A follow-up to a recent posting with the Sacred Harp song Hallelujah (#146) in it: four recordings of the hymn, by various traditional groups (mostly Southern).
Click here for a recording from the 1959 United Convention.
Click here for a sweet version from the “Amazing Grace” album.
Click here for a version from the album “The Original Sacred Harp”. [Link removed for copyright reasons. See below.]
Click here for a recording from the 1995 Garden State Convention — sweet and fast.
The singers first go through the song “singing the shapes” — that is, singing the names of the shapes in a conventional scheme for representing the notes of the scale (triangle FA, circle SO(L), square LA, diamond MI, with the major scale going, from bottom to top, FA SO LA FA SO LA MI FA). Then they sing the words.
The melody is in the tenor line, but in these recordings a counter-melody in the treble (top) line tends to dominate, and the alto (internal harmony) line also stands out.
I have two recordings of Hallelujah by professional singing groups (the Boston Camerata, directed by Joel Cohen, and the Tudor Choir, directed by Doug Fullington) — both very interesting musically
[Addendum: A friend tells me that the "Original Sacred Harp" album was copyrighted in 2007, so that providing a link to it here would subject me to legal action (for digital piracy -- that is, theft) by the RIAA, which has been a legal demon on these matters. This is what amazon.com says about the album:
The Original Sacred Harp Publishing Company gathered the finest exponents of this wonderful art form in the 60's. Bibletone acquired the rights to these songs in 1990.
As the movie "Brother, Where Art Thou" shined a light on bluegrass music, the movie "Cold Mountain" put a new emphasis on the original Sacred Harp. These 28 songs were recorded in the 60's in Birmingham, AL., and are now available on CD from Bibletone, the oldest label name in religious music.
So if you want to hear this version, you'll have to buy it. My regrets.]
[Further addendum, a trade for the last: a YouTube video of the song, from an Illinois State Convention. With verses borrowed from New Britain ("Amazing Grace").]