YouGov survey on the subject of classical music on the occasion of the Beethoven anniversary year 2020

Although the importance of classical music seems to be declining in Germany, almost half (48 percent) of people surveyed in Germany stated that they like to listen to classical music. The 18- to 24-year-olds answer this to 39 percent. Over half (53 percent) of those surveyed aged 55 and over stated that they liked listening to classical music. This is one of the results of a survey by the international market research and consulting institute YouGov on the occasion of the Beethoven anniversary year 2020, for which 2,022 people were interviewed between 12 and 16 December 2019 using standardized online interviews. The results are weighted and representative of the German population aged 18 and over.

Survey: high potential of classical Music in Germany, not only in Berliner Philharmonie

68 percent of those surveyed believe that classical music has lost its importance

However, more than two thirds (68 percent) of Germans also believe that classical music has become less important in society. More than one in two (53 percent) continues to state that the works of well-known classical composers have been forgotten.

Respondents aged 55 and over listen to classical music to relax

The answer to the question of whether classical music should be listened to to relax is undecided among the general population: 46 percent answered in the affirmative, while 48 percent said no. Half (51 percent) of people aged 55 and older relax with classical music, and 37 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds.

The Germans think that music would not be the same today without the works of well-known classical composers

The respondents agree on the importance of classical music in relation to today’s music: three quarters (75 percent) agree that music would not be the same today without the works of well-known classical composers. 72 percent of the 18- to 24-year-olds take this view, 80 percent of those aged 55 and over. 13 percent of all respondents disagree, 14 percent of those aged 18 to 24 and 11 percent of those aged 55 and over.

Men find classical music more old-fashioned than women

A quarter of the respondents (27 percent) find classical music old-fashioned. This is indicated by 31 percent of the male respondents and 23 percent of the women. There are also large differences in this question in the age groups: one in four of the 18- to 24-year-olds (41 percent) thinks classical music is old-fashioned, among respondents aged 55 and over 18 percent say so. However, almost one in six of the 18- to 24-year-olds argues that classical music is the best film music (57 percent vs. 49 percent of those aged 55 and over). This is found in the total population of 52 percent.

Ludwig van Beethoven and his works are familiar to the Germans

The overwhelming majority (95 percent) of Germans know the name Ludwig van Beethoven. Almost all of the respondents (98 percent) correctly classify him as a composer. 41 percent of Beethoven connoisseurs know that his 250th birthday is the occasion of the anniversary year, 23 percent mistakenly state his 250th birthday as an occasion. Many people are aware of the illness Ludwig van Beethoven suffered from as a young man – 64 percent of Beethoven connoisseurs correctly classify him as deaf. 6 percent of connoisseurs mistakenly assume that Beethoven suffered from blindness. The majority of Beethoven connoisseurs, who also classify him correctly as a composer, are also familiar with works by the artist – this is indicated by three quarters (74 percent) of the respondents.

The press charts can be downloaded from the following link (in German): www.yougov.de/pressecharts_klassische_Musik