European Music Facts

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Europe has a rich and noteworthy musical history, from Mozart to Daft Punk.

Setting off on your car journey to France, Germany or anywhere else in Europe? You need a great playlist. And there’s nothing better than to have musical facts to go alongside it!

Europe’s musical history is rich and varied, from classical, to 80s synths, to Swedish pop domination. Every genre of music has found a home within Europe. Join our journey of musical facts, and maybe find some places to stop off along the way!

Our journey begins, as it should, with classical music. The world’s most famous classical composer, Mozart was a child prodigy who despite being loved and revered for his musical creations, died penniless and was buried in a pauper’s grave. Fortunately, his reputation did not suffer the same fate, and he remains one of the most famous musical minds in the world.

Mozart Facts

Mozart House

Mozart’s house is a great place to go and discover the history of the great man himself.

He always had a head for music, even at a young age. When he was 14, he heard Allegri’s Miserere and was later able to write it down in full, completely from memory!

14 was clearly a good age for Mozart, as it was also the year when he wrote his first opera, Mitridate Re di Ponto.

Starting young, he composed his first 30 symphonies by the time he was 18. In total, he created 41 before his death at aged just 35.

If you want to discover more about Mozart, there is nowhere better than his birthplace in Salzburg, Austria. Ten hours from Calais, you will pass through Germany, which is perfect if you’re planning a European road trip. It’s one of the most popular museums in the world, and a Mecca for all classical music fans.

Disco in Europe

Urtijë

Urtijë is the alpine birthplace of Giorgio Moroder.

From the classical sounds of Mozart to the revolutionary synth pop that was blasted all over the radio in the 1970s and 80s. One of the most famous examples of this is Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. Although Summer is American, the choice to use an entirely synthesized backing track came from revolutionary Italian music producer Giorgio Moroder. The song is regularly featured in lists of the greatest dance songs ever, and is widely recognised as one of the most influential pop songs ever made.

Moroder was born in Urtijëi, in the alps of Northern Italy, but has resided in Berlin for much of his life. For those who are looking for a holiday with breath-taking natural sites and fresh, alpine mountain air, Urtijëi is a great place to stop by on your travels. The town itself only has about 4000 inhabitants, so if you’re looking for a quiet place off the beaten track, this is it!

It’s three hours from Salzburg, if you’re continuing your musical journey, or 11 hours from Calais, taking you through Germany and Austria.

Disco Facts

The term ‘disco’ came long before the genre of music, and comes from the French word ‘discotheque’.

In the 1970s, non-UK pop bands were grouped under the umbrella title ‘Euro-Disco’. Bands like ABBA, Boney M and Arabesque were all described as Euro-Disco.

Europe’s Biggest Music Event… Eurovision!

Lugano

Did you know the first Eurovision song contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland?

One of the biggest nights in Europe is Eurovision and although we haven’t been the lucky winners in recent years, many of our European neighbours have. The last time France won Eurovision was in 1977, later Belgium took the top spot in 1986 with Germany winning recently in 2010!

On a long journey, fun facts are just what you need to keep the conversation flowing. Did you know for instance that the first Eurovision song contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland? Under four hours and half away from Moroder’s Urtijëi, you could even pay it a visit!

Eurovision Facts

It may be 40 years since France won, but their Eurovision woes aren’t quite as bad as Norway, who have finished last 11 times, and Cyprus, who have never made it into the top four.

In 1969, there were no rules for what would happen in the result of a tie, and four countries won. If that happened today, it would be the country with points from the most countries who would win.

That’s not the only rule. All Eurovision songs must be under three minutes, and no more than six people are allowed on stage.

Do you want to make your musical journey across Europe? With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, it is only 35 minutes to Calais, so before you know it you'll be ready to Hit the Road Jack!