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International Music Resources by Country: Germany

International Music Resources offers an array of online and physical resources both freely available and/or offered by the George F. DeVine Music Library. The information included in these guides may serve as a starting point for the study and research of

A hillside looking over a neighborhood on a Germany hillside Citation (1)

Map of Germany

Germany map

Citation: Country Map (Germany), in Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Retrieved 11 August 2021 from


Listen to German Music

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 36, Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 (Beethoven's Fifth) Album Art

20 Best-Loved German Folk Songs Album Art

The Dartington Piano Trio, Piano Trios Album Cover

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music-Germany

Cover Art

Facts in Brief

German flag


Capital: Berlin 

Official Language: German

Area: 357,124 sq km (137,886 sq miles)

Climate: In the area surrounding Hamburg, in the north, average monthly temperatures range from 1.6°C (35°F) in January, the coldest month, to 18.2°C (65°F) in July, the warmest, whereas around Munich (München), in the more mountainous south, the average temperature in January is about −0.7°C (31°F). Frankfurt, in the warmer centre of the country, reaches an average temperature of 19.4°C (67°F) in July.

Religions: Roman Catholicism, Evangelical Lutheranism (Protestant)

Current Population: 83,155,031

Citation (2)

German Opera

The beginnings

The multiple lines of development that opera followed in German-speaking lands up to the middle of the 19th century reflect not only the absence of a single or dominant tradition of musico-dramatic practice but also a general state of cultural and political decentralization. Only with Wagner’s music dramas (themselves deeply embedded in German instrumental practice, and without successors) did a purely national and indigenous conception of opera obliterate the art form’s undertone of foreignness. 

A variety of stage representations involving music antedate the arrival of Italian opera on German soil: sacred dramas, Latin school dramas, court entertainments, ballets and plays with music in the popular theatre. For most of the 17th century, operatic activity of any kind in German lands was sporadic and directly dependent on Italian example. The first German opera, Heinrich Schütz’s Dafne (to a libretto adapted from Rinuccini by Martin Opitz) was an occasional piece given in 1627 at Torgau, near Dresden. 

Germany's most important civic stage, established at Hamburg in 1678, quickly became the principal centre for German-language opera. Although local diplomats and nobles were involved, the undertaking was essentially civic in nature, with frequent changes of management. 


The ‘Singspiel’, as the new German phenomenon has come to be called, owed its life and lineaments to the German system of private theatrical entrepreneurship, called Prinzipalshaft, whereby an impresario (or Prinzipal) organized and guided a group of actors at his own risk and profit, sometimes securing a privilege from a court or town council allowing a more or less extensive stay in one place, sometimes wandering from one small centre to the next. Leipzig, where the new genre was born, attracted rival troupes during its commercial fairs; it also drew the kind of middle-class audience that, together with its own population of townspeople and university students, were the true free-market arbiters of the new genre’s popularity and economic value to theatrical managers.

Read more about German Music at Grove Music Online

Streaming Video: JVC Video Anthology of World Music & Dance

Composer Highlight: Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven portrait composing music

German composer. His early achievements, as composer and performer, show him to be extending the Viennese Classical tradition that he had inherited from Mozart and Haydn. As personal affliction – deafness, and the inability to enter into happy personal relationships – loomed larger, he began to compose in an increasingly individual musical style, and at the end of his life he wrote his most sublime and profound works. From his success at combining tradition and exploration and personal expression, he came to be regarded as the dominant musical figure of the 19th century, and scarcely any significant composer since his time has escaped his influence or failed to acknowledge it. For the respect his works have commanded of musicians, and the popularity they have enjoyed among wider audiences, he is probably the most admired composer in the history of Western music.

Kerman, J., Tyson, A., Burnham, S., Johnson, D., & Drabkin, W.  Beethoven, Ludwig van. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 27 Aug. 2021, from

Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies

Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies


Van Beethoven, Ludwig. Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies. Cond. Herbert Von Karajan. Rec. 4 Feb. 2008. Warner Music, 2008. Music Online: Classical Music Library Database. Web. 



(1): "Germany 2012" by "This.Usually.Works"  

(2): Country Flag (Germany), in Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Retrieved 11 August 2021 from