The World Is Full of Sound
The best hits for the delivery room? Songs in the middle of a muddy field? Classical tunes that help cows relax and produce milk? If you listen when you’re out and about, you’ll hear all kinds of music – everywhere!
Hotel with a beat
The nhow Music and Lifestyle Hotel in Berlin is the second of its kind, along with its counterpart in Milan. The nhow brand is a completely new type of hotel, with each establishment dedicated to a different theme. In Berlin, it’s music. That means the hotel has its own music manager, as well as room service that can supply guitars, keyboards and even DJ sets. It’s also the perfect location for music events and live sessions. And its high-end sound studios offer a panoramic view of the German capital – so they can safely be called unique. (www.nhow-hotels.com/berlin)
Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony resounds … accompanied now and then by an unhurried “moo.” It’s no joke: Years ago researchers discovered cows give more milk when they are exposed to calming music while in their stalls. According to the scientists’ findings, playing soothing compositions like Beethoven’s symphony can increase milk yields by some 3 percent. In contrast, upbeat songs such as “Back in the USSR” by the Beatles reduce the amount of milk that cows produce each day.
When the Duchess of Cambridge was expecting her son, George, she allegedly prepared a playlist for the delivery room. The songs included Calvin Harris’s “We Found Love,” Bruno Mars’s “Just the Way You Are” and a tune by the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men. That is actually not so unusual, if you look at the Top 10 tunes that mothers ask for when giving birth at the Paracelsus Clinic near Hamburg:
1. Viva la Vida (Coldplay)
2. Don’t Know Why (Norah Jones)
3. Easy Lover (Phil Collins)
4. I Like It (Enrique Iglesias)
5. The One (Elton John)
6. A Little Night Music (Mozart)
7. Never Gonna Be Alone (Nickelback)
8. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing (Aerosmith)
9. Every Beat of My Heart (Bon Jovi)
10. Walking Away (Craig David)
What a city!
There’s hardly a German city that doesn’t have its own song or musical tradition. So what could make more sense than offering “musical tours”? “Oh Wasn’t It Great Way Back When in Cologne” is the rough translation of a Carnival tune visitors are serenaded with during a tour of the Rhineland metropolis (www.colonia-prima.de). In Munich, sightseers can enjoy excursions to numerous locations where musical history was made, sites that celebrate everything from Orlando di Lasso to Richard Strauss, from music of the Renaissance to songs of the 21st century (www.musikspaziergang.de). And Vienna offers myriad tours for visitors interested in learning more about waltzes, for example, or about historical figures from the world of music such as Mozart and Strauss. (www.wienfuehrungen.com)
A number of cities in Germany even participate in a unique festival of musical events held in private homes. This is how it works: Culturally inspired members of the public make their homes or offices available for concerts. They set up the chairs, greet the guests and cover part of the costs. That allows music fans throughout the country to experience a range of curated, high-quality performances – all as one big event. The offerings run the gamut from jazz and pop to classical compositions and international fare. (www.kunstsalon.de)
The great outdoors
Wacken is a German town located northwest of Hamburg near the North Sea coast. Each year in August it is visited by heavy-metal fans from around the globe. They make their way to Wacken for its Open Air Festival, one of the largest gatherings of its kind worldwide. More than 80,000 people come together at the 220-hectare site. Over 40 kilometers of fencing is used to secure the event, which also requires 1,000 toilets and almost 500 showers. (www.wacken.de)
Underground flash mob
Musicians in the subway aren’t all that unusual. But 50 singing passengers – now that’s an eye- and ear-catching event. This year, dozens of singers created a flash mob to draw attention to Cologne’s Night of Music festival. Without warning, 50 people took travelers at a number of the city’s subway stations by surprise when they broke into “Tonight” from the musical West Side Story. The participants were members of local choirs who wanted to publicize the festival’s 10th anniversary.
“Deep in the west, where the sun gathers dust…” Written by German musician Herbert Grönemeyer, the song “Bochum” is also a cult hymn for the soccer team in the city of the same name. In fact, Germany’s soccer league boasts quite a few tunes. For Darmstadt 98 it’s “The Sun Is Shining,” for Bayern Munich it’s “Star of the South.” Soccer clubs large and small have signature songs that help fans identify with and support the team.
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