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Shape Note Singing

Lizzie Cornish 1 11 Apr 11 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Curtis 11 Apr 11 - 06:28 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 12 Apr 11 - 03:28 AM
leeneia 12 Apr 11 - 10:07 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 12 Apr 11 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,Curtis 12 Apr 11 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,BobL 12 Apr 11 - 09:50 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 13 Apr 11 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 13 Apr 11 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Guest Howard Jones 13 Apr 11 - 02:51 PM
Mrs.Duck 14 Apr 11 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Cath 14 Apr 11 - 12:03 PM
Surreysinger 19 Apr 11 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,Cherwyn Ambuter 18 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM
BobKnight 18 Jul 11 - 08:39 PM
catspaw49 18 Jul 11 - 09:46 PM
Desert Dancer 18 Jul 11 - 09:47 PM
Desert Dancer 18 Jul 11 - 10:36 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 19 Jul 11 - 01:37 AM
glueman 19 Jul 11 - 04:36 AM
glueman 19 Jul 11 - 05:05 AM
Surreysinger 19 Jul 11 - 05:31 AM
Bonzo3legs 19 Jul 11 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,Desi C 19 Jul 11 - 07:35 AM
glueman 19 Jul 11 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Cath 19 Jul 11 - 12:00 PM
Ruth Archer 19 Jul 11 - 12:38 PM
glueman 19 Jul 11 - 01:14 PM
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Subject: Shape Note Singing
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 10:30 AM

From Max's Facebook page...

This is absolutely wondrous!

I've done as they suggest and turned the volume up full. I love 'Canaan's Land' in particular.

Shape Note Singing - 50 Songs to listen to.

Taken from the link above:


>>>State College Sacred Harp

RECORDINGS OF OUR 2010 ALL-DAY SINGING
The recordings on this page were made on July 17th, 2010 at our Central PA 2010 All-Day Singing in State College. Over 100 singers from 11 states came together for a day of singing, food, and fellowship. Fifty songs from the singing are included below.

Links to public domain scores from the 1860 edition of The Sacred Harp are provided for some of the songs. These scores give the first-time listener an idea of what shape-note music looks like, and something to follow along with as the music plays. It should be noted that alto parts are absent in many of the original three-part Sacred Harp songs. Alto parts were added to many of these songs after 1860, and are heard in these recordings augmenting the three original parts.

A note to those who are new to Sacred Harp singing: The main tune of each song is not found on the top line, but typically on the third line of four-part pieces and on the middle line for three-part pieces. Because many acquainted with modern choral singing are accustomed to hearing the top line carry the melody, Sacred Harp music may sound a little incomprehensible at first. But listen for the main melody buried in there, sung by both men and women together, and hear the wonderful harmonies that arise in this unique American music.

To start the music playing, click on the "right arrow" under each song name. Click on "score" to jump down and see the 1860 facsimile score for that song. Finally, it is a tradition that Sacred Harp music be sung at full volume, so you are invited to turn your computer speakers all the way up as you listen!<<<<


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,Curtis
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 06:28 PM

That's a great sound. Lots of gusto.


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 03:28 AM

Isn't it wonderful, Curtis! I'm glad you're enjoying the songs. :0)

My old headmistress, who also taught us music, always used to say the human voice was the most beautiful of all instruments. When you hear voices like that you completely understand what she meant. It's also that sheer happiness that seems to resonate from those singing, the passion, the exuberance, that fills my ears with smiles.. :0)


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:07 AM

Thanks for sharing, Lizzie. I listened, too.

I play music in church, and I find that shape notes tunes are some of the most beautiful of any.


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 11:22 AM

I'm very glad you liked it, leeneia. :0)


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,Curtis
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 04:58 PM

I think the passion and the smiles which fill ears are the really interesting parts of those songs. The sound is so full it seems like it has to have come from smiling faces. You can't make that kind of sound with a scowl!


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,BobL
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 09:50 PM

Anyone within travelling distance of Oxfordshire who fancies making that sort of sound (or just listening to it), be at Finstock Village Hall next Sunday.
More details at http://www.ukshapenote.org.uk


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 03:23 AM

Here you go, Bob....your Shape Note site:

Sacred Harp and Shape Note Singing in the UK


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 03:46 AM

Back in the 70's, I was introduced to "Sacred Harp" singing by the accapella group Threadbare Consort. After a bit of research, found an address in the US. Sent off a gentle enquiry, two weeks later, a parcel arrived. The complete Denson revision. Beautifully bound. (Must have cost a fortune!) The note with it thanked me for my interest, and suggested I made a contribution to my favourite charity...(which I duly did!)
3 or 4 hundred Sacred Harp hymns...Just amazing. What nice people!
My band at the time recorded a couple of them before we split up. I've still got the book though...


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,Guest Howard Jones
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 02:51 PM

I first came across Sacred Harp via the Young Tradition - but my first chance to sing it was at a festival workshop run by Ralphie and whichever band of his it was at the time (can't recall when or where, though). I think we learned "Russia", which I later recorded myself with the Electropathics.

I picked up my own copy during a visit to the States.


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:23 AM

Of course the real beauty of shape note is the singing of it. It was never designed as something to listen to and to truly experience it you need to be in the middle singing out with gusto.


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,Cath
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 12:03 PM

There's the East Midlands Convention over Easter Weekend (a co-incidence this year) at Kegworth. All the info will be on the site linked to some way back up this thread.


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Surreysinger
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 06:15 PM

My first introduction to it was in the early 90's thanks to the acapella harmony group Bread and Roses.Following a workshop with them (and strangely enough I think Russia was one of the hymns we tackled), I got more information from Sarah Morgan,and sent off for my own copy of The Sacred Harp from the States. As Ralphie said it's a grand piece of work.

Eventually did some further workshops with Larry Gordon and Village Harmony, and bought another collection of more modern Shape note songs too. It's intoxicating full throated stuff, with dissonances and runs which really shouldn't work technically, but do. And if I get the chance this year, I'd like to get to an event somewhere and sing some more of the stuff!


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,Cherwyn Ambuter
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM

Hi,
Our non-profit, a cappella singing group, Zephyr Vocal Ensemble, has been requested to sing some early American music at our county arts council's annual fundraiser concert. We are not being paid for this appearance. The arts council expects to receive donations, but we, ourselves, will not.

I would very much like to have us be able to sing some Sacred Harp songs at this benefit concert. However, because we are only a 1-year-old group, our budget is very small, and we don't have the money to purchase multiple copies of The Sacred Harp book.

Do you suppose that if I wrote to Sacred Harp Publishing and explain to them the situation, they might possibly permit me to make photocopies if I promise to destroy them immediately following the arts council's fundraiser?

Does anyone here have any experience in dealing with the publishers regarding such requests?

Thank you very much,
Cherwyn Ambuter


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: BobKnight
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 08:39 PM

Excuse my ignorance, but what is "shape note," singing?


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 09:46 PM

Hi Bob.........For a good basic explanation, go to wikipedia and look up "Shape Note Singing" and then "Sacred Harp." The "Sacred Harp" is the book title of the main piece of shape note singers and shape note is often called Sacred Harp.

Next, go to the thread search box at the top of the main page and enter one of those terms and then the other to see a volume of relevant threads (set time to all).   Here's one


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 09:47 PM

BobKnight: short answer: hymn singing from an American 18th-early 19th century tradition. The music is written with various (4 or 7) shapes for the note-heads which indicate the place of the note in the scale (in addition to the usual staff lines). The most commonly used text/system is called the "Sacred Harp". For more, see www.fasola.org, also Warren Steel's site.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 10:36 PM

Spaw and I cross-posted, but with complementary answers...

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 01:37 AM

Slight thread drift here, But Threadbare Consort might be doing some new recordings soon, with yours truly producing. Early days as yet, but I will insist that Russia is on the list! Watch this space.


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: glueman
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:36 AM

An interview with Alan Lomax from the early 1980s. He makes some interesting points regarding the history of the tunes and the way secular and sacred leapfrog one another to create the Sacred Harp we have today. Also prescient on the 'future' popularity of shape note singing.


Alan Lomax on Sacred Harp


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: glueman
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:05 AM

Bob Knight, here's an example of Sacred Harp shape note singing. The song is sung through once using the four shaped notes to familiarise the singers with the tune, then the words are sung. There is no applause, it is not a performance and anyone may 'lead' - ask for a song in the middle, the 'hollow square'. There isn't a conductor, the leader only keeps time and points to the relevant section for the part, everything is sung full voiced and completely democratic, fine singers and less precise ones all contribute to the overall sound. Bass, Alto, Tenor and Trebles sit in their groups and face the centre. In a typical day a hundred songs might be sung one after another, so it's a demanding physical experience.
Bridgewater


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Surreysinger
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:31 AM

Bob Knight - a film was produced in the States on the story of Sacred Harp singing ... here's a link to
the trailer for Awake My Soul

I bought the DVD about a year ago. Well worth seeing!


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:46 AM

Tim Eriksen is the king of shape note singing.


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:35 AM

All I'm getting is a page saying 'site not published' !


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: glueman
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 08:06 AM

It's a dead link Desi C. If you're in the UK there's the national convention near Sheffield in August. My experience is everyone is made welcome, just bring some food to share for lunch and be prepared to sing your heart out. Although Sacred Harp is rooted in a particular cultural and religious framework nobody is going to pick your brains on the subject and people of various faiths and none attend singings.
You pick it up soon enough and nobody is criticised for singing a wrong note. It's that rare thing, a relevant, inviting, participatory art form in the modern world. Plus you get to eat like a horse.
Sacred harp Convention


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: GUEST,Cath
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 12:00 PM

Convention in September Glueman! The weekend of September 17/18th if I'm not mistaken but I'm sure your link will say just that.
See you there!
Cath


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 12:38 PM

There are also Shape Note workshops at Sidmouth FolkWeek again this year.


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Subject: RE: Shape Note Singing
From: glueman
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 01:14 PM

I shall be there Cath. Wales was tempting last weekend but we've all been down with a flu bug which rather scuppered things.
There's also a shapenote workshop at Whitby festival I believe.


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