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Tangerine Dream
electronic band from Germany - These guys pioneered electronic music in the 1960's through 80's, doing stuff with synthesizers before hardly anyone else had figured them out yet.  (The original synthesizers didn't have keyboards; you had to generate sound from scratch, requiring a hefty working knowledge of physics!)  They're still around today, doing neat things, but their earlier work is the more revolutionary stuff.  Hyperborea is a more melodic example of their work - - and Monolight is a good example of their older style -

Steeleye Span
folk rock band from England - The folk music revival in the 1960's and 70's really took off in Britain with a few key musicians and bands, and Steeleye Span was one of them.  They were a big hit even on the pop music charts with All Around My Hat - - but are still around today, still mixing traditional folk music with modern settings and lyrics, such as They Called Her Babylon -

Show of Hands
folk duo/trio from Dorset, England - this is another mix of traditional folk tunes with modern covers & original songs, but rather than in a rock setting, these guys are an acoustic band.  They started out as a duo, just two guys, but for the past couple years a double-bass player has been recording & gigging with them too, so their sound has been filling out of late.  I can't help but offer three examples of these excellent folks.  Arrogance Ignorance and Greed (AIG) is an original song lamenting our recent insane banking bailouts - - Country Life is another original song calling out the erosion of English countryside culture - - and Galway Farmer is an example of a traditional song in their early duo setup -

"medieval punk" / progressive rock band from England - These guys started out as a medieval band playing medieval and renaissance music on instruments from that period of history (harpsichord, crumhorn, shawm, bassoon, recorder, etc.) and after a while started writing their own experimental/progressive rock music, but keeping the same collection of instruments.  Well, drums and guitars and electric organs were brought in too, but the recorders and bassoons never went away.  On their more traditional end I'd recommend Kemp's Jig - - and among their original work I cannot understate their masterpiece Midnight Mushrumps -

Heinrich Schutz
This guy is one of the earliest German composers of sacred music, and he set the standards for virtually everyone to follow, including the more-famous J. S. Bach.  Though Schutz himself has fallen into some obscurity from popular awareness, his music that we still have today is pretty fantastic, and among my favorites is the Musicalische Exequien -

There are plenty of other bands and composers I enjoy - L. van Beethoven, Foo Fighters, Journey, Queen, Goo Goo Dolls, Vertical Horizon, Fairport Convention, Renaissance, Solas, J. S. Bach, Rimsky-Korsakov, to name a few.  But I think I've about beaten this question to death for the most part.


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