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”.  Today's use and popularization of the term came about in the second half of the 20th century and goes back to Wolf Biermann .  
Relationship to songwriting and chansons
The singer-songwriter (English) in Bob Dylan's understanding 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.
The songwriter genre contains a multitude of different musical and textual styles due to the individual form of expression:
- the storyteller: for example Gerhard Schöne , Reinhard Mey , Manfred Maurenbrecher , Klaus Hoffmann , Reinhard Lakomy , Achim Reichel , Ludwig Hirsch , Dieter Wiesmann , Mani Matter , Peter Reber , Ulrik Remy
- lyrical settings: Erich Schmeckenbecher , Thomas Friz , Hans-Eckardt Wenzel , Barbara Thalheim , Helmut Debus , Herman van Veen , Roland Zoss , Christof Stählin
- Dialect singers: Knut Kiesewetter , Fiede Kay , Fredl Fesl , Thomas Felder , Zither-Manä , Mani Matter , Gölä , Roland Zoss , Willy Michl , Hubert von Goisern , Hans Söllner , Rainhard Fendrich , Berner Troubadours , Georg Ringsgwandl
- Socially critical and political singers and composers : Wolf Biermann , Franz Josef Degenhardt , Dietrich Kittner , Hannes Wader , Konstantin Wecker , Klaus the Geiger , Bettina Wegner , Dieter Süverkrüp , Hans Söllner , Walter Mossmann , Hanns Dieter Hüsch , Willi Resetarits , Georg Danzer , Götz Widmann , Rüdiger Bierhorst , Arik Brauer
- Songwriters with humorous to ironic topics: Rainald Grebe , Georg Kreisler , Bodo Wartke , Ulrich Roski , Schobert and Black , Funny van Dannen , Wiglaf Droste , Horst Koch , Insterburg & Co. , Hans Scheibner
- Christian songwriters: Fritz Baltruweit , Martin Gotthard Schneider , Peter Janssens , Manfred Siebald , Clemens Bittlinger , Hella Heizmann , Samuel Harfst , Siegfried Fietz (see also New Spiritual Song )
- Pop artists with a smooth transition to German rock : Stefan Stoppok , Gerhard Gundermann , Wolfgang Michels , Wolfgang Ambros
- Foolishness, joke and slapstick : Mike Krüger , Gottlieb Wendehals , Jürgen von der Lippe , Frank Zander
- Songwriting groups: Monsters of Liedermaching , Joint Venture , Pension Volkmann , Simon & Jan
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 German-speaking countries. 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.  
- Robert von Zahn (Ed.): Folk & songwriters on the Rhine and Ruhr . Agenda, Münster 2002, ISBN 978-3-89688-125-0 .
- Lutz Kirchenwitz: Folk, Chanson and Songwriter in the GDR . Dietz, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-320-01807-8 .
- Stephan Hammer: Mani Matter and the songwriters. On the concept of the 'songwriter' and on Matter's art of the author's song . Peter Lang, Bern et al. 2010, ISBN 978-3-0343-0307-1 .
- Marc Sygalski: The “political song” in the Federal Republic of Germany between 1964 and 1989 using the example of Franz Josef Degenhardt , Hannes Wader and Reinhard Mey . (= eScripta. Göttingen series of publications for student German studies. Volume 1, ), eScripta, Göttingen 2011, . Master's thesis at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen , Seminar for German Philology, 2011, escripta.de (PDF; 1 MB; 177 pages).
- Simone Burel : Politische Lieder der 68er, a linguistic analysis of communicative texts , published by the Institute for German Language (= works and materials on the German language, Volume 46), IDS, Mannheim 2013, ISBN 978-3-937241-42-5 ( Simone Dissertation at the University of Heidelberg 2013).
- Thomas Rothschild: Songwriter: 23 portraits . Fischer paperback, 1980, ISBN 9783596229598
- Dietmar Elflein: In Germany After The War: Broadening the Discourse on the Liedermacher. In: Isabelle Marc (Hrsg.), Stuart Green (Hrsg.): The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place. Routledge, 2016, ISBN 9781317016069, S. 109–122
- David Robb (Hrsg.): Protest Song in East and West Germany since the 1960s. Camden House, 2007, ISBN 9781571132819
- Development of songwriting 1 - From the end of the war to Waldeck Castle in western Germany
- Development of songwriting 2 - development from 1970
- Songwriter in the German text archive
- Andreas Rosenfelder: Germany's songwriter - word killer ahoy! In: FAZ , January 17, 2006
- It was you . In: Die Zeit , No. 21/1981
- Matthias Konzett (Hrsg.): Encyclopedia of German Literature. Routledge, 2015, ISBN 9781135941222, S. 653
- Looking to the right 2003 ( Memento of March 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
- Constitutional Protection 2005 of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, (PDF) p. 64