A city’s rhythm comes as the result of the interactions between all these perceptions, impressions and social processes as they recur in time. A type of particularity that makes it very special and thus comparable to other cities. And just as each city has its own rhythm, it also has its own official or (usually) unofficial hymn. At the Ruhrstadion in Bochum, tens of thousands of football fans sing Herbert Grönemeyer’s “Bochum” with all their might:
DU BIST KEINE SCHÖNHEIT I VOR ARBEIT GANZ GRAU I LIEBST DICH OHNE SCHMINKE
BIST NE EHRLICHE HAUT I LEIDER TOTAL VERBAUT I ABER GERADE DAS MACHT DICH AUS
I KNOW YOU’RE NO BEAUTY | FOR WORK’S LINED YOUR FACE | YOU DON’T LIKE WEARING MAKE-UP
| YOU’RE AN HONEST PLACE | WHERE THE HUMAN RACE | ISN’T ALWAYS IN COMPETITION
Rarely have lyrics been so fitting in describing the atmosphere of a city. The ritual celebration of shared song not only reinforces the linguistic picture of this very special urban atmosphere, but also conveys it and carries it out into the world. Particularity means authenticity and identity by creating distinction from others. At the annual summer season finale of the Berlin Philharmonic at the Waldbühne outdoor amphitheatre, the audience of 20,000 sings along heartily when the conductor raises the baton for the climactic moment: “Das ist die Berliner Luft, Luft, Luft…”.