Overview: Let's Meet Germany
Western Europe and the Nordic Countries: Germany (Wacken Open Air)
This week we're going to Germany...hurrah! So, Germany had what one could only most generously describe as "a complicated 20th century," but this season we've chosen to focus more on the genres of music from each of our Western European countries than on each nation's history. Let's celebrate the many positive elements of German society by learning about its music...which, as we'll see, is complicated enough.
In the wake of World War II many German musicians looked for inspiration outside of their devastated land. While East Germany fell behind the Soviet "Iron Curtain," making the performing of "American" music there into a subversive, often dangerous, act, West Germans embraced genres and artists from the Allied nations, especially from the U.S. and Great Britain. A tension developed in the German music world between "German" and "non-German" music, with some artists singing in English (like German metal hitmakers Scorpions, whose career spanned four decades), some in German, some performing in German while in Germany but in English while abroad. Even though Germans have embraced and in many cases advanced genres like punk, metal and techno, German artists are well aware that these popular German genres originated in the English-speaking world.
This week in class:
-- We sing "We Are Happy," a hello song from Uganda, to open every All Around This World class. This week we sing hello in German: guten tag!
-- We actually start clas this week with a special treat -- dancing the foot-slapping German "Schuhplattler" to celebrate Okboerfest.
A LITTLE MORE:
A little more? BAH! Let's learn a LOT more!
For your YouTube pleasure, enjoy this relatively chronological tour through German music. It's intense.
-- Early German Church music: Hildegard von Bingen
-- Minnesingers: Walther von er Vogeweide
-- Expressionism: Arnold Schoenberg
-- Schlager ("easy listening"): Heino
-- Teutonic Thrash Metal: Destruction
-- Hamburger Schule: Blumfeld
-- Mittelater Metal (Medieval Metal): Subway to Sally
-- German hip hop(ish): Die Fantastischen Vier