P.J. Tonger

A.J. Tonger, founder
P.J. Tonger
early cover 1877
early cover 1870s
decorative cover 1895
cover 1900
cover 1928



Tonger of Cologne was the main publisher in the densely populated Rhine-Ruhr industrial conurbation, with a population growing to 10 million in the 20th century, including the cities Dusseldorf, Cologne and Essen. Its regional competitors were F.W. Arnold of Elberfeld and Schwann of Dusseldorf.

The firm was founded by Augustin Josef Tonger (1801-1881) in 1848 in Cologne, with the aim of maintaining the local choral tradition, which was particularly active in the carnival season (Feb-Mar).
Under his son P.J.Tonger, from 1869 the firm was very productive, publishing nearly 2000 works by the end of the century. Its catalog included many genres, mainly of light music: piano music, especially dances, violin, solo songs and male voice choir songs. By 1900 it was the main music publisher in the Rhineland, only surpassed by Schott of Mainz, and had outlived local competitors Joh. Fr. Weber, M. Schloss and Alt & Uhrig. The company has operated as a family firm in both publishing and retailing to the present.

Tonger's string works were by Gustav Jensen and Hermann Schröder (violin), John William Harmston, (cello) and Hermann Ritter (viola). Piano works were by Hermann Necke, August Cahnbley, and Littescheid, among others. Some more famous composers appeared: Josef Gabriel Rheinberger, Lachner, Wilhelm Taubert, and Ferdinand Hiller. Many of the songs were on local themes such as the carnival and the pleasures of the Rhine, in the local dialect.


Imprints, Addresses, Agencies


  • P.J. Tonger
  • Peter Joseph Tonger


  • Cologne/Koln/Coln
  • Rodenkirchen (1934)

Engraving and Printing Partners

Plate Numbers

  • The letters P.J.T. #### were usually included as part of the plate numbering scheme. Dates in italics are estimated.
Plate Composer Work Year
0048 Necke Emma Walzer, Op.5
0181 Bohm 3 Stücke, Op.257 (No.1)
0369 Abt 3 Lieder, Op.509 1877
0831 Becker Kleine melodiöse Concert-Vorträge, Op.3 (No.1) 1877 or 1882
1152 Sabathil Frühlings Symphonei, Op.71 1896
2387 Dürrner Lieder, Op.3 (No.2)
2387 Marschner 5 Lieder, Op.101 (No.5)
2387 Stigelli Die schönsten Augen
2387 Meyerbeer Komm, du schönes Fischermädchen
2387 Marschner 6 Liebeslieder von Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Op.155 (No.3)
3030 Jensen 5 Kleine Vortragsstücke, Op.8 1883
3036 Bungart Präludien-Album für Orgel oder Harmonium
4033 Bohm 3 Stücke, Op.257 (No.3) 1887
4033 Behr Traumwogen 1887
5059 Wüllner Nachtgruß
8204 Reger Lyric Andante (violin and piano) 1934
8208 Reger Lyric Andante (full score) 1934

Sources Consulted

Authority Control