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Play it by ear: Berlin’s best music quizzes

You might not know it, but Berlin’s music geeks meet up regularly at a handful of the city’s ‘Kneipen‘ to identify songs by their intro or by way of picture riddles. We explore the magical world of the music quiz.

View of interior of bar with visitors facing away from camera and a host facing the camera. Crowd at music quiz “Welcome to the Working Week” at Posh Teckel Neukölln.
A room full of music nerds, looking for the right answer: the crowd at the weekly music quiz ‘Welcome to the Working Week’ at Posh Teckel (Photo: Donkey).

‘Meth Lab for Cutie’, ‘Stevie Wonderwall’, or ‘Keller Family’: these puns are all team names at the monthly music quiz ‘Sounds Familiar’ at Zur Glühlampe, a pub in Friedrichshain. It’s not about clever word play here, however, but about exceptional musical knowledge. Host Sascha stands behind the bar with a microphone and laptop, alternating between written and quick-fire rounds. For the latter, every team has a buzzer. Sascha doesn’t confine himself to simply playing the first few seconds of a song. Instead, he projects cover art, scenes from music videos, and lyrics translated by Google on the wall. It takes him up to 25 hours to prepare each month, he says.

“The Mother of all quizzes”

Every last Thursday of the month, the music quiz community congregates at Pörx in Kreuzberg. The two-storey kneipe is full. Even at the bar people are taking part in the quiz. Owners Sonja and Hermann and New Zealander Jacob have been organising this English-language quiz for almost eight years. For Sascha, the host at ‘Sounds Familiar’, this is the “mother of all quizzes”. It’s well organised and all rounds are written — helpful for slower contestants.

Those who don’t care for the smell of cigarette smoke can safely visit the weekly ‘Welcome to the Working Week” quiz at Neukölln’s Posh Teckel. The atmosphere is familial. Since 2018, host Dario Adamic runs an annual ranking of teams and players. But he also gives a chance to those who aren’t hardcore trivia nerds with some easier questions.

Music quizzes in German & English

  • Every 3rd Tuesday of the month: ‘Sounds Familiar’ at Zur Glühlampe, Lehmbruckstraße 1, Friedrichshain. Registration via Facebook
  • Every 1st Thursday of the month: ‘Musikquiz Moabit’, Kallasch&, Unionstraße 2, Moabit

Music quizzes in English

  • Every last Thursday of the month: Pörx, Fürbringerstraße 29, Kreuzberg
  • Every Sunday: ‘Welcome to the Working Week!’, Posh Teckel, Pflügerstraße 4, Neukölln
  • Every Wednesday: Madame Claude, Lübbener Straße 19, Kreuzberg

Translated by Aida Baghernejad


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