Cover band

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Cover band is the name for a music group that mainly plays pieces by other, mostly famous groups ( covers ).

A covered piece can sound from being performed true to the original to newly arranged and interpreted in-house. Since the interpreter has only recently played a central role, the phenomenon of cover bands is largely limited to pop and rock music . With the increasing popularity of cover bands, certain categories have established themselves in addition to the quality-oriented style of play. Top 40 cover bands , revival bands and tribute bands are generally known in this genre .

The performance of pieces by other bands is usually subject to payment. A corresponding amount must be paid to GEMA (depending on the size of the event) . In the case of publication on a phonogram, if the material is not played 1 to 1 but interpreted ( edited ), the publisher's approval must be given.

Top 40 cover band / party band

Most cover bands fall under these terms. Their main focus is on the mass of well-known songs, which are mainly performed at city and street festivals, club celebrations and dance evenings. From a musical point of view, authenticity is not always as important here as is the case with tribute bands and revival bands.

Corresponding to the purpose, the cover bands have less artistic, but more gastronomically oriented presentation practices. In addition to the music, simple entertainment activities (singing along, clapping, jokes, shows, etc.) are used to encourage viewers to linger longer and thus to consume more (beverages). In order to facilitate the finding of a consensus, professional cover bands operate within a concept that is communicated to the organizer in advance. An additional effect can be an image transfer of the band to the recorded event, which in the best case results in a positive perception of the entire event.

Revival and tribute band

The term tribute band includes all cover bands that are exclusively dedicated to one topic or one performer. With the most authentic musical presentation possible, stage wardrobe, instruments and show interludes, such cover bands try to create the illusion of the audience that they are attending a concert of the original formation. The difference between revival bands and tribute bands is actually that revival bands only play performers who have either died or who no longer exist as a formation. Tribute bands, on the other hand, copy performers who still give concerts themselves. The boundaries between the two genres, however, are fluid in everyday language. Often the popularity of the original group suggests that the cover band has a correspondingly good marketability.

Some tribute bands also claim to incorporate their own improvisations into their concerts. Unlike cover bands, these are not expressions of their own style. Rather, the tribute band's own improvisations try to sound as if they could have come from the role models themselves.

Examples of well-known cover bands


  • Michael Hannan: Australian Guide to Careers in Music . UNSW Press, 2003 (p. 50)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Cover association Duden