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Pushing for More Pop 'auf Deutsch'

Deutsche Welle readers penned quite a few responses to DW-WORLD’s story on increasing calls for a radio quota in Germany that would force stations to play more German songs.

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German singing sensation Herbert Grönemeyer.

The language issue in music and culture also affects my country, Mexico, but what I think must be done is to compete in the radio, so that German music finds its own place on air. The main reason English music is dominating the airwaves is obviously not because radio has decided to add more of it, but because that is simply what people want. Still, the German language has its unique characteristics that can be exploited to compete with English. I think there should be more of a focus on developing artists and providing a fair platform for it, from which in the long run, people will ultimately be driven into music business, or into artistry that needs the business, or the interest in promoting other people's art. If there is a core base of creative people in many areas, there will come people who will achieve something lasting in music. That’s where the government could provide some support.

-- Reyes, Mexico

I am happy to read that Germans have begun worrying about one of the corner stones of their own culture; music in German. It amazes me that a country with 82 million inhabitants is not able to produce enough music in their native tongue. However, it seems Germany is not alone in this question. In many other Northern European countries, native language music is in a crisis because of Anglo-American mass production (which I do not buy, by the way) but because of its size I would expect Germany to be the chief protector of this part of European culture (native language music). Germany was also leading in making the Eurovision Song Contest something for Anglo-American mass production.

-- Jan Prygoda, The Netherlands

Radio quotas may in fact work, as referenced in France, but it is a form of protectionism. For those who support such protection for their music, language, economic, etc. institutions it may be much more wise for them to ask themselves the very tough question, "why?". Why is it we need/require protection? Within this answer just might lie the best solution. Anyway, I don't believe the French are a culture the Germans should aspire to model themselves after.

-- Bobby Burt, Dallas Texas, USA

Don't be misled by your provincial arcane notions of protecting "your" language. Welcome to the world of International art, literature and entertainment. Your listening audience wants to listen to Anglo music. Don't you know why? With the exception of a few German language artists, e.g. Grönemeyer in particular, the German language music world is still decades behind the U.S. and England. Germany simply ain't got that soul. Get hip, there was no Motown, jazz or swing in Deutschland, and there never will be. There is no tradition to draw from and no body of work to drive young musicians and artists. Germany misspent the 20th century first in fighting two major wars and then spending decades to recover. Who’s got the time for creativity when the vast population is starving? German language quotas? You can't be serious.

-- Mr. I. Mandell

When I started living in Germany, I had a strong determination to shun everything English, in order to get my language skills in German right. Unfortunately, turning on the radio was futile -- everyone playing English songs -- that was surprising. I asked my housemates about it and they said that they don’t like it. -and I heard a song on the radio by a German band/singer Pur, I liked the song, but they think that Pur is old and stuffy. Well, setting a quota might help, but isn’t it something to do with the attitudes of the German youth? Like the rest of the world they way too much influenced by American idols. Shouldn’t be like this for Germany, at least!

-- Muhammad Waseem

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