"Singing In the Park"
Photo by John Lamb
Over the years several hundred different tune books were published, but only a few are sung from actively today. These books, along with the Sacred Harp, use Shape Notes -- an early American form of musical notation designed to facilitate sight reading by non-musicians. Using ordinary staff lines, the notes have shaped shaped heads that indicate their position in the scale. It features three or four part harmony, and is sung by singers arranged (by parts) facing an open or "hollow square."
My feature story about Sacred Harp Singing
My Recordings of Shapenote Singing
The Shapenote Homepage
Warren Steel's Shapenote Resources Page
Maps to Sacred Harp Singings Please note this is a LARGE & GRAPHICAL website.
Harpeth Valley Sacred Harp Singers
Once you have purchased a book, you may want to attend a singing school, where beginners (and experienced singers) work on building their skills. There is usually no cost to attend singings. Ocassionally there may be a small fee to attend a singing school depending on the teacher and location. Your only cost will be your travel expenses as you become addicted and travel to more and more singings, and "have" to buy more books and recordings!
If you know of a resource that should be included on this page, or have suggestions or comments, send mail to John Lamb