Friday, November 11, 2011

Shape-note singing

I've long been a fan of the group Anonymous Four, especially their CDs American Angels and Gloryland.  These two CDs introduced me to shape-note singing and the book The Sacred Harp.

Here's a screen shot of the PDF I found online, of one of the A4 songs:
And here's my recording!  It's a bit ragged, but for a first try I think it's not so bad.


  1. Kirsten, you sound very pretty, but I'm afraid you've misinterpreted the text. You need to repeat the A section with the second line of text -- it's a couplet. Then sing the B section, the chorus. Try it; I'm sure you'll find it more satisfying.

    And I strongly recommend you look out for a Sacred Harp singing somewhere in your area, and stop in and be part of a traditional singing. You may find you prefer the Anon 4 approach, but I am sure you'll find it remarkable.

    nbm (a Sacred Harp singer in New York)

  2. Hi NBM!

    Yes, you're right, I did misread it - now I see that other songs have 1 and 2 to distinguish the verses.

    There is a Toronto Shape Note group. Leaving my house is a bit of an issue in the moment, but perhaps I'll get there someday.