Item No: frkm041000
Title: Dises Notenbüchlein Gehöret Mir zu Elisabeth Riesern Sing Schüler in der rok haller Schule Gloria Seÿ Dir gesungen mit menschen und mit engel zungen lerne wie Du kanst allein Sänger buch und tem bel seÿn geschrieben d 5ten Abrill Im Jahr Unsers Herrn 1815
Fraktur; German script
36 p.; 16mo; oblong format
stiff paper wrapper; laid paper; watercolors; red and black ink; thread
Tune Booklet (Notenbüchlein)
Rare Book Department
Accompanying Materials Laid or Tipped In:
Half of a sheet of wove paper with following noted in pencil: 35 in a circle with an X through it; 41 in a circle; THIS NOTTE BOOK BELONGS TO ME | ELISABETH KIEFER | SINGING STUDENT IN THE RATHILLER SCHOOL | WRITTEN APRIL 5, 1815; 4 in a square; 1815
Stiff paper wrapper
The decorator/scrivener of Borneman Ms. 41 remains unknown to us. However, it is worthwhile noting that, unlike Johann Adam Eyer, the writer did not include any musical instruction, only titles and melodies to hymn tunes taken from both Die kleine geistliche Harfe der Kinder Zions, as well as from the Marburger Gesangbuch . 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 Marburger Gesangbuch 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 Belongs to Me Elisabeth Riesern Singing Scholar in the Rockhill School. May Gloria Be Sung Unto You With the Tongues of Men and Angels. Learn How You Yourself Can Be Singer, Book, and Temple. Written on the 5th of April in the Year of Our Lord 1815.
N.B. See also FLP B-4.
[1-2] 3 title page  5-18 [19-36]
Scope and Content:
This tune booklet was made for Elisabeth Rieser by her school teacher on April 5, 1815 when she was a student and singing scholar at the Rockhill School in Rock Hill Township, Bucks Counnty Pennsylvania. Her name is inscribed in German script in the center of the front cover. There is no rudimentary instruction included in this booklet.
Hymn titles and music incipits appear sometimes in three parts in soprano, alto, and bass clef (See No. 1 Ach Gott Er Hör mein Seufzer; No. 2 Meine Zu Frieden Heut steht...; No. 3 Lebt Jemand So Wie ich so lebt Er...; No. 4 Wie christen Leut Haben...). Other times the format is three hymn titles with their music incipits to a page (Nos. 5-33). Clefs vary with most melodies given in C-Major, and sporadic indication of time signatures indicated. Most notes are notated in whole note values. The last sixteen pages are blank.
N.B. There are two hymn titles numbered No. 26. The first is appears under Allein auf Gott Setz Dein Vertraun which already is notated under the same title as No. 25 with a music incipit. Possibly a second melody was to be written out under Allein auf Gott Setz Dein Vertraun, but as per the blank stave never was. This may have prompted the scrivener to enter a new title under No. 26 Mein Geist Erstaund Allmächtiger... The latter is written in shape notes, a system introduced in 1801 to facilitate congregation and community singing, and soon to become a popular teaching device in American singing schools.
Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. The title page design is vertically conceived. A text-filled circle is suspended from a tulip flower by four multicolored strings. The tulip itself is flanked by on either side by two complementing buttonlike blooms. A squiggly horizontal line divides the upper portion of text which is written in Fraktur from the lower portion which is written in German script. The circle itself is framed by two solid-colored rims.
The following text Gloria Seÿ Dir gesungen mit menschen und mit engel zungen (May Gloria Be Sung unto You with the Tongues of Men and Angels) comes from the 1599 hymn of Philipp Nicolai Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. Johann Sebastian Bach based his Cantate No. 140 of the same name on it; Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy used it in the overture to his St. Paulus Oratorio, as well as a Chorale; and Max Reger created his Fantasy on the Chorale Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. Lerne wie Du kanst allein Sänger buch und tem bel seÿn ( Learn How You Yourself Can Be Singer, Book, and Temple) is taken from the first verse of a poem found on page one of the Marburg Hymnal.
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.
Borneman, Henry S., 1870-1955
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, 142.
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 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.
Philipp Nicolai. Freudenspiegel deß ewigen Lebens. Frankfurt, 1599, Anhang (Kirchenlied: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme).
Creation Place Town/Township:
City/Town/Township:Rockhill School, Rockhill Township
Creation Place Note:As per title page inscription
Image Dimensions Width:
FLP Borneman Ms. 41
Anonymous - Decorator
Anonymous - Scrivener