Item No: frkm035000
Title: Dieses Sing=Noten=Büchlein gehöret Isaac Grobb fleissigem Singer in der Vincenter Schule in Chester County geschrieben d 21t februarÿ 1810
Fraktur; German script
32 p; 18mo; oblong format
Stiff wrapper; laid paper; ink; watercolor; tempera; thread
Letter fragments (upper halves P A ?); inner margins at tail
Tune Booklet (Notenbüchlein)
Rare Book Department
Tune booklets were usually created for students by their school teachers.
Full Title Translation: This Tune Booklet for Singing Belongs to Isaac Grobb, Industrious Singer at the Vincent School in Chester County Written 21 February 1810
N. B. See also FLP B-48.
[1-2] 3  5-25 [26-32]
Scope and Content:
This tune booklet was made for Isaac Grobb February 21, 1810 by his school teacher while he was a student and singing scholar in the Vincent School in Chester County Pennsylvania. The title page is on page 3. The first stave of the booklet, located on page 5, is devoted to rudimentary musical instruction. Semitones are introduced (soprano clef; C Major; 2/4) beginning on the leading tone and ascending in half steps to end at an interval of an octave and a fourth from the tonic note. Intervals at the third follow stepwise from the tonic to the octave. Following this are intervals at the octave, major seventh, major sixth, perfect fifth, major third, minor third, perfect fourth, major third, minor third, major second, perfect fifth, perfect fourth, major second, major second. Hymn titles along with the descant incipits begin on the second stave, and are numbered. Thereafter the hymn title/music incipit entries are four to a page, noting melodic line in soprano clef with key and time signature. The notes appear mostly in half note values. A hurried calligraphic flourish at the end of each stave indicates that the melody line continues. Passing notes are sometimes added, but there is very little ornamentation indicated. The sources for the hymns include the Marburg Hymnal; Die kleine geistliche Harfe der Kinder Zions; and Das kleine Davidische Psalterspiel Der Kinder Zions. There are 80 hymn titles/music incipits.
The decorative elements of this tune booklet closely resemble those used by Johann Adam Eyer, and his brother Johann Friedrich.
Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. It appears that the decorative elements were drawn first as the text—in Fraktur and German script—is crowded into the central area of the title page. Two very colorful birds, located at the tail of the page, flank the text. Above each one of them is a straight-stemmed leafy stalk from which three symmetrical mushroom-like flowers are growing. At the head of the page in the center is a crowned angel, who faces left. Holding a long naturally-blown horn, he sounds the trumpet while seemingly gliding along on the flower, which he holds in his left hand . The entire document is enclosed by a plainly colored border.
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.
“Johann Adam Eyer” in Cory M. Amsler ed. Bucks County Fraktur. Kutztown, Pa.: Pennsylvania German Society, 1999, 256-261.
"Johann Adam Eyer" in Russell D. and Corinne P. Earnest Papers for Birth Dayes: Guide to the Fraktur Artists and Scriveners. East Berlin, Pa.: Russell D. Earnest Associates, 1997, 2nd ed., vol. 1, 256-260 (biography).
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, 139.
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.
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.
James G. Pennypacker Invoice B9415 (May 31, 1958), 310c, by H J Heaney, 2 June 1958.
Pennypacker Auction Center (May 30-31, 1958) 310c, 37.
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
Image Dimensions Width:
FLP Borneman Ms. 35
Anonymous - Decorator
Anonymous - Scrivener