Deutsche Welle and mixed all that with punk, grunge and experimental pop music. Hamburger Schule is (and was) an important part of Germany's youth and gave pop a new definition, as now it was "ok" (or "cool") to sing in German language. Hamburger Schule is also about intellectual lyrics with postmodern theories and social criticism.
Neue Deutsche Härte
(New German Hardness)
Medieval metal or medieval rock is a subgenre of folk metal that blends hard rock or heavy metal music with medieval folk music. Medieval metal is mostly restricted to Germany where it is known as Mittelalter-Metal or Mittelalter-Rock. The genre emerged from the middle of the 1990s with contributions from Subway to Sally, In Extremo and Schandmaul. The style is characterised by the prominent use of a wide variety of traditional folk and medieval instruments.
Other notable artists