From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Schlager (German Schlager, literally "hitter" or, more loosely translated, "a hit") is a style of popular music that is prevalent in northern Europe, in particular Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and the countries of the former Soviet Union, but also to a lesser extent in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Typical schlager tracks are either sweet, highly sentimental ballads with a simple, catchy melody or light pop tunes. Its lyrics typically center on love and relationships, and feelings. The northern variant of schlager, most notably in Finland, has taken elements from Nordic and Slavic folk songs, with texts tending towards melancholia and elegiac themes. Musically the Schlager has some similarities to other styles like Easy Listening-Music.
The style has been frequently represented at the Eurovision Song Contest, and has been popular since it started in 1956, even though it is increasingly replaced by other pop music styles. While at one time music of this style was also fairly popular in the UK and USA, due to the constant change of fashion in popular culture, since the 1970s schlager has fallen out of favour.