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Various Arrangers: The Sacred Harp

This hardbound treasure is a goldmine of hundreds of historic hymns rendered in the traditional shape note style. Essentially, shape notes consist of four shapes - triangle, square, oval and diamond - which correspond with a syllable: fa, sol, la and mi. These shapes and syllables are then associated with notes on a scale. This system, and the Shape Note singing books such as the Sacred Harp (which was originally published in 1844), were ubiquitous, particularly in the South, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Music was an integral part of the camp meetings and revivals of the period, and the shape note method was intended to simplify the reading of music, so that anyone so moved could participate. The thematic content is almost exclusively religious in nature, reflecting the predominant attitude of the composers, as well as the publishers, of the time. The polyphony of the shape note is characterized by lively chordal movement, and dyadic harmony based on fourths and fifths, often in parallel. Contemporary renditions, sung in the shape note style, can be heard on the soundtrack to the Civil War film, "Cold Mountain." The book also includes an introductory section entitled the "Rudiments of Music," a thorough primer in the fundamentals of theory. Updated in 1991 with the addition of 62 songs, "The Sacred Harp" will keep a group of part-singers entertained for years. Can also be used by those accustomed to conventional notation.

Item code: 7078B | Songbook | $24.98 |add item to cart
Gospel | A Cappella | SATB | 573 Pages | Hardcover | 7 x 10
Related: Shapenote Music
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