Count them: 3.1 million Germans are musicians

Count them: 3.1 million Germans are musicians


norman lebrecht

February 14, 2017

The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) in Wiesbaden has issued the latest statistics on musical activity.

According to the 2015 survey, some 3.1 million Germans – 38 percent of the population – make music in organised groups, such as orchestras, choirs and church groups.

There are 64,000 professional singers and musicians registered in Germany, of whom instrumental players account, remarkably, for 82%.

Across 130 public funded orchestras – there are 22 in North Rhine-Westphalia alone – there is employment for 9,900 musicians.

The full report can be downloaded here.



  • Jörg Birhance says:

    Let’s hope that this is going to survive also in future.

  • lyubomyra says:

    Great nation with the great future – music will save them.

  • Simon S. says:

    Rather 3.8% than 38… But good news anyway!

  • John Borstlap says:

    Amazing….. and on top of that, 1,5 composers out of 2 is a Klangkünstler (sound artist), the remaining 0,5 dabbling in Klangtheater (sound theatre). Within the sea of the German classical music performance culture, the artificial island of Klangkunst defends its beaches with the utopian hope that the water mark will eventually sink and give the scene the domination it always hoped for.

  • Brucknerliebhaber says:

    Germany’s population is around 80 million so 3.1 million is NOT 38 % !! It is 3.8 %!! Typo I assume. Of course Germany is ( still, thank heavens ) admirable when it comes to music making and music loving but let’s get these statistics right please!

  • Ceasar says:

    not to mention that Merkel openly loves and supports classical music.

    • John Borstlap says:

      That is true. Every time she began to doubt the direction of the Great Coalition, she played some Wagner and had thus her faith restored. Also, new housing initiatives came along every time she attended the Bayreuth festival and saw the theatre in its eroding state. Her enhusiastic invitation to Syrian war refugees was a direct result of her attending Beethoven’s Fidelio in the Berlin Staatsoper the day before, where she was spotted in the royal box drying her eyes with a big black-red-gold handkerchief during the prisoners’ chorus. And the sudden rise of popularity, in these days, of EU chairman Martin Schultz (SPD) in the polls is caused, according to the Stürmische Beobachter, to the revelation in Anne WIll’s discussion TV programme that he had played the recorder in the church ensemble in Eisenach, which had helped him to overcome his alcoholism.

  • Sandrey Date says:

    What may be more remarkable is that there is a Federal Statistics Office which has collected information on the number of Germans involved in musical activity. Something I can’t imagine happening in the UK – interesting though it would be – and who knows, it might be a similar number.