Austin, Nashville, or Another – Which Is the Music Capital of the World?

Most cities become well-known for at least one thing. New York is known for its yellow taxis and skyscrapers, Paris for its fine dining and romance, and London for its red double-decker buses and the Queen.  Austin, Nashville, and many other cities are no exception.

Each of these famous cities had a significant impact on the music industry. They are the birthplaces of world-famous artists (including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Mozart, to name a few) and musical genres. If you appreciate and love great music and its history, you should pack your bags and travel to these locations.

There is, however, more than one music capital around the world. Continue reading to learn about the world’s music capitals.

Nashville, Tennessee

Several of the leading names in country music received their big break in Nashville. It isn’t called “Music City” for nothing! This vibrant city is among the world’s most influential music cities, having produced music since its inception.

In the city where most famous musicians got their start, there are many places to see live music. It is well-known for producing famous country singers such as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Taylor Swift. While in town, you must see the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry!

Austin, Texas

people passing through a live music capital poster

Austin, Texas, offers a wide range of music from punk to jazz, and the locals are well-known for their outstanding live performances.

Austin, viewed as “The Live Music Capital of the World,” has the most music venues per capita in the United States. Hundreds of venues offer live music in genres such as blues, country, punk, jazz, and others every night.

Austin is also home to several well-known music festivals, including Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. Whatever genre you prefer, Austin has something for you!

These destinations have their unique reasons for being ideal for music enthusiasts, but Austin is the most popular and notable destination on the rise. It is becoming more well-known throughout the world for its delicious BBQ, eclectic culture, and worldly fine dining, as well as its wonderful music museums, outdoor live performances, record shops, and rising underground artists.

London, England

London is among the most renowned tourist destinations globally, with beautiful cityscapes and the birthplace of far too many music icons.

Music permeates the streets, clubs, subway, pubs, tower blocks, houses, and bedrooms of the United Kingdom’s capital. The city is a center of musical influence and excellence, from the Rolling Stones to Stormzy to Amy Winehouse and music schools to concert halls and venues.

If you are a Beatles fan, you must visit London at least once in your lifetime. Abbey Road is located in the city, and you can walk across the famous street and recreate the renowned album cover for yourself. It also houses Abbey Road Studios, where the band and other artists such as Pink Floyd recorded much of their defining music.

Other well-known London musicians include the Rolling Stones, Queen, and Led Zeppelin.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna Austria

Vienna has some of the world’s best orchestras if you enjoy classical music.

Vienna, home to more composers than any city in the world, is regarded as Europe’s classical music capital. Composers like Beethoven and Mozart spent their lives composing and studying music here.

You can pay homage to the numerous locations where Mozart composed his most famous songs by visiting the only one of Mozart’s residential areas that is still standing today. Get tickets to watch the Vienna Philharmonic, which is regarded as one of the world’s finest orchestras, if you want to experience classical music in Vienna.

Berlin, Germany

A tour of Berlin will reveal a wealth of musical history that you may not have been aware of.

Berlin is known for all those great performers and artists who have lived there, and it has an eclectic music scene. David Bowie lived in the city for many years and made numerous records there. There are tours available to see where he lived and drew inspiration.

On the one hand, its electronic/club music scene is widely regarded as the best in Europe. On the other hand, its classical music scene is thriving, and the Berlin Philharmonic, its symphony, is regarded as among the best worldwide.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is the motherland of rock ‘n’ roll and the residence of Elvis Presley. There’s also plenty of soul music to listen to while you eat some of the best Southern cuisines around.

Memphis birthed rock ‘n’ roll in the early 1950s. Other musical genres, such as gospel, blues, and soul, are also said to have originated in this Tennessee town.

Other than Memphis, here are the best cities to visit for blues music.

Otis Redding and B.B. King began their careers in Memphis, but the city is best known for being Elvis Presley’s birthplace. Graceland, his sprawling estate, and the iconic Sun Studio, where he recorded, are open to the public.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans Louisiana

New Orleans has created countless musical delights, from street musicians to Harry Connick Jr. and Louis Armstrong.

New Orleans is the homeland of jazz and remains a major music city. Jazz music has been the core of this Southern city since its inception in the early 20th century and remains so today.

On Bourbon Street, there are numerous renowned music clubs, festivals, lively street musicians (who will be the best street performers you’ll ever hear), and parades that bring the city to life with music. New Orleans gave birth to musicians such as Harry Connick Jr. and Louis Armstrong!

While its illustrious and world-renowned celebrities, football club, and tourist attractions may be the first things that come to people’s minds when asked to think of one thing they equate with these cities, they have also produced some of the world’s greatest and most influential musicians.

These places have a unique blend of culture, history, and soul that you won’t find anywhere else. There’s no wonder you’ll leave these musical cities feeling inspired, whether you’re strolling the streets where your favorite musicians once walked or seeing an incredible live performance.