Some of the best musicians and composers in human history were from Germany, and they took music to a whole another level. The beginning of German music can be traced back to the 12th century, when Hildegard of Bingen wrote traditional Christian music, hymns, and lyrics that were considered mystic and auspicious. The following content will elaborate on the different forms of folk and classical music of Germany.
This form underwent a lot of transformations, largely inspired by English and American music revivals. There are many regions in Germany where people practice unique forms of dance and music. The kind of music promoted by East Germany was based on pure notes from traditional music. Later, during the 1970s, folk musicians incorporated revolutionary concepts in the songs. During the mid-1990s, children were taught Volkslieder, that contained lyrics of optimism, joy, reality, and passion. It was sung to celebrate German heritage. To name a few, Hannes Wader, Oktoberclub, and Wacholder were some renowned folk players during that period. Traditional German wedding pieces composed by Richard Wagner, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, and Johann Pachelbel, although cliched, are still played during receptions and auspicious ceremonies.
Traditional folk music was classified as Oom-pah, Sorbs, Swabia, and Bavaria. All these musical forms featured traditional German instruments. Oom-pah is played in large beer halls. Sorbs gained popularity with Sorbian song festivals, where it was the most important element of the show. Bavarian folk music contained images of actual German folk life, and was well-known even outside Germany. Later, yodeling and schuhplattler were fused with various types of foreign styles.
The renowned musicians of Germany who propagated the pure classical trend of music are Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. In the 15th century, classical music was revolutionized by Oswald von Wolkenstein and Conrad Paumann. Since then, classical music in Germany evolved into diverse forms, Chorale, Opera, and Baroque gained prominence.
Chorale was a polyphonic music created by intertwining multiple melodies. Heinrich Schütz, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Martin Luther were the main composers of chorale. German opera was highly enjoyed by people during the 17th century. The opera 'Die Zauberflöte' (The Magic Flute), composed by Mozart, received high acclamation. Opera was further advanced by Beethoven and Heinrich Schütz. Other plays popular in the 19th century were 'The Threepenny Opera', 'Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny', and 'The Ring of the Nibelung'. Musicians like Arnold Schoenberg, Richard Wagner, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Richard Georg Strauss experimented with new elements, rhythms, and instruments.
Baroque music in the 18th century actually migrated to Germany from Italy. It had a typical tone that made it so appealing. The songs featured plenty of musical instruments, such as violin, harpsichord, and various other wind instruments. The tunes were introduced in concertos, preludes, and fugues. Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Hermann Schein, Samuel Scheidt, and Michael Praetorius played an instrumental role in making this traditional music so popular. The classical and romantic era produced the sweetest melodies ever composed in the history of traditional German music.