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Jimmy Russell, Staff Writer 

A city’s music scene forms part of its cultural identity, and there is no better way to get a feel for a destination than by immersing yourself in its rhythm. 

While many countries and cities across the globe have their own sound, only a select few have truly made their mark on the world with their musical fingerprint. From the birthplace of classical music to the soul of samba and the capital of country – these are seven destinations every music lover should tune into. 

Berlin, Germany – Home of techno

A city that truly comes alive at night, Berlin has a world-renowned reputation for pulsating house and experimental music. A lifestyle where music is religion, the clubber culture is very much linked to the German reunification, which saw huge cultural upheaval across the once-divided city. Discover a hedonistic Disneyland of debauchery and join the devoted spending their nights in abandoned factories and commercial buildings, where ethos, sexuality and race are indistinguishable and irrelevant. Nightclub Berghain’s imposing maze of minimalist design, and steel and concrete housing epitomises this self-indulgent side most notoriously, as do techno nirvana Tresor (set inside an abandoned power plant) and Golden Gate (housed beneath the S-Bahn’s brick railway arches). 

Melbourne, Australia – Home of live Aussie music

Considered the live music capital of Australia, and home to some of the country’s best musical exports (Kylie Minogue, Chet Faker, Courtney Barnett, and The Temper Trap, to name just a few)Melbourne is a city that marches to the beat of its own drum. No matter the genre, Melburnians proudly flood their labyrinth of music meccas in support of emerging and established artists. Catch a gig at the Palais Theatre, Forum and Festival Hall, which have all seen their fair share of memorable performances, or stroll down AC/DC Lane, where rock’s most notorious have caused chaosTo get the full experience, why not grab a drink at famed Cherry Bar — the best rock n’ roll/dive bar in the world? Or if history is more your thingdrop into the newly opened Australian Music Vault, a celebration of Australian music and its stories.  

Nashville, Tennessee – Home of country

For music fans and wannabe singer-songwriters across the globe, Nashville is the ultimate pilgrimage. Home to literally hundreds of neon-lit live bars and beer-perfumed honky-tonks, ‘Music City’ is as vibrant today as it was in the early 20th century. Come discover the musical legacies left behind by the likes of Earl Scruggs and Keith Urban, before stumbling through the numerous museums dedicated to the heartfelt troubadours of yesteryear — such as Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. Visitors can also attend a live recording at Ryman Auditorium, drop into the historic RCA Studio B (recording home of music titans including Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers), trace country music history at the Country Music Hall of Fame or attend a show at the phenomenal Grand Ole Opry, established in 1925 and often referred to as the ‘home of American music’. 

Vienna, Austria – Home of classical

Home to baroque streetscapes and majestic palaces, Vienna has a rich and storied imperial history and a well-deserved reputation as ‘the capital of classical music’. Also nicknamed the city of music, this picturesque location is the birthplace of some of history’s most important and influential masterpieces. Home to the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Haydn, Schubert, Brahms and Mahler, Vienna boasts numerous sumptuous architectural settings that set the stage for unforgettable musical experiencesHighlights include catching a performance at the opulent Vienna State Opera House or the Musikverein concert hall, as well as stopping by the interactive Haus der Musik Museum, which celebrates the classical greats through interactive exhibits. 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Home of samba

A rhythmic hotbed where music is an integral part of everyday life, Rio de Janeiro is bursting with the most innovative sounds coming out of South America. One of the most important expressions of Latin culture, Brazil’s cocktail of African, European, and indigenous cultures has led to a dizzying variety of rhythms, melodies, and styles – resulting in a colourful explosion of music and Rio Carnival. At the Greatest Show on Earth, millions flock to the streets to perform the lively samba, get lost in the romantic notes of the bossa nova and feel the pulsating beats of the salsa. And once that party wraps, join the others for more live music at the Beco das Garrafas club or in the bohemian neighbourhood of Lapa. 

Stockholm, Sweden – Home of house DJs… and ABBA

As the capital of a country that fosters talent through unsurpassed governmental support for the arts,  it is little wonder Stockholm is responsible for one of the world’s most vigorous music scenes. Such success stories include Roxette, The Knife, Miike Snow, and a swathe of internationally renowned house-music DJs, including the late musician Avicii. However, the most memorable export is ABBA. Enjoy a kitsch-filled stroll down memory lane and learn of the supertroupers at ABBA: The Museum. After, why not discover the next big thing at Debaser Medis nightclub — located in the musical district of Södermalm — or catch an international act at the Ericsson Globe or Bern (a well-preserved 1860s art nouveau establishment)? 

Liverpool, England – Home of pop

Long considered the world capital of pop, Liverpool is a UNESCOlisted city made famous by its Merseybeat and the Beatles. For fans of the famous Scousers, a visit is not complete without stops at the Cavern Club (the site of their first performance), their former homesand Strawberry Field, Penny Lane and Eleanor Rigby’s gravesite, which all inspired famous Beatles songsHowever, the music does not end with the Fab Four. The city’s best live venues (81 Renshaw, the Eventim Olympia and M&S Bank Arena) have produced a hot roster of local talent, featuring Gerry and the Pacemakers, Echo & the Bunnymen, and The Wombats. The British Music Experience museum is also the best place in the United Kingdom to witness the last 50 years of British music history unfold before your eyes.  

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