Beat music

Beat or Beat music (from english to beat: beat ) was the common in German-speaking countries from 1960 to the early 1970s term for early -based guitar pop-rock. As musical idols of American rock 'n ' roll and British skiffle bass guitar and a drum ( beat bands ) were used, mostly played by bands with two to three electric guitars. The best known group that developed this style and made ​​popular were the Beatles.

Musical features

The beat has five main features:

  • The (often) two - or three-voice singing group
  • Two electric guitars ( lead and rhythm guitar)
  • The use of the E -Bass (Bass Guitar)
  • A two -to three- part song form
  • The 4/4-time, not swinging


First in England, predominantly in London and Liverpool, to school bands came together who had their first gigs in small clubs and pubs. Derived from the River Mersey, which flows into Liverpool in the Irish Sea, the music style is also referred to as equal Merseybeat. In contrast to the rock ' n ' roll of the 1950s, they did not play in fine costumes, but, for lack of money, in their street or work clothes. Since, in contrast to rock ' n ' roll of the first beat stresses and beaten in 4/4-time, was a different rhythm sequence, the music became more uniform and homogeneous. She arrived at the youth, and it found the first beat concerts. The British radio station BBC became aware of the new kind of music. Some bands have been invited and the first live broadcasts of new music direction took place. About the BBC and the connected Forces Broadcasting Service BFBS beat music was broadcast in all transmission areas in the world. As one of the first non -British radio station Europe then reached on Radio Luxembourg beat.

Federal Republic of Germany

For many adults, the term Beat was a negative connotation; he stood for rebellion, long hair and large volume.

In the Federal Republic of TV station Radio Bremen ( then still in black and white ) began to invite British music groups; In 1965, he called the Beat-Club to life. Under the Moderators Uschi Nerke stood out that from 1965 to 1972 presented the music - and so in addition to the known as "Mr. Pumpernickel " British Chris Howland - was one of the best-known presenters that time. Were formed in the cities first beat groups, such as The Lords in Berlin and The Rattles in Hamburg. Even in rural areas arose beat bands, including The Petards from Schrecksbach. Also the singer Dorco German was close to the beat. In churches Beat - services were held for the youth occasionally.


See also: beat music in the GDR

In the Eastern Bloc CPSU General Secretary Khrushchev launched in October 1961, a second wave of de-Stalinization. The East German regime stabilized after the construction of the wall.

Compared to the young, the SED leadership gave to certain forms of paternalism, particularly in terms of imports of Western dance forms. It was said in a Politburo decision 1963: "No person occurs to prescribe the youth, they should express their feelings and moods while dancing only in the waltz or tango rhythm. What clock dials the youth is up to her, the main thing, it remains tactfully "!

The former FDJ chairman Horst Schumann was active as a public activist for the hitherto despised dance craze "twist" to improve the " musty " Image of the FDJ. On Germany Meeting of Youth in May 1964 was attended by half a million East German youth also 25,000 participants from the Federal Republic and West Berlin. A youth program of the Berliner Rundfunk went around the clock on the air, was very well received and got DT64 as a regular slot.

Also in the GDR were forming numerous beat groups, such as the Sputnik and the Franke Echo Quintet. On October 14, 1965, Khrushchev was overthrown.

Quick then also a relaxed phase ended in the GDR: The East German government banned beat music. These bans have led to Leipzig Beat Demo on 31 October 1965.

The SED regime went on the offensive: It was in the media, all of which were state- controlled and censored, against "hooliganism ", " bum ", " long- haired ", " Neglected " and " loitering " agitate. The FDJ leadership supported actions involving students, the hair was cut off from their classmates. Erich Honecker, thundered against the beat music in DT64 and against the " cynical verses " of singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann, an appearance against the ban was imposed.

Other countries

From the Netherlands stood out to sea ships that were sent outside the law beat with advertising, the so-called pirate radio stations such as Radio Veronica, Radio Caroline and Radio Nordzee. They had a wide audience in the Benelux countries and also in West Germany to the Ruhr. The Dutch station Hilversum 3 was established to make the pirate broadcasters competition.

Well-known British beat bands were, inter alia, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Animals, Manfred Mann, The Hollies, Small Faces, Herman 's Hermits, The Kinks and The Shadows to the U.S. Beat groups included The Monkees and The Beach Boys. From Australia came The Easybeats.

In France, first turned rock-' n'- roller, as Richard Anthony, Johnny Hallyday and Claude Piron aka Danny Boy et ses Pénitents, successfully beat music to and rang so that the " période Yéyé " one. Apart from a few exceptions, such as Johnny Hallyday, who together with the Rattles recorded in 1966 a German plate on the success of the Franco -beat remained mainly limited to the French market.

The sudden success of British beat groups in the U.S. in the mid -1960s is also known as the British Invasion (English " British invasion ").

In the late 1960s went Beat music more and more in the rock music, elements of orchestras came to the electronics found its way. The hair was longer, protests against injustices in the world such as the Vietnam War more.

As part of a retro wave at the beginning of the 21st century, elements of the beat in the rock and pop music from bands such as The Libertines, The White Stripes, The Hives and others have been taken up.