Dieses Notnbüchlein Ghöret Mir Sara Nunemacher Sing Schüler in der Roc hiler Schule Gloria ser Dir gesungen mit menschen und mit Engelzungen Abrill d 7ten ano 1815

Dieses Notnbüchlein Ghöret Mir Sara Nunemacher Sing Schüler in der Roc hiler Schule Gloria ser Dir gesungen mit menschen und mit Engelzungen Abrill d 7ten ano 1815

Item Info

Item No: frkm042000
Title: Dieses Notnbüchlein Ghöret Mir Sara Nunemacher Sing Schüler in der Roc hiler Schule Gloria ser Dir gesungen mit menschen und mit Engelzungen Abrill d 7ten ano 1815
Creation Date: 4/7/1815
Scripts/Text: Fraktur; German script; Roman script
Language: German; English
Weiser Number: 839
Physical Description: 20 p; 16mo; oblong format
Material: Stiff paper wrapper; wove paper; watercolor; red and black ink; string
Category: Tune Booklet (Notenbüchlein)
Media Type: Manuscripts
Source: Rare Book Department

Accompanying Materials Laid or Tipped In:

Half of a sheet of wove paper with following noted in pencil: 36 in a circle with an X through it; 42 in a circle; THIS NOTE BOOK BELONGS TO ME | SARA N(O)NNEMACHER (?) | SINGING STUDENT IN THE RATHILLER SCHOOL | GLORY BE SUNG TO YOU WITH THE TONGUE (VOICE) OF HUMAN BEING AND ANGELS | APRIL 7, 1815; 3 in a square; 1815

Paper fragment with following typed: Exhibited: Spring, 1995


Stiff paper wrapper

Biographical Note:

The decorator/scrivener of Borneman Ms. 42 remains unknown to us. However, it is worthwhile noting that like Johann Adam Eyer, the writer did include some rudimentary musical instruction in this tune booklet, as well as titles and melodies to hymn tunes taken from both Die kleine geistliche Harfe, the Marburg Hymnal, and Johann Friedrich Eyer’s and Isaac Gerhart’s Choral=Harmonie. Johann Friedrich Eyer is best known for his Fraktur, but was also an organist, and, after he moved to Selinsgrove in Snyder County, along with the Reformed minister Isaac Gerhart, composed and compiled music for Choral Harmonie, a book intended to provide basic musical instruction, as well as hymns appropriate for all church denominations.

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 Marburg Hymnal 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 Sara Nunemacher Singing Scholar in the Rockhill School May Gloria Be Sung to You with the Tongues of Men and Angels April the 7th in the Year 1815

N. B. See also FLP B-3.

Physical Description:

1 [2] 3-13 [14-20]

Scope and Content:

The Notenbüchlein was made for Sara Nunemacher by her school teacher on April 7, 1815 when she was a student and singing scholar at the Rockhill School in Rock Hill Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. There is rudimentary instruction included in this booklet on page [3]: There are two staves in soprano clef. The first stave is used for semi-tones beginning on C1 ascending one octave and a fourth to an F2, and descending an octave and a sixth to a small A on the first stave. The second stave is used for indicating intervals at the third beginning on the note C1, and progressing in stepwise motion, building thirds on C1, D1, E1, F1, G1, A1.   Intervals then follow at the octave, major 7th, major 6th, perfect 5th, perfect 4th, major 3rd, minor 3rd, perfect 2nd, perfect 5th, perfect 4th, major 2nd, major 2nd.

For the first 18 titles, the format is 3 hymn titles to a page with their music incipits. No. [19] Wir Opfern gott Dir heute Danck, ach...is notated for three parts marked Discant, Tenor, Bass; is in F-major; and flows across the open page with a Continued at the top of the second page to indicate a continuation of the melody lines. G-clef and bass clef are used, along with fermati, and rest marks. It is taken from page 102 of Johann Friederich Eyer’s and Isaac Gerhart's Choral Harmonie... None of the foregoing hymns are numbered. Following these entries are five more hymn titles with their music incipits: These are numbered and are by a different hand. G-clef is used throughout; key and time signatures are given. No. 1 Mein Geist Erstaund Allmächtiger is notated in shape notes. Following No. 5 Sag waß hilft alle welt mit Ihrem G[uth] are 8 measures in shape notes with a notation "Eight Notes."

This tune booklet demonstrates the two worlds in which Pennsylvania German children and their teachers existed, and points towards their assimilation into American culture. Representative of their Germanic roots, we find on the one hand that the majority of hymn titles are from the Marburg Hymnal and Die kleine geistliche Harfe der Kinder Zions and copied out in Fraktur, and German script, along with the tune incipits in traditional notation. On the other hand, their exposure to the American way of life prompted them to insert English words and to use a new form of musical notation, i.e. 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.

Title Description:

Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. The text—Fraktur and German Script—is in a circle placed in the center of the title page. A spray of leafy stemmed tulips and buds flank the circle on either side, and are well executed. A very ornate border frames the document. N. B. It appears that perhaps additional coloring was added to the circle and border by another less-skilled hand.

The following text Gloria ser [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.

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: Nunemacher, Sara
Provenance: Borneman, Henry S., 1870-1955
Nunemacher, Sara


Johann F. Eyer and Isaac Gerhart. Choral Harmonie Enthaltend Kirchen=Melodien, Die bey allen religions-Verfassungen gebräuchlich, auf vier Stimmen gesezt, und mit einigen musikalischen Stücken nebst hinreichenden Unterricht versehen, eingerichtet zur Übung der Jugend und zum Gebruch des öffentlichen Gottesdienstes, welches ohne und mit der Orgel kann gebraucht werden, wann ein Organist die Regeln der Musick beobachtet. Harrisburg: John Wyeth, 1818, 102.

H. Harbaugh, D. D., and D. Y. Heisler, A. M. The Fathers of the German Reformed Church in Europe and America. Lancaster: J. M. Westhaeffer, 1872, vol. 4, 94-106.

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, 145.

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).

Image Dimensions Width: 10.5 cm
ShelfMark: FLP Borneman Ms. 42
Creator Name: Anonymous - Decorator
Anonymous - Scrivener

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