Rudolph Hoch Sein Noten buch, Geschrieben den 5ten Maÿ im Jahr unsers Herrn 1808

Rudolph Hoch Sein Noten buch, Geschrieben den 5ten Maÿ im Jahr unsers Herrn 1808

Item Info

Item No: frkm034000
Title: Rudolph Hoch Sein Noten buch, Geschrieben den 5ten Maÿ im Jahr unsers Herrn 1808
Creation Date: 5/3/1808
Scripts/Text: Fraktur; German script
Language: German
Physical Description: 182 p; 18 mo; oblong format
Category: Tune Booklet (Notenbüchlein)
Media Type: Manuscripts
Source: Rare Book Department


Quarter leather with decorated boards

Biographical Note:

Tune booklets were generally created by the school teacher for their students.

Full Title Translation:

Rudolph Hoch His Tune Booklet, Written the 3rd of May in the Year of Our Lord 1808.

N. B. See also FLP B-47.

Physical Description:

[1-5] 6 [7] 8-95 [96-103 staves only] [104-182]

Scope and Content:

This tune booklet was created for Rudolph Hoch by his school teacher on May 3, 1808. There is no rudimentary musical instruction included in the booklet. 43 hymns tunes are notated across the open page in whole phrases. Both the g-clef, as well as the soprano, alto, and bass clefs are used. Key and time signatures are given for each tune. Musical examples are included for both male and female voices in two, three, and four voices.  The hymns are taken from both the Marburg Hymnal, as well as Das kleine Davidische Harfenspiel Der Kinder Zions. The entries end on page 95. Pages 96-182 are blank.

There are a few instances where the verse or multiple verses are written out beneath the tune: See Freund vor Taussend auserkohren (pp. 70-71); Mein Hertze las Dich Jesu leiten (pp. 78-79). Having both the whole tune phrase to the verse, and the verse(s) itself notated enabled the singing scholar to sing directly from the book without having to depend on his/her memory for music or text.

Title Description:

Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. The text in Fraktur and German script appears at the head of the document. Rudolph Hoch is written in Fraktur using red ink, and gold highlights, and ornamented freely with calligraphic flourishes. Several alternating red and black horizontal lines frame the text above and below.

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: Hoch, Rudolph
Provenance: Hoch, Rudolph
Yoder, Levi E.


Das kleine Davidische Psalterspiel Der Kinder Zions, Von alten und Neuen auserlesenen Geistes=Gesängen; Allen wahren Heyls=begierigen Säuglingen der Weisheit, Insonderheit aber Denen Gemeinden des HErrn, zum Dienst und Gebrauch mit Fleiß zusammen getragen, Und in gegenwärtig=beliebiger Form und Ordnung / Nebst einem doppelten darzu nützlichen und der Materien halben nöthigen Register, ans Licht gegeben. Germantown Gedruckt bey Christoph Saur, 1744.

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. 141.

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 County: Creation Place Note:Based on related examples

Image Dimensions Width: 10 cm
ShelfMark: FLP Borneman Ms. 34
Creator Name: Anonymous - Decorator
Anonymous - Scrivener

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