Item No: frkm046000
Title: Dieses Har=mo=ni=sche Sing Noten büchlen sammt Einer Lieder=samm.lung der Bekan=ten Lieder Gehöret Mir, Barbara Hun=sper=ger, zu der zeit Sing schüler in Hiltaun Taunschip, bocks County, and State of Pennsilvania, Geschrieben d 21ten Aprill…1820
Fraktur; German script; Roman script
208 p; 18mo; oblong format
Leather; laid paper; watercolor; ink
Tune Booklet (Notenbüchlein)
Rare Book Department
Full leather with blind tooling
Per Mary Jane Herschey “the records of the Union School, also known as the Hunsberger School, in Hilltown Township, 1816-1847 state ‘John Hunsperger commenced a German school March 14, 1820 and closed about the middle of June following—3 months.’ The Bucks County school records for educating poor children document that John Hunsberger was teaching at the Union Schoolhouse in Hilltown Township for sixty-five days beginning November 1, 1820...” The name John Hunsperger is inscribed on page  of B Ms 46 and then crossed out. Although not stated in the tune booklet, it is quite probable Barbara Hunsberger was a student and singing scholar at the Union School in Hilltown Township, Bucks County, and that John Hunsperger created the tune booklet for her on April 2, 1820.
Full Title Translation:
Dieses Har=mo=ni=sche Sing Noten büchlen sammt Einer Lieder=samm.lung der Bekan=ten Lieder Gehöret Mir, Barbara Hun=sper=ger, zu der zeit Sing schüler in Hiltaun Taunschip, bocks County, and State of Pennsilvania, Geschrieben d 21ten Aprill, im Jahr Unsers Herrn und Heilands Jesu Christi, Anno Domini 1820.
This Harmonious Tune Booklet Along with a Collection of Popular Lieder Belongs to Me Barbara Hunsperger, Presently a Singing Scholar in Hilltown Township, Bucks County and the State of Pennsylvania, Written the 2nd of April in the Year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Anno Domini 1820
N. B. See also FLP B-46.
N. B. A related tune book was made the same day for Elisabeth Hunsperger.
N. B. On page  of B Ms 46 the fourth hymn title Helft Mir Gotts Güte Preißen with music incipit reflects its rich Lutheran heritage. It is a New Year hymn written by Paul Eber (1511-1569), who wrote the six verses on the name Helena—his wife’s and daughter’s name—the initial letter of each verse beginning with the appropriate letter. It was a thanksgiving and prayer for the New Year in remembrance of God’s goodness, and was especially for the children.
Two tunes are associated with Eber’s New Year hymn and were published with it in 1575 by Wolfgang Figulus, Cantor in the Fürstenschule at Meissen. The first of them is practically identical with the contemporary Von Gott will ich nicht lassen and derived from the same secular song, Ich ging einmal spazieren, to whose melody Ludwig Helmbold wrote Von Gott will ich nicht lassen. The second tune, presumably by Figulus himself, is printed supra in a four-part setting by him. Its Tenor very closely fits the first melody. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) used it in the Orgelbüchlein and Cantatas 16, 28, 183 (ca. 1724-ca. 1736).The movement is the first of the New Year Preludes in the Orgelbuchlein, and, like Eber’s words, becomes a musical joyous peal of gratitude ringing in the New Year.
[1-2] 3  5-19  21-35 [36-188] 189  191  193  195  197  199-205 [206-208]
Scope and Content:
Barbara Hunsperger 1820 is inscribed on the inside cover upper right towards head of page, as well as baraba Hunsperger 1820 is inscribed on page .
There is no rudimentary musical instruction in this tune booklet. Page  only is formatted 4 hymn titles per page with incipits in whole note values. This is the usual notation as metric values would change according to the metrics of the poetry. Thereafter, the next 25 hymns are numbered and written for different combinations of voices in three parts, 1 hymn title per opening (two pages facing each other) with the incipits carrying over two pages. All clefs are employed: Soprano; mezzo-soprano; alto; tenor; bass; and g-clef. Most of the note values are in whole and half notes. After No. 14 Die zeit Gehet zum und ___ [?] Herr Jesu zieh mich Ein, dann wo ich...quarter note values also appear. The next 152 pages are blank. Thereafter, different hands and ink introduce an additional 25 hymn titles with incipits, mostly formatted 4 per page. However, there are a few that do not follow this pattern as their melodies are quoted more fully, sometimes covering two or three staves. There are a total of 54 hymn titles with incipits.
Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. A partial decorative border encloses the text at the head and fore-edge of the page: The top portion is in Fraktur with calligraphic flourishes; the bottom is in German script, and separated from the Fraktur by a horizontal line.
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.
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.
Helft Mir Gotts Güte Preißen from Charles Sanford Terry. Bach’s Chorals. Part III: The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Organ Works. Cambridge University Press, 1915-1921, 3 vols., vol. 3. The Online Library of Liberty. Retrieved 26 November 2013 from
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, 141-142.
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 Town/Township:
Creation Place Note:As per title page inscription
Image Dimensions Width:
FLP Borneman Ms. 46
Hunsberger, John, active c. 1820, Attributed to - Decorator
Hunsberger, John, active c. 1820, Attributed to - Scrivener