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Music is said to heal the soul and is a powerful force that can inspire, motivate and bring people together.
But if you have ever pondered where your favourite music originates from or wanted to see the places that have inspired great composers and musicians, there are many destinations around the world where you can do just that.
So whether you’re into classical or pop, rock ‘n’ roll or Motown, we’ve rounded up some of the best destinations for music lovers.
Lovers of classical music may want to take a trip to Salzburg in Austria, home to the great composer Mozart. Here you can visit his birthplace, now a museum which houses a collection of his instruments, documents and memorabilia. During your stay you could also visit the impressive baroque cathedral where he was baptised.
Sound of Music fans will also be in their element here. You can have your Maria moment on a tour which showcases some of the places that were in the film, such as the famous lake the Von Trapp children fell in to, and the gazebo which was rebuilt especially for fans of the film.
When the Fab Four hit the big time during the incredible Merseybeat era in the 1960s, little did they know the lasting legacy they would leave Liverpool with. Credited with starting a musical revolution, the city is now synonymous with the Beatles and visitors flock to the city every year from around the world.
Your first port of call should be Matthew Street, home to the Cavern Pub and Cavern Club where the band started their career. Live music is showcased daily, and you can enjoy a tipple in this historic spot while toasting the boys.
And maybe you fancy climbing aboard the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ – a colourful bus which will take you to locations that inspired some of their hits such as Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields.
In addition, the Museum of Liverpool houses a floor dedicated to the city’s music scene and the Beatles Story museum is located on the nearby Albert Dock.
As one of the world’s largest exporters of pop music, Sweden is also where pop sensation ABBA came from.
Fans of the group should head to Stockholm where they can visit the ABBA Museum and see memorabilia, gold records and, of course, some of the band’s sparkly and outlandish costumes.
Visitors can also get involved by having a go at singing in the Polar studio and, through the use of hologram illusions, even take to the stage with the band.
Included in your ticket is also a visit to the Swedish Hall of Fame where you can learn about the country’s rich musical legacy and some of its legends such as Roxette, the Cardigans and, more recently, Swedish House Mafia and First Aid Kit.
Memphis and rock ‘n’ roll are inextricably intertwined, and Elvis fans visit this destination every year.
So if you want to go back to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll, Sun Studio is a good place to start. Claiming to be ‘the most famous recording studio in the world’, this is where the ‘King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ launched his career, as well as other legends such as Johnny Cash. Your ticket also includes a free shuttle to Graceland and entry into the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
Furthermore, if you coincide your visit with Elvis Week (August 9 – 18) you will be able to take part in a number of themed concerts, events, workshops and candlelit vigil.
If time allows, music lovers could also pay a visit to the Mississippi Delta, home to some authentic blues bars, especially in Clarksdale. The Juke Joint Festival in April is a particularly good time to visit, when a number of blues bands arrive from all over to showcase their music.
Flamenco was recently put on the UNESCO representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as it has a strong cultural identity and continues to be passed down through generations.
Flamenco fuses song, dance and music and originates in the region of Andalusía, Spain. To immerse yourself in this powerful and expressive music, take a trip to Seville, the region’s capital and biggest city. Here, the traditions of flamenco, bull fighting and tapas have been fiercely preserved and you will find plenty to see and do during your visit. At the Flamenco Museum you will be able to learn all about the history of the art, and by night you can take to the floor at a tablao (flamenco bar).
Head to Ireland’s dramatic west coast to immerse yourself in a powerful music tradition that is still interwoven into the fabric of everyday life. Passed down through generations before the dawn of television, many children still learn traditional music on instruments such as the fiddle, bodhran and uilleann pipes. They then perform and compete at fleadhs (traditional music festivals) held across the country which are great to visit while on your trip.
Pubs in large cities such as Galway showcase the city’s talent at practically any time of the day. However, it is in the smaller, more remote villages where you can really enjoy authentic, soul-soaring sessions.
One option, for example, is Doolin in County Clare. As a gealteacht (Irish speaking) area up until the later part of the 20th century, music, dancing and storytelling played a central role in daily life, and as such, the tiny fishing village emerged as ‘the capital of Irish traditional music’.
Although only home to four pubs, you will find nightly sessions throughout the summer months and experience some of the most authentic music in Ireland. And as the gateway to the fascinating Burren and Aran Islands, you will find plenty more to experience on your trip.
‘The sound that changed America’ is credited as having a huge influence on a racially divided country and was a powerful force of cultural and social change. Motown is seen as having brought together people of different ethnicities through music.
Fans of legends such as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye can visit the place where it all began with a trip to the Motown Museum in Hitsville, Detroit.
Here, you can learn all about this powerful music, see where the musicians recorded their songs, and even have a go at singing a few bars in the famous Studio A yourself.
And if you want to hit the town in the evening, the city has a number of live music venues and music halls which showcase the latest talent