Adolf Kunz

Musikalische Volksbibliothek cover
decorative cover
decorative cover with Jugendstil design
decorative cover
decorative cover



This firm published popular music from 1886 in Berlin. There was already a trend, created by the mass market and improved printing and distribution technology, for cheap editions, as with Breitkopf and Hartel's Volksausgabe (1876), but Kunz revolutionized the market with its low-priced Musikalische Volksbibliothek. They brought in the era of Pfennig-Musik, a vast collection of short pieces priced at an impossibly low 10 pfennigs each. Competitors could not afford to go below 20 pfennigs (as with Carl Rühle's 20 Pfennige Musikalische Bibiliothek) per item. By 1914 there were 5000 items in the catalog and sales were over 30 million copies. Kunz also collected its items in 'Mappe' (folders).

Imprints, Addresses, Agencies


  • Adolf Kunz


Berlin Neue Konigsstrasse 19

Plate Numbers

  • The letters A.K.V.B.#### were usually included as part of the plate numbering scheme. (Not always, of course; the early- 1891- Lieder-Mappe publication used at least sometimes A. ### K.)
    Dates in italics are estimated.
Plate Composer Work Year
0161 Krell, E. Schmetterlinge, Op.40 1891
1023 Blumenberg Die Heilige Christnacht, Op.167
3573-5 Bériot Air with Variations No.8, Op.42
4259 Erichson An den Ufern des Don, Op.65

Sources Consulted

  • HMB
  • Geschichte des Deutschen Buchhandels ed. Geiser Frankfurt, 2003 Band 1 Das Kaiserreich 1871-1918 Chp 1 Der Musikalienhandel (Georg Jager) (pp7-61)