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Musik und Musikinstrumente – music and musical instruments Posted by on Jan 29, 2011 in Culture, Current Events, Language, Music, People

In my previous post I already told you about an Australian friend, whom I got to know some weeks ago. Another reason why I tell you about this encounter is concerning music. In our first Unterhaltung (conversation) he told me that he plays the guitar, which is my Hobby (hobby) as well. This is why I decided to write a post about music in order to give some vocabulary on that topic.

In my Jugend (youth) I attended a Musikschule (music school) where I learned how to play the Gitarre (guitar) and the Saxophon (saxophone). Ich muss zugeben (I have to admit) that it is much easier to play the guitar than the saxophone. It took me some weeks to play my first song on the saxophone because the saxophone is a Holzblasinstrument (woodwind instrument) and it is very difficult to make a schön klingenden (nice-sounding) sound. In comparison, it would take just some hours to be able to play an easy song on the guitar, which is a Saiteninstrument (string instrument).

But before you can start to play the guitar you often have to tune the instrument. You can use a Stimmgerät (tuner) for that. People who have a gutes Gehör (good ear) or even an absolutes Gehör (absolute pitch) do not need a tuner to tune an instrument. They can tune an instrument nach Gehör (by ear).

After we had found out that we both play the guitar, we decided to make some music together. Since I am a schlechter Sänger (poor singer) he was singing and was backing him with the guitar. The first song we played together was „Man on the moon“ by R.E.M., a song which is very easy to play. It has only four Akkorde (chords) and the Schlagmuster (strumming pattern) is quite simple.

I really like to make music and although I can Noten lesen (read music) I have neither mastered the guitar nor the saxophone in a way that I can vom Blatt spielen (to play at sight).

Spielt ihr ein Instrument? (Do you play an instrument?)

(die) Unterhaltung – conversation

(das) Hobby – hobby

(die) Jugend- youth

(die) Musikschule – music school

(die) Gitarre – guitar

(das) Saxophon – saxophone

Ich muss zugeben, dass … – I have to admit that …

(das) Holzblasinstrument – woodwind instrument

schön klingend – nice-sounding

(das) Saiteninstrument – string instrument

(das) Stimmgerät – tuner

ein gutes Gehör – a good ear

absolutes Gehör – absolute pitch

schlechter Sänger – poor singer

(der) Akkord – chord

(das) Schlagmuster – strumming pattern

Noten lesen – to read music

vom Blatt spielen – play at sight

(die) Trompete – trumpet

(die) Geige – violin

(die) Flöte – flute

(die) Blockflöte – recorder (flute)

(die) Querflöte – transverse flute

(die) Panflöte – pan flute

(die) Mundharmonika – harmonica

(das) Schlagzeug – drums

(die) Klarinette – clarinet

(die) Harfe – harp

(die) Posaune – trombone

(das) Fagott – bassoon

(die) E-Gitarre – electric guitar

(das) Cello – cello

(das) Keyboard – keyboard

(das) Klavier – piano

(der) Kontrabass – contrabass

(die) Stimmgabel – tuning fork

(der) Notenständer – music stand

(der) Notenschlüssel – clef

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About the Author:Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


  1. Zac Sullivan:

    There’s some good vocab here, but of course it’s not comprehensive. For more on German music there’s actually a GLH post that’s pretty good, by the way: http://www.germanlearninghelp.com/2010/07/germanmusic/


    ~ Z ~

  2. James Lytle:

    Hello, truly nice post, excellent!

  3. My Dear Instruments:

    Thanks! I need those a lot!