song writer

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Typical example of a songwriter: Reinhard Mey (2014)

A singer in German-speaking countries is referred to as a singer-songwriter who has mostly written or originally edited the music and texts of his program himself. He accompanies himself musically, but sometimes also performs with an accompanying band .

To the subject

The term songwriter appeared occasionally long before the 20th century, for example the poet Anna Louisa Karsch (1722–1791) described herself in a letter as a “songwriter”. The current use and popularization of the term did not emerge until the second half of the 20th century and goes back to Wolf Biermann .

Relationship to songwriting and chansons

The singer-songwriter (English) as understood by Bob Dylan is to be distinguished from the term songwriter mainly regionally ( North American area) and stylistically. In addition to the German songwriter, there is also the Chansonnier (French), the Cantautore (Italian) or Cantautor (Spanish) and the Bard (Russian). As a rule, the content relates to the singer's world of experience and is personal or political.


Because of its individual form of expression, the songwriter genre contains a multitude of different musical and textual styles:

Zither-Manä (2010)

It is typical for songwriters that they belong to several of these categories at the same time. To compose and sing z. B. Reinhard Mey and Manfred Maurenbrecher both socially critical and humorous songs.


Since the 1990s, a new form, the so-called "song making", has developed in the German-speaking region. The representatives of this genre clearly set themselves apart from the classical songwriter in terms of text and music. One of the founders of the songwriting scene is the Bonn songwriting duo Joint Venture (1993–2000, consisting of Götz Widmann and Martin “Kleinti” Simon ).

Further representatives of this genre are the Monsters of Liedermaching (since 2003).

Right-wing extremist songwriter

From the 1960s onwards, political songwriters were almost exclusively assigned to the left spectrum, but right-wing to right-wing extremist songwriters have also been around since the late 1980s . According to information from Blick nach Rechts , the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution listed the following "right-wing extremist songwriters" in an internal study in 2003: Jörg Hähnel , Veit , Annett and Michael Müller and Frank Rennicke . Some of these are due to sedition convicted and imprisoned, some of her recordings are indexed . But some of them have now turned their backs on the scene.


Web links

Wiktionary: Songwriter  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Songwriter in the German text archive
  2. a b Andreas Rosenfelder: Germany's songwriter - word killer ahoy! In: FAZ , January 17, 2006
  3. It was you . In: Die Zeit , No. 21/1981
  4. ^ Matthias Konzett (ed.): Encyclopedia of German Literature . Routledge, 2015, ISBN 9781135941222 , p. 653
  5. Looking to the right 2003 ( Memento from March 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  6. ^ Constitutional Protection Report 2005 of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, (PDF) p. 64