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应对英语全球化挑战 德国本土音乐重现生机

LEARNING.SOHU.COM    2005年7月26日12:21   [ 李远 ]  来源:[ 国际在线 ] 
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  German was the language of Wagner, Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. But since English-speaking rock 'n' roll arrived in a country racked by postwar cultural insecurities, it has not been a popular language for musicians, even German ones.

  Except for lederhosen-and-dirndl groups, new-wave artists in the 1980s and a few menacing industrial metal bands, German artists have had to polish up on their English if they wanted to get anywhere near the charts.

  But that seems to be changing, and a batch of German-speaking artists is providing a hint of promise for a music industry battered by piracy and economic stagnation.

  Music sales in Germany, which plummeted 40 percent over the last four years, are showing signs of stabilizing this year.

  German-speaking artists are leading a revival of local talent across European markets, musicexecutives say, as the industry is suffering from a shortage of English-speaking international superstars that used to dominate sales.

  "It's considered cool again to sing in German," said Frank Briegmann, chief executive of Universal Music Germany.

  "Culturally, after all that has happened in Germany, people accept listening to German texts again. Even young people."

  European music executives, who had spent much of the last few years paring back their rosters of what the industry calls "local repertoire" in an effort to cut costs, are now hunting high and low for such acts - particularly in Germany, and especially if they sing in German.

  Though imported stars, mostly from the United States and Britain, still represent the majority of sales in Germany, their dominance is easing. Domestic repertoire rose to 49 percent of German music sales last year, up from 40 percent in 2001, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a trade group.

  Alain Levy, chairman and chief executive of EMI Music, said the trend, also seen in some other European markets, is encouraging because any recovery for the industry as a whole will be led by local artists.

  "A market can only be healthy if the local repertoire is healthy," he said. "I don't consider I have a good company if local repertoire isn't at least equal to the imports."

  In France, EMI, Universal and the other big record companies, Warner Music and the newly merged Sony BMG, have together moved well past that benchmark. Local repertoire accounted for 63 percent of sales last year, up from 51 percent in 2000. Elsewhere in Europe, domestic artists have made gains, too; the trend is less pronounced in Britain, which has always had a vibrant music industry, and where language is less of an issue.

  Executives say the reasons for the rise in local European music may include the backlash against globalization as well as an improvement in the quality of domestic acts, after several years in which one-hit wonders generated by television contest shows like "Pop Idol" dominated the charts.

  对德国国内唱片销售市场的最新调查显示,尽管以英美流行歌手为主的英语歌曲仍占据“半壁江山”,但本土德语歌曲2004年的销售量已占到总销量的49%,比2001时上升了9个百分点,面对英文全球化挑战德语歌曲重现生机。

  据《国际先驱论坛报》7月25日报道,国际唱片工业联合会最近调查显示,如今的德国音乐产业已经不用再靠来自英语国家的“超级巨星”们来支撑门面了。环球德国唱片公司首席执行官富兰克甚至表示,“如今使用德语进行演唱重又成为一种十分‘酷’的表现”。

  毫无疑问,德国日耳曼民族绝对不缺乏真正的音乐家,瓦格纳、贝多芬、巴赫等流芳千古的古典作曲家的名字在今天仍然响亮。然而在第二次世界大战之后,德国国内的一片萧条也影响到了文化界,外来的摇滚乐大行其道。而摇滚乐大多属于英文歌曲,这也造成德国国内英文歌曲在声势上逐渐超过用德文创作的母语歌曲。

  但这种情形如今正在发生变化。环球德国唱片公司首席执行官富兰克表示,“文化的力量不容小视,如今德国公民更愿意倾听用母语演唱的音乐,而年轻人也不例外”。并且如今欧洲范围的唱片公司也更愿意雇佣来自于德国的歌手,尤其是当他们使用自己母语进行演唱的时候。

  EMI东芝唱片公司首席执行官艾伦·莱维则表示,德国本土歌手逐渐崛起的态势对整个欧洲唱片产业来说是一个良好的征兆。因为从历史上看,任何一次音乐产业的复苏都是由本土艺术家所引领的。“只有本土音乐产品的销量有所起色,才能带动整个音乐产业。如果本土唱片销量甚至低于外来音乐,那么振兴也就无从谈起。”

  无独有偶,德国近邻法国的本土歌手也在从过去英语歌手独领风骚的形势下逐渐仰起头来。EMI东芝、环球、华纳音乐以及最近成立的索尼BMG正在携起手来导演这次法语歌曲回潮计划。2000年法国本土音乐唱片销量占市场总销量的51%,而去年这个数字提升到了63%。

  唱片公司经理们认为,造成如今欧洲市场本土音乐影响力逐渐回升的原因有许多。对于全球化趋势的逆反心理、本土艺术家水平的提高是主要原因之一。其次,德国政府的政策扶持作用也是显而易见的。去年德国立法机关开始考虑通过一项法律,规定广播电台播放更多的本土歌曲。而从前,使用英语演唱的“国际巨星”几乎垄断了德国的广播节目,这也让那些希望推动本土音乐产业发展的唱片公司叫苦不迭。

  

  

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