Aldine S. Kieffer

Aldine Silliman Kieffer (August 1, 1840 – November 30, 1904) was a leading 19th century proponent of shape note musical notation, music teacher and publisher.

Kieffer was born near Miami, Saline County, Missouri. He died in Dayton, Virginia, and is buried there.

Kieffer was the grandson of Mennonite musician Joseph Funk. After Funk's death, he and Ephraim Ruebush took over Funk's publishing company. With Ruebush and John W. Howe, Kieffer founded the Kieffer, Ruebush, & Company music company circa 1873, which was moved from Singers Glen to Dayton, Virginia, in 1878. Kieffer was editor of the Musical Million and Fireside Friend periodical. The Musical Million, published from 1870 until 1914, was one of the leading tools promoting shape note music for almost a half century. It helped link teachers and students across the country, and published many songs in its pages.

Kieffer taught singing schools and used his songbooks in the schools. One of Kieffer's most popular song books was The Temple Star, published at Singer's Glen in 1877. One of his most popular songs was his poem Twilight is Stealing, set to music by B. C. Unseld in 1877 and published in the Temple Star.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 1, 1840, Died November 30, 1904 (Virginia)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1927 - 1933

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-47263 10-in. 10/31/1928 Twilight is stealing over the sea Stoneman Family Vocal and instrumental ensemble lyricist  
Victor BVE-49862 10-in. 2/14/1929 The grave on the green hillside Carter Family Vocal and instrumental ensemble lyricist, composer  
Victor BS-76290 10-in. 6/17/1933 The school-house on the hill Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with 2 guitars composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-76713 10-in. 6/17/1933 The school house on the hill Carter Family Mixed vocal trio, with guitar and autoharp composer, lyricist  
OKeh W81637 10-in. 9/27/1927 Twilight is stealing Carolina Quartette Mixed vocal quartet, unaccompanied lyricist  
Brunswick E21809-E21810 10-in. 3/10/1927 Twilight is stealing Dyke's Magic City Trio Instrumental trio, with male vocal solo and mixed vocal trio lyricist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Kieffer, Aldine S.," accessed May 21, 2024,

Kieffer, Aldine S.. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from

"Kieffer, Aldine S.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024.

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