Here are some songbooks I have recently found in antiquarian bookshops. They were all published between 1880 and 1900 and collections like these - for students respectively schools - with what was the standard repertoire at that time were quite common. I always get the impression that every editor was recycling the same songs over and over again and in the end everybody must have known them by heart.
- Gustav Damm (i. e. Theodor Steingräber), Kommersliederbuch. 132 Vaterlands-, Studenten-, Volks- und humoristische Lieder mit beigefügten Melodien. Neue Auflage, Leipzig, Steingräber, n. d. [first edition 1895, see Hofmeister XIX, Januar 1895, p. 15] (= Edition Steingräber Nr. 48)
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- Gustav Damm (i. e. Theodor Steingräber), Liederbuch für Schulen. 168 ein-, zwei- und mehrstimmige Lieder. 11. Stereotypausgabe in neuer Orthographie, Hannover, Steingräber, n. d. [early 1880s; Hofmeister XIX: 8th ed., May 1879, p. 156; 17. ed., March 1889, p. 117]
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Gustav Damm was a pseudonym of Theodor Steingräber (1830-1904). He had written an instruction book for piano - first published in 1868 - that became immensely popular and was reprinted regularly. In the late 70s he started a music publishing house (information from Edition Steingräber - History). Even though music for the piano made up the greatest part of his program he also tried out other genres. His Kommersliederbuch is quite similar to Max Friedländer's Commersbuch that had been published some years earlier (see Old Songbooks, No. 11, in this blog). Songbooks for students were always in good demand but apparently Damm's attempt was apparently not that successful.
On the other hand his Liederbuch für Schulen seems to have been very widely used in schools. It was first published in the 1870s and then regularly republished in new editions. This here is the 11th edition that came out in the early 1880s. It remained on the market until the 1920s when a 35th edition with 188 songs became available.
Apparently Steingräber had no time to write four-part arrangements for these songs and therefore outsourced this task to Robert Schwalm (1845-1912), a composer, arranger, editor and choirmaster who worked in Königsberg since 1875 (information from Nordostdeutsche Komponisten, Edition Romana Hamburg). Schwalm had already edited other works for Steingräber publishing house, mostly piano music and he remained a regular contributor to his program (information found via Hofmeister XIX).
- Robert Schwalm, 123 Volkslieder und Gesänge zum Schulgebrauch in Mittel- und Oberklassen. Der 18. Auflage des "Liederbuchs für Schulen von Gustav Damm" entnommen und für gemischten Chor bearbeitet. Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Verfügungen der kgl. Regierungen und Schulkollegien über Schullieder-Sammlungen, Leipzig, Steingräber, n. d. [1889, see Hofmeister XIX, September 1889, p. 371]
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Songbooks for schools were a lucrative field and therefore Schwalm did one himself, but of course for another publisher. This Schulliederbuch first came out in 1890 and remained in print at least until 1913 when a 9th edition was published. I have here the 4th edition from 1899:
- Robert Schwalm, Schulliederbuch. 188 ein- und zweistimmige Lieder nebst einer kurzgefaßten Chorgesangschule. Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Verfügung der Königl. Regierungen und Schulkollegien über Schullieder-Sammlungen. 4. Auflage, Halle, Gesenius, 1899; first edition with 183 songs listed in Hofmeister, Oktober 1890, p. 442; 3rd edition, November 1896, p. 576)
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It should be added that Schwalm also edited another collection of four-part arrangements for schools, the Chorsammlung zum Unterricht an Schulen that was first announced in Hofmeisters in April 1887 (p. 192). That one sold apparently very well. I have the 14. edition published - posthumously - in the 1920s. According to the title-page this was the "111.-116. Tausend". In fact successful songbooks for schools were most welcome as a source of safe and steady income for both its editors and their publishers.