Genuine Church Music/Harmonia Sacra

(1832 - 1866)

See Singers Glen, VA

Joseph Funk compiled his first singing school manual in 1832 and called it, Genuine Church Music. He lived at Mountain Valley, VA, a small hamlet about 10 miles west of Harrisonburg. Although Funk would later set up a printing press at Mountain Valley (later to become Singers Glen), he had the first edition of Genuine Church Music printed in Winchester, VA, about 65 miles further up the Shenandoah Valley. Genuine Church Music went through many editions and 1851 its title was changed to Harmonia Sacra.

Here are some thumbnails of the faceplates, prefaces, and indexes of selected editions along with comments regarding significant changes, places of publication, and other pertinent information. Click on any thumbnail to see a larger graphic.

Genuine Church Music, 1832: first edition. Printed in Winchester, VA by J. W. Hollis, editor of The Republican:

Preface, page 1
Preface, page 2

Use of Patent Notes, page 1
Use of Patent Notes, page 2
Gen. Index, page 1

Gen. Index, page 2
Metrical Index, page 1
Metrical Index, page 2


Genuine Church Music, 1842; third edition. Printed in nearby Harrisonburg, VA by Henry T. Wartmann, printer.

Genine Church Music, 1847; fourth edition. Printed at Mountain Valley, VA (later to be renamed, Singers Glen). This was the first printing at what would later become known as Singers Glen. Funk set up his only printing press and thus established the first Mennonite publishing house in the United States. The printer is listed as Solomon Funk who was one of Joseph's sons and who would later become the first postmaster of Singers Glen when a post office was established in 1860 and Mountain Valley would be renamed, Singers Glen. Eastern Mennonite University Library has two copies of this 1847 edition and both have unusually light typeface:

Index of Hymns, page1
Index of Hymns, page 2

Metrical Index, page 1
Metrical Index, page 2
Metrical Index, page3

Alpha. Index of Meters, page 1
Alpha. Index of Meters, page 2


Harmonia Sacra, 1851; still the fourth edition but "Newly arranged, enlarged and improved." This was the first edition to have the new title, Harmonia Sacra. Also, this is the first edition to contained the "New System of Notation of Seven Character Notes." Notice how the print is much darker:

Harmonia Sacra, 1860; the tenth edition. This is the first edition which lists "Singers Glen" as the place of publication. 1860 was the year that the post office was established with Solomon Funk (Joseph's son and printer of the previous editions) appointed postmaster. It is significant that Solomon is no longer listed as "Printer" on this and later editions. Joseph Funk would die two years later in 1862:

Harmonia Sacra, 1866; the eleventh edition. This was the first edition published since the end of the Civil War, during which time Solomon (Joseph's son and the official "printer") fled the area to avoid being drafted into the War. Mennonites have always been "conscientious objectors" and have generally refused to "take oaths", "swear alegience" and "take up arms." Solomon, along with other Mennonite men from the Shenandoah Valley "hid out" accross the Shenandoah Mountain in West Augusta (what is now West Virginia). Consequently, there are still small Mennonite communities in the counties of West Virgina which border VA, particularly Hardy County, West Virginia:


© 2001 Smith Creek Music

Site last updated: March 1, 2014