Music This Week | DW-RADIO | DW | 02.04.2009
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Music This Week

Music can change lives -- and it has down through the ages. Just how that has happened is the theme of DW's new five-minute mini documentary Music This Week.

The sculpture of Paul McCartney on the Beatles-Platz square in Hamburg

Each episode looks at a particular date -- a world premiere, the birthday or death date of a musician, or an important historical event -- and explores the music that went along with it.

Did you know, for example, that Smetana's "The Moldau" eventually led to the birth of a nation? Or that Frederick the Great, the "soldier king," played the flute and invited Johann Sebastian Bach to improvise on one of Frederick's melodies? That the Beatles owed some of their early success to their gigs in Hamburg's red light district, or that Elvis, already hugely popular, came to Germany as a GI in the 1950's? How did Martin Luther come to discover that he could deliver as many sermons as he wanted, but it was the church hymns set to popular tunes of the day that really got the message across? What about the great men and women who set the style and defined the musical idiom for generations to come: George Frideric Handel, Bob Marley, Billie Holiday?

In a fast-paced dialogue of spoken word and music excerpts, we cover it all in Music This Week.