Post by Frank Berger Post by email@example.com
What is the real difference between these? If they indicate the same thing, why are there two words for the same thing, seems redundant.
Interesting; we are certainly accustomed to combining them in different ways, e.g., liebeslieder but not liebesgesang, or sprechgesang but not sprechlied.
If either word can mean song, a couple of respondents at Frank's link are probably onto something in suggesting that of the two, only gesang means singing.
Compare gesang with sanger, as in sangerknaben.
Schubert wrote "Gesänge des Harfners aus "Wilhelm Meister" (op 12) and "Sieben Gesänge aus Walter Scotts "Fräulein am See" (op 52)
Brahms published "Lieder und Gesänge" (op 32) "Fünf Gesänge" (op 104) and "Vier ernste Gesänge".
In 1841 we got the "Das Lied der Deutschen" aka "Deutschlandlied". Later, we got the "Horst Wessel Lied", sadly.
It looks to me as if Schubert and Brahms made some distinction between the two, but that Lied has now become general. The Beatles sang Lieder:
as did Francoise Hardy: