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Sacred Harp and Christmas

MMario 19 Dec 06 - 03:33 PM
ClaireBear 19 Dec 06 - 03:43 PM
ClaireBear 19 Dec 06 - 03:49 PM
MMario 19 Dec 06 - 03:51 PM
ClaireBear 19 Dec 06 - 03:54 PM
GUEST 19 Dec 06 - 04:47 PM
Zhenya 19 Dec 06 - 11:27 PM
GUEST,Cats 20 Dec 06 - 04:37 AM
GUEST 20 Dec 06 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Cats 20 Dec 06 - 06:20 AM
ClaireBear 20 Dec 06 - 10:14 AM
BanjoRay 20 Dec 06 - 10:29 AM
leeneia 20 Dec 06 - 11:05 AM
ClaireBear 20 Dec 06 - 11:10 AM
ClaireBear 20 Dec 06 - 11:24 AM
GLoux 20 Dec 06 - 11:52 AM
MMario 20 Dec 06 - 11:56 AM
ClaireBear 20 Dec 06 - 12:21 PM
MMario 20 Dec 06 - 12:34 PM
ClaireBear 20 Dec 06 - 12:39 PM
leeneia 20 Dec 06 - 06:08 PM
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Subject: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: MMario
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 03:33 PM

I had someone ask me this the other day -- and hadn't the foggiest idea of an answer:

Are there any "Christmas Carols" in the Sacred Harp tradition - or anything similar?


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: ClaireBear
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 03:43 PM

Sherburne is a wonderful setting of the "while shepherds watched their flocks by night" passage. I'll get you a link in a minute...


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: ClaireBear
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 03:49 PM

OK, I'm not really this obsessive, but I recently sent all this info to my choir director so I had it handy:

There is sheet music online at this site. There's even a reasonably good MIDI that plays when you open the page. I think the speed is a bit slow for this song, though.

Track #1 here is a fairly good-sized sound clip and at a good speed, too; my only issues are that the choir is trying a little too hard to sound pretty and that they seem to think the melody is in the soprano.

For a hint (though only a brief one) of what the song actually sounds like "in the vernacular," check track #16 on this Lomax cd.


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: MMario
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 03:51 PM

Thanks ClairBear!


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: ClaireBear
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 03:54 PM

You're welcome. Try the fish stew yet? It's perfect for Christmas Eve!


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 04:47 PM

http://www.entish.org/sh/sacred-harp-christmas.html

is Will Fitzgerald's list of seasonal items.......


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: Zhenya
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 11:27 PM

Babe of Bethlehem is in the Southern Harmony book:

Babe of Bethlehem in The Southern Harmony

And there's a nice recording, with all the harmony, on this album:

Babe of Bethlehem - recording

It's a beautiful song, and I've heard it just done as a carol around Christmas time without any Sacred harp context.

Oh – and here it is, right in the DT. (Always helps to try the obvious first…!)

Babe of Bethlehem lyrics


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: GUEST,Cats
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 04:37 AM

Northfield is a Christmas carol.


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 05:35 AM

I notice on that Lomax CD mentioned above that Charley Bate of Padstow is down as singing The Gower Wassail. I think that's unlikely, it's more likely that he would sing a Cornish Wassail or it might be The Gower Wassail by Phil Tanner.


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: GUEST,Cats
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 06:20 AM

If it's Charlie, he'll be singing the Bodmin Wassail.


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: ClaireBear
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 10:14 AM

It certainly sounds like the Gower Wassail to me, but then I'm from California and easily confused. And I can't speak to whether or not it's Charlie, of course.

However, if you double-click on the track name, you should be able to hear the sound clip yourselves and settle the question!


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: BanjoRay
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 10:29 AM

It IS the Gower Wassail, and it's NOT Phil Tanner, so I assume it's Charley Bate. Excellent recording of Sherburne on the Lomax CD.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: leeneia
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 11:05 AM

Research this song, "Shepherds, rejoice" which is also from the shape-note tradition, but I don't know which book exactly. our church choir did it a few years back. The melody was in the tenor line.

Shepherds Rejoice 152Shepherds Rejoice 152. Tune: Leonard P. Breedlove, 1850 Lyrics: Isaac Watts Meter: Common Meter Double (8,6,8,6,8,6,8,6)


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: ClaireBear
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 11:10 AM

Leenia, here's the pertinent page in the 1860 Sacred Harp: Shepherds Rejoice


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: ClaireBear
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 11:24 AM

This is a short clip from The Story of the Sacred Harp 1844-1944: How the Sacred Harp Came to Be and How It Grew (a page maintained by Texas FaSoLa). Breedlove is mentioned as a crony of the original publisher in the last paragraph I clipped:

The Sacred Harp was widely used from the start. It was the official song book of the Southern Musical Convention (organized at Huntersville, Upton County, Georgia, 1845), The Chattahoochee Musical Convention (organized at Macedonia Church, Coweta County, Georgia, 1852), the Tallapoosa Singing Convention (organized in Haralson County, Georgia, in 1867), and of countless other conventions organized during the following decades in the territory including Georgia and stretching westward with the tide of migration as far as Texas and Oklahoma.

Sacred Harp singing has never spread, as a real country institution, farther north than the southern reaches of Tennessee and Missouri. In the Carolinas the Southern Harmony and other books seem to have offered stiff competition. The most recently organized convention, one which is at the same time the farthest north, is the Tennessee Sacred Harp Singing Association, organized in 1939 and meeting in Nashville.

Major Benjamin Franklin White (he gained this title in the Georgia militia before the Civil War) died in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1879, and is buried in the Oakland Cemetery in that city beside his wife under a beautiful memorial stone set by kindred and Sacred Harp singers. James says that just before he died he sang plainly and distinctly "Behold, the morning sun begins his glorious way" (Sacred Harp, p. 391).

Among the offspring of B. F. White who carried on after their father ceased to labor were J. L. White, D. P. White, W. D. White, R. H. White, B. F. ("Frank") White, Jr., Mary Caroline (White) Adair, Nancy Ogburn (White) Byrd, and Mrs. E. H. Clarke. And these were followed in the work by large numbers of White's grandchildren and great-grandchildren, some of whom are still active singers today.

Among those prominently associated with the Whites were James R. Turner (b. 1807), J. P. Rees (b. 1828), H. S. Rees (his twin brother), I. M. Shell (b. 1826), Absalom Ogletree (b. 1819), Edmund Dumas, Leonard P. Breedlove, S. R. Pennick, R. F. M. Mann, E. L. King, E. T. Pounds, R. F. Ball, J. T. Edmonds, and Marion Patrick.


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: GLoux
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 11:52 AM

In addition to The Babe Of Bethlehem mentioned above, Southern Harmony also includes:

Star In The East (p16)
Messiah (p97)
Derrick (Christmas Hymn) (p199)
Joy To The World (or Paxton) (p281)
The Shepherd's Star (p310)

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: MMario
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 11:56 AM

Thank you all! Keep the references coming - I'm going to print this and give it to the person who asked the question.

Of course, that means I'm probably going to have to SING a lot of this next Dicken's season - but hey,,,,


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: ClaireBear
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 12:21 PM

MMario, there's a book called An American Christmas Harp edited (I presume) by Karen E. Willard of Puyallup, Washington in 2000. I wish I had contact information as I would like one myself, but I've had no luck so far. Perhaps you can dig it up? Here's a page that lists the contents: clicky

Claire


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: MMario
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 12:34 PM

it's out of print - but a new printing hoped for in 2007.

There is a CD available on Amazon with a number of the carols from it though.


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: ClaireBear
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 12:39 PM

Thank you! If you hear about the new edition before I do, would you kindly post the info to Mudcat? I would be ever so grateful.


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Subject: RE: Sacred Harp and Christmas
From: leeneia
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 06:08 PM

Thanks, ClaireBear, for the link about Shepherds Rejoice. Now I can learn more about the song.


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