Music: Modern popular German music sounds a lot like modern popular American music. However, older German folk music has a unique sound. Here are some links to musicians who are keeping that sound alive:
Egerländer Blasmusik (so-called Oom-pah band music): The band directed by Ernst Mosch set the standard for this style of music. Maablosn is a high quality band from northwestern Germany. YouTube videos like this don’t do them justice, but you can see they’re popular; Hermann Engelbertinck played in Ernst Mosch’s band and now leads a Dutch band that plays this traditional Egerländer music quite well. Here’s a fun trombone solo by Danielle Elsinghorst, a performer in Hermann’s band. Another excellent bandleader is Ernst Hutter. Here, his band begins this number in a modern style with some German “rap”, and then the piece transforms into traditional Blasmusik with audience participation.
Button Accordion (Steirische Harmonika): This is a “whole body” instrument, requiring both hands, arm and shoulder strength, planning ahead, and facial expression. Here’s Karin Seyringer, from somewhere in Austria. She is just about the best! The Twinnies. This pair of Bavarian girlfriends are not really twins, but they are quite talented and are able to play this difficult instrument while inline skating, singing, and looking oh so niedliche!
The German national anthem, Deutschlandlied, is one of the prettiest hymns written by Franz Josef Haydn. The Germans still use the tune, and today sing the third verse as their anthem.