Dieses Harmonische Melodeyen Büch=lein gehöret Eva Schumacher Sing Schuler in der springfielder Schule Geschrieben den 3ten Februarius Anno Domini 1803

Dieses Harmonische Melodeyen Büch=lein gehöret Eva Schumacher Sing Schuler in der springfielder Schule Geschrieben den 3ten Februarius Anno Domini 1803

Item Info

Item No: frkm032000
Title: Dieses Harmonische Melodeyen Büch=lein gehöret Eva Schumacher Sing Schuler in der springfielder Schule Geschrieben den 3ten Februarius Anno Domini 1803
Creation Date: 2/3/1803
Scripts/Text: Fraktur; German script; Roman script
Language: German
Weiser Number: 843
Physical Description: 24 p; 18mo; oblong format
Material: Stiff paper wrapper; laid paper; watercolor; ink; thread
Category: Tune Booklet (Notenbüchlein)
Media Type: Manuscripts
Source: Rare Book Department


Stiff paper wrapper

Biographical Note:

Most likely Eva Schumacher’s teacher (anonymous) at the Springfield School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania created this tune booklet dated February 3, 1803.

Full Title Translation:

This Harmonious Tune Booklet Belongs to Eva Schumacher, Singing Scholar in the Sprinfield School. Written the 3rd of February Anno Domini 1803

N.B. See also FLP-B8

N.B. Verso of title page shows that someone used an engraving stylus to trace Schumacher from another source, most likely from a Fraktur alphabet in a calligraphic manual.

Physical Description:

1 [2] 3-24


Scope and Content:

The entries for the hymn titles and melody incipits begin on page 3. The first stave introduces semitones (soprano clef; C Major; 2/4 ), and begins on the tonic note ascending in half steps to end at an interval of an octave and a fourth from the tonic note. This is followed on the same stave by intervals at the octave, major seventh, minor sixth, perfect fifth, major third, minor third, perfect fourth, major third, minor second, major second, perfect fifth, perfect fourth, major second, major second. The first 3 hymn titles and melody incipits are not numbered. Numbering begins on page 4 in a format of 4 hymn titles/melody incipits per page for twenty-one pages. The clef, key, and time signature are almost always given. Most of the copying is for the melody line only. However Numbers 21 and 40 are written out for both treble and bass. Ornamentation, and shorter note values such as eighth and sixteenth notes, plus accidentals are noted in a number of the tune incipits. Not often seen in a tune booklet, No. 48 Mein Schönster und Liebster Hr: is in F# Major or six #’s. There are a total of eighty-six hymn titles and melody incipits: Eighty are in one hand, and 6 in another. Sources for the hymns are the Marburg Hymnal and Die kleine geistliche Harfe der Kinder Zions.


Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. The text in Fraktur and Roman script is in the center of the document. At the tail of the page are two irregular tetragons arranged symmetrically on either side, and separated by a calligraphic-like flourish. Flanking the text on either side are plants with four-lobed flowers and buds. The leaves of the plant are lanceolate in shape.

Tunebooks in General:

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 (1755-1837). 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.

Associated Names: Schumacher, Eva
Provenance: Borneman, Henry S., 1870-1955
Schumacher, Eva


Henry S. Borneman. Pennsylvania German Booklplates. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania German Society, 1953, published as plate 22.

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, p. 147.

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

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.

Creation Place Town/Township: Creation Place Note:As per title page inscription
City/Town/Township:Springfield School, Springfield Township

Image Dimensions Width: 10.5 cm
ShelfMark: FLP Borneman Ms. 32
Creator Name: Anonymous - Decorator
Anonymous - Scrivener

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