Beer – check; bratwurst – check; goat-hair adorned hat and lederhosen – check. But what about the other essential component to any Oktoberfest? That’s right, let there be music. The music of the 18 day German extravaganza is so characteristic that you’re unlikely to hear so much oopah-pah-ing in your entire life.
Read on to find out about the main sounds going on at Oktoberfest, and for a playlist showcasing a few typical, and more innovative, tunes…
Oom-pah Brass Band
Make your way around the 30 – 40 tents of Oktoberfest and the main sound you’ll hear is this. Well, it’s not actually a single type of music, and includes Polkas, Mazurkas, Schottishes, Waltzes and Landler. Its umbrella name imitates the bold and gusty rhythm of the brass instruments. It makes for a great accompaniment to copious beer drinking. Especially because the band plays old favourites everyone can sing along to, as well as versions of modern hits.
If this your first experience of Oompah (and you don’t know all the words), you might want to head to Hacker-Festzelt, one of the bigger tents. Here they have a traditional brass band, Die Kirchdorfer, in the day, followed by a well-known Munich rock band called Cagey Strings in the evening.
Meaning ‘hit’, Schlager is style of pop that you’ve probably seen on the Eurovision song contest a few times. The tunes are usually ballads or catchy melodies with a distinctly 70ish euro-pop feel to them. It started back in the 50s and 60s, when it generally peaked in popularity – until the 90’s that is, when it came back in a big way.
Head to the Hippodrom tent to see the best of what Oktoberfest Schlager has to offer in the form of the Muenchner Zwietracht group.
Time to Listen
Now you’ve read about it, I bet you’re just dying to hear it for real. So put in your headphones, and let yourself be transported to a beer tent in Munich…
Fancy singing your heart out to Oompah? or perhaps you’d prefer to dance the night away to the sounds of Schlager.
Have you heard Oktoberfest music before? What did you think of it?