Echoes of the Past: Singing the Sacred Harp

Saturday, April 27, 2019

In the 18th Century, religious leaders and musicians from New England created shape note singing to teach rural congregations how to easily sight-read and sing sacred music. Composers would often add religious lyrics to popular secular tunes and transcribe them onto sheet music using shaped notes associated with particular pitches. Shape note singing spread down the East Coast, and today it lives on in North Carolina through several branches of the form including the Sacred Harp.