Hans Mayer was a literary scholar, writer and musicologist. He studied law, political science, history and philosophy and gained his PhD in political science in 1930. During the war, he lived in Geneva, working as a researcher. After the war, he became a cultural editor for German news agency DENA. In 1965, Mayer became Professor of Comparative Literature in Hannover, where he remained until his retirement in 1973. He continued writing on music and literature in works such as Widersprüche einer europäischen Literatur (1984), Der Turm von Babel (1991) and Gelebte Musik – Erinnerungen (1999).