Shapenote postings

In response to a query from a friend a little while back, I sent a link to a 2010 posting of mine on shapenote singing and the Sacred Harp tradition. Now I’ve tried to assemble the whole chain of my postings on the subject — below, with mentions of the songs referred to or illustrated (and page references to songs in the Sacred Harp (Denson Revision 1991)).

6/22/10  Rivers of Babylon (link): Wood Street 504, William Billings round Rivers of Babylon

9/23/10  Memorial singing (link): Boylston 147t, War Department 160t, Babylon Is Fallen 117, Jordan 66, All Is Well 122, Mount Desert 474

9/23/10  Shapenote singing: some basics (link): St. Thomas 34b, Ninety-Fifth 36b, New Britain 45t, Natick 497, Wood Street 504

9/23/10  Notes on shapenote singing (link): brief history and account of customs

12/13/10  Shapenote videos (link): Panting for Heaven 384

12/13/10  Jesus the Light of the World (link): Cookham 81b

1/7/11  Quotes and footnotes (link): The Grieved Soul 448b

3/28/11  Singing and cake (link): more on customs; Return Again 335, Spring 188, Rose of Sharon 254

8/16/11  Ilse Lehiste Memorial Symposium (link): Hallelujah 146

8/30/11  Hallelujah (link): Hallelujah 146

8/30/11  Awake My Soul (link): Loving-Kindness 275

11/29/11  Rudolph in Northfield (link): tunes and texts; Northfield 155

11/29/11  Borrowing texts (link): Cowper 168, Cambridge 287, New Jerusalem 299,12/12/11  Black keys (link): pentatonic songs; Prospect 30b, New Britain 45t, Jewett 105, New Britain in Southern Harmony 8t

12/13/11  Text+Tune (link): American Christmas Harp; Antioch, Antioch in Southern Harmony, Sheffield, Boston

12/23/11  Come Thou Fount (link): Nettleton in Episcopal hymnal, and under the name The Good Shepherd, in Walker’s Christian Harmony, Restoration (First) 312b, Olney 135, Warrenton 145, Family Circle 333

12/26/11  Six tunes, at least that many texts (link): Auld Lang Syne / Hamburg / Plenary 162, Shepherds Rejoice 152, Oxford 306, Boston, Ellacombe (Lutheran hymnal), Christmas Eve (Lutheran hymnal)

1/5/12  Portuguese Hymn (link): Portuguese Hymn 223

7/10/12  Copernicus and Springsteen (link): The Last Words of Copernicus 338

7/10/12  Murillo’s or Morelli’s Lesson (link): Murillo’s Lesson 358, The Bride’s Farewell 359b

12/21/12  Through all the changing scenes of life (link): Psalm 34th 

12/27/12  Confidence and Bear Creek (link): Confidence 270, Bear Creek 269

12/28/12  Praise singing (link): Bridgewater 274

5/15/13  half the beast, the neighbor of the beast (link): on the number of the Beast; Family Circle 333

5/19/13  Two mother songs (link): The Dying Boy 398, The Bride’s Farewell 359b


One Response to “Shapenote postings”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    I’m an east Tennessee “Old Harp” singer – like you a male treble – we sing from the New Harp of Columbia, a reprinted 1867 collection in a unique seven-note notation (“Swan shapes” – only the do, re, and ti are different). Because there aren’t very many of us (a turnout of 50 singers is unusual) our singings are less formally organized than are the large Sacred Harp singings, but otherwise we’re pretty similar, always singing the shapes even when we sing a singer’s funeral.

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