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George B. Holsinger Shape Note Gospel Music Collection

Accession Numbers


Physical Description

.75 linear feet


Ca. 1880-1900


Provenance and Acquisition Information

Purchased from Bookworm and Silverfish, Wytheville Virginia, as part of a larger collection of gospel tunebooks.

Biographical Sketch

George B. Holsinger was born in Bedford County, PA in 1857, attended the Shenandoah Valley Normal School and was director of music at Bridgewater College, 1882-1898. He was associate instructor, with B.C. Unseld, in music normals at Bridgewater College, 1894-96 and taught a number of singing schools elsewhere. He was music editor for the Church of the Brethren from 1898 to 1908 and associate editor of the Church of the Brethren hymnal which was published in 1901. His songs were used in over 100 publications, and Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs of which he was associate editor, reached the sale of over 200,000.


From A Brief History of the Musical Movementwhich was started in the Mountain Valley.


Scope and Content

Manuscript shape note hymnals; proof sheets of the Brethren hymnal; multiple copies of Vocal Selections, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh series, published by John Church Co., copies of other shape note gospel song books including Straubs Vocal Selections, All Hail the Mighty Savior by S.A. Myers, The Voice of Praise by A.J. Showalter et. Al. and Sweet Fields of Eden by Tenny et. Al.; copies of oratorio choruses and chorales, some in multiple copies; Showalters Vocal Studies and Exercises in Musical Notation; a program for the 1894 Bridgewater Summer Music School; 3 issues of music magazines; and several advertisements for music publications. The materials are arranged in the order listed, with individual pieces of music filed alphabetically by title.



The materials are filed by accession number with other manuscript collections.


Collection Contents (Folder/Box List)

1 1 & 2 Manuscript hymnals

1 3 Brethren hymnal proof sheets

1 4 Vocal selections, fourth series

2 1 Vocal selections, fifth-seventh series

2 2 Song books

2 3 Sheet music, A-S

2 4 Sheet music, T-Z

2 5 Loose sheets/pages

2 6 Showalter/Magazines/Program/Advertisements


EBG 1989



Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University


Gospel music


Holsinger, George B.

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