Well, it can’t be denied that Germany is a good place for music. Would Elvis Presley have had such a stellar career without having spent a few months in Germany? Would anyone know the Beatles, had they not been to Hamburg?
And if one takes a closer look at the history of German music, it is impossible not to stand in awe: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart (ok, he was from Austria) etc., just to name a few. Apart from these classical greats, Germany is also one of the leading polka-nations in the world, just behind Japan. In order to secure this rank, people in southern Bavaria now sew brass instruments to the faces of little children to make sure they practice enough.
It is virtually impossible for Germans to step out on the street without humming either a twelve tone chord or doing a little polka on the sidewalk. This usually leads to major accidents during rush hour. The first word of German babies usually utter is not “Papa” or “Mama”, as often presumed, but rather “colophony” or “polyphonic choral music of the early renaissance” or “darn, where is my music stand?” But even in modern times, Germany contributes to the world’s music scene on a large scale.
Who invented Techno (or Tekkno, as it is supposed to be written)? Right, the Germans. Not a single youth-endangering music club in the world could survive without it! (or without German beer, but that is a different topic). The sound levels in these clubs contributes largely to the income of ear specialists, and the hearing aid-industry would face hard times if we moved back to Folk Music, Jazz, or Rock’n’Roll. Songs like “Da Da Da” or “Neunundneunzig Luftballons” ("99 Red Balloons", as the English version goes) have contributed to nations' peaceful relationships.
Even without Techno, Germany still would be widely acknowledged as a leader in the music business. Mornings would be dull and soundless, if it weren't for the cheerful melodies and lyrics of Rammstein, and no one would even think of playing the air guitar without playing the Scorpions on the stereo. Tourists who want to experience German music should be aware of the fact that there is definitely more than the before-mentioned bands. In fact there is a thriving hip-hop scene, some remarkable punk-bands, splendid gothic music and basically everything you can ask for, even the German edition of American Idol (although one of the winners recently crashed his car into a truckload of cucumbers).
Nevertheless, German pop music is special. Either you immediately recognize that the country the band is from is also the home of Kraftwerk (like, for example, Wir Sind Helden) or they look like Oasis (like, for example, Blumfeld) or they sing in German (lots of examples, they're all native speakers). People who are interested can just browse through the collection of links below, I tried to think of some nice examples of more recent German music or of music that one should know.
2. Pop (and stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else) Wir sind Helden (I like them a lot. From Berlin): www.wirsindhelden.com Nena (99 Red Balloons!):http://www.nena.de/ Blumfeld (sort of existentialist where-am-I-what-is-my-purpose-in-life-and-so-on-music): http://www.blumfeld.de Tocotronic (same as above, a bit funnier.): www.tocotronic.de Die Sterne (they have now been around for quite a while. Still nice to listen to): www.diesterne.de Die Prinzen (I bet your German teacher really likes them. You might too, if you like vocal music. Sometimes quite funny!): www.dieprinzen.de Einstürzende Neubauten (as German as it gets. If you don't know them, you have to take a look): www.neubauten.org Paula (a rather new band from Berlin, sounds a bit like the mouse from mars. Even with free downloads!): www.paula-musik.de
3. Give me those electric guitars Rammstein (Yeah! I wanna eat children and drink your blood! Aaaaargh!): http://www.rammstein.de Die Toten Hosen (sometimes called children's punk. However, an important band): strange internet address Scorpions (not that you have to listen to them, I always try to avoid that, but they're famous): www.the-scorpions.com Warlock and Doro (I wonder if she is still alive...): www.doro.de Boon (Not so big, even lacking their own homepage. But still good): just click here!