Dieses Harmonische Melodeyen büchlein gehöret Anna Lädermännin Sing schuler in der Tieffronner Schule geschrieben den 12ten Januarius Anno 1812

Dieses Harmonische Melodeyen büchlein gehöret Anna Lädermännin Sing schuler in der Tieffronner Schule geschrieben den 12ten Januarius Anno 1812

Item Info

Item No: frkm036000
Title: Dieses Harmonische Melodeyen büchlein gehöret Anna Lädermännin Sing schuler in der Tieffronner Schule geschrieben den 12ten Januarius Anno 1812
Creation Date: 1/12/1812
Scripts/Text: Fraktur; German script
Language: German
Weiser Number: 194
Physical Description: 180 pp; 18mo; oblong format
Material: leather; pressed board; marbled paper; wove paper; watercolor; tempera; red & black ink; thread
Category: Tune Booklet (Notenbüchlein)
Media Type: Manuscripts
Source: Rare Book Department

Accompanying Materials Laid or Tipped In:

Wove paper fragment: 1818; 30 in a circle (crossed out); 36 in a circle; 1036 in a rectangle.


One-quarter leather with marbled paper boards.

Biographical Note:

David Kulp (1777-1834), formerly known as the Bucks County Brown Leaf Artist, studied under Johann Adam Eyer (1755-1855) from 1782-1786, and like him became a school teacher. He taught at the Deep Run and Plumstead schools from 1801 to ca. 1819. Kulp had a copybook that he kept from 1806-1822, and challenged anyone to exceed his writing skills: “David Kulp, his hand and pen, Beet [sic] it if you can.” As a Fraktur artist and penman, he designed and wrote with controlled architectural precision, but never lost the natural artistic flow of the work.

Full Title Translation:

This Harmonious Tune Booklet Belongs to Anna Lädtermännin Singing Scholar in the Deep Run School Written 12 January in the Year 1812.

N. B. See also FLP B-1036.


Physical Description:

[1-6] 7 [title page] [8] 9 [10] 11 [12] 13 [14] 15 [16] 17 [18] 19 [20] 21 [22] 23 [24] 25 [26] 27 [28] 29 [30] 31 [32] 33 [34] 35 [36] 37 [38] 39 [40] 41 [42] 43* [44] 45 [46] 47 [48] [49 staves only] [50] [51 staves only] [52-180]

Scope and Content:

This tune booklet was created for Anna Lädtermänn by her teacher David Kulp on January 12, 1812 while she was a singing scholar at the Deep Run School in Bedminster Township, Bucks County. Her name Anna Lädtermännen 32 is inscribed on the upper right portion of the page head of the front fly-leaf. There is no rudimentary musical instruction included. There are 48 unnumbered hymn titles with music incipits in soprano clef formatted four to a page—written only on the recto side of the leaf, leaving the verso side blank. Key signatures are indicated, but no time signatures are given. Note values are given mostly in half and whole notes. There is some ornamentation shown in quarter and eighth notes. A short squiggle at the end of each line indicates the melody and text continue. Signs are given where the melody line is to repeat. Following the hymn and music incipit entries are two pages of hand-ruled staves formatted four to a page—written only on the recto side of the leaf, leaving the verso side blank. Pages 52-180 are blank. Most of the hymns are taken from the Marburg Hymnal.

N. B. It is known that David Kulp made four tune booklets featuring a disembodied angel decorative element commonly called a Sophia in January, 1812.


Title Description:

The title page is hand-drawn; hand-colored; and hand-lettered. The center features a heart surmounted by a Sophia angel. Inside the heart is the title information written in Fraktur and German script, along with two single-stemmed flowers and calligraphic flourishes that fill blank spaces. The heart is flanked on either side by a stylized symmetrical leafy stem blossoming forth with flowers. The undermost blooms end in calligraphic flourishes terminating at the bottom of the heart. Borders frame the decorations at the head and tail of the page.

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), David Kulp’s teacher. 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: Lädtermännin, Anna
Provenance: Borneman, Henry S., 1870-1955
Lädtermänn, Ann


Joel D. Alderfer. “ ‘David Kulp, His Hand and Pen, Beet It if You Can’: The Bucks County Brown Leaf Artist Identified” in Cory M. Amsler, ed. Bucks County Fraktur. Kutztown, Pa.: Pennsylvania German Society, 1999, 151-165.

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, 115-149.

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.

Don Yoder. “Fraktur in Mennonite Culture,” Mennonite Quarterly Reveiw 48, no. 3 (July 1974): 305-342; published as fig. 9.

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

Image Dimensions Width: 10 cm
ShelfMark: FLP Borneman Ms. 36
Creator Name: Kulp, David, 1777-1834, Attributed to - Decorator
Kulp, David, 1777-1834, Attributed to - Scrivener

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