Dieses=Sing=Noten Büchlein gehöret Sussana Hackmännin. Sing schüler in der Tieffronner Schule d 6ten September Im Jahr unseres Herrn Jesu Christi 1799

Dieses=Sing=Noten  Büchlein gehöret Sussana Hackmännin. Sing schüler in der Tieffronner Schule d 6ten September Im Jahr unseres Herrn Jesu Christi 1799

Item Info

Item No: frkm028000
Title: Dieses=Sing=Noten Büchlein gehöret Sussana Hackmännin. Sing schüler in der Tieffronner Schule d 6ten September Im Jahr unseres Herrn Jesu Christi 1799
Creation Date: 9/6/1799
Scripts/Text: Fraktur; German script
Language: German
Weiser Number: 846
Physical Description: 34 p; 18mo; oblong format
Material: Laid paper; paper wrapper; watercolor; black and red ink; thread
Category: Tune Booklet (Notenbüchlein)
Media Type: Manuscripts
Source: Rare Book Department


Stiff Paper wrapper

Biographical Note:

The decorator/scriveners of Borneman Ms. 28 remain unknown to us. However, it is worthwhile noting that, unlike Johann Adam Eyer, the writers did not include any musical instruction, only titles and melodies to hymn tunes taken from both Die kleine geistliche Harfe, as well as from the Marburg Hymnal. Die kleine geistliche Harfe was the first Mennonite hymnbook produced in America, prepared by a committee of the Franconia Mennonite Conference in Eastern Pennsylvania, and used in that conference district as the official hymnbook for over a century. It was printed at Germantown in 1803 by Michael Billmeyer. The German Lutherans of Pennsylvania imported their first hymnals from Europe. The most common were the Marburg Hymnal of 1711 and the Halle Hymnal of 1703. Christoph Saur printed six American editions of the Marburg Hymnal from 1757 to 1777, which was used by many other Pietistic groups including the Mennonites.

Full Title Translation:

This Tune Booklet for Singing Belongs to Sussana Hackmänn, Singing Scholar at the Deep Run School. 6 September in the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1799

N. B. See also FLP B-14.

Physical Description:

1 [2-4] 5-34

Scope and Content:

There seem to be several hands that entered titles and tune incipits, titles only, and/or tunes only. The first hand numbered and wrote twenty-five titles and tune incipits in German script and black gall ink in a non-alphabetical order, all in the key of C major, without time signature nor clef sign. The second hand chose to write twenty unnumbered titles and tune incipits in alphabetical order for A, B, and D in black gall ink and German script indicating possibly the time signature, and/or clef sign--difficult to tell if it is a 2/4 time signature or the alto clef. The third hand wrote thirteen unnumbered titles and tune incipits in black gall ink in a non-alphabetical order; then 8 unnumbered with titles only; and finally eleven unnumbered with titles and tune incipits indicating the clef, key signatures, but no time signature. The fourth hand, writing in both red and black gall ink, penned thirty-six unnumbered titles and tune incipits plus three titles only in non-alphabetical order, showing both clef, and key signature, but no time signature. A fifth hand filled in the tune incipits for the last three titles, some notes of which appear to be done in shaker-like notation. This makes a total of one hundred and eight titles with tune incipits, and 8 with titles only.  N. B. Indicating notes only without time signature would not be unusual as the tune metrics would be derived from the verses.

The tune booklet was made for Sussana Hackmänn presumably by her school teacher, who remains unknown to us, on September 6, 1799. The title page mentions that she was a singing scholar, hence the booklet.  The name Catarina Hunspergern [Catarina Hunsperger]. is inscribed at the head of the inside cover with black gall ink in German script.   This, along with the observation that several hands entered tunes and titles, supports the probability that the  tune booklet had several owners.

The idea of creating such a booklet to teach children the rudiments of musical notation so that they could learn to sing the melodies used in the hymns at church service seems to have been Johann Adam Eyer’s (1755-`837). The hymnals used by their parents contained no music, but only the hymn verses with the indication “Mel.” and the title of the hymn tune to which the congregation would sing the text. The metrics, and topic of the poetry usually determined which melodies were chosen.

Eyer’s concept was a practical and useful one, and inspired many other teachers to create tune booklets for their students in which only the melody line of frequently used hymn tunes was written out. Each scholar had a booklet, usually 10.2 x 16.5 cm in size. The teacher created a title page describing the purpose of the booklet, and containing the name of the student, the school attended, and the date of the title’s creation. The empty spaces on the title page were filled in with flowers, birds, and other elements common to Pennsylvania German decorated Fraktur. These titles are absolutely beautiful, and probably inspired the singing scholar to greater endeavors as he learned how to read music and sing the tunes that either the instructor or he would copy into the booklet.

The “singing schools” or singing classes flourished in Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery, Chester and Berks Counties, Pennsylvania from about 1787 to 1845. Singing became a part of the school curriculum, and “singing schools” became popular.


The title is hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. Written in red and black gall ink, the text is in Fraktur and German script and placed within a circle in the center of the document. The circle is flanked by four stemmed symmetrical multi-petal flowers drawn in a birds-eye view. The flowers are outlined in black, giving them a three-dimensional appearance. The simple one-line border encircles the title page.

Associated Names: Hackmänn, Sussana
Provenance: Borneman, Henry Stauffer, 1870-1955
Hackmänn, Sussana


Ausbundt "C. L." Basel ?:  von Mechel ?, ca. 1790.

Mary Jane Lederach Hershey. "The Notenbüchlein Tradition in Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Community Schools" in Cory M. Amsler, ed., Bucks County Fraktur. Kutztown, Pa.: Pennsylvania German Society, 1999, 141.

Die kleine geistliche Harfe der Kinder Zions, oder auserlesene geistreiche Gesänge allen wahren heilsbegierigen Säuglingen der Weisheit, insonderheit aber allen Christlichen Gemeinden des Herrn zum Dienst und Gebrauch mit Fleiss zusammen getragen, und in gegenwärtiger Form und Ordnung gestellt, nebst einem dreyfachen Register. Erste Auflage. Auf Verordnung der Mennonisten Gemeinde. Germantaun: Gedruckt bey Michael Billmeyer, 1803.

Die kleine geistliche Harfe. Retrieved 20 September from Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Die_Kleine_geistliche_Harfe

Marburger Gesang=Buch zur Uebung der Gottseligkeit in 649 Christlichen und Trostreichen Psalmen und Gesängen Hrn. D. Martin Luthers. und anderer Gottseliger Lehrer, Ordentlich in XII. Theile verfasset, Und mit nöthigen Registern auch einer Verzeichniß versehen, unter welche Titul die im Anhang befindlichen Lieder gehörig: Auch zur Beförderung des so Kirchen= als Privat= Gottesdienstes, Mit erbaulichen Morgen= Abend = Buß= Beicht= und Communion=Gebätlein vermehret. Germanton, Gedruckt und zu finden bey Christoph Saur, 1762.

Ein Unpartheyisches Gesang=Buch enthaltend Geistreiche Lieder und Psalmen, zum Allegemeinen Gebrauch des Wahren Gottesdienstes. Auf Begehren der Brüderschaft der Menonisten Gemeinen aus vielen Liederbüchern gesammelt. Mit einem dreyfachen Register. zum Erstenmal ans Licht gestellt. Lancaster: Gedruckt bey Johann Albrecht, 1804.

Frederick S. Weiser. “IAE SD, the Story of Johann Adam Eyer (1755-1837)” in Ebbes fer Alle-Ebber, Ebbes fer Dich. Breinigsville, Pa.: Pennsylvania German Society, 1980, 437-506.

Creation Place Town/Township: Creation Place Note:As per title page inscription
Region/County:Bucks County
City/Town/Township:Deep Run School, Bedminster Township

Image Dimensions Width: 10.2 cm
ShelfMark: FLP Borneman Ms. 28
Creator Name: Anonymous - Decorator
Anonymous - Scrivener

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