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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
glueman Shape Note Singing (28) RE: Shape Note Singing 19 Jul 11

Bob Knight, here's an example of Sacred Harp shape note singing. The song is sung through once using the four shaped notes to familiarise the singers with the tune, then the words are sung. There is no applause, it is not a performance and anyone may 'lead' - ask for a song in the middle, the 'hollow square'. There isn't a conductor, the leader only keeps time and points to the relevant section for the part, everything is sung full voiced and completely democratic, fine singers and less precise ones all contribute to the overall sound. Bass, Alto, Tenor and Trebles sit in their groups and face the centre. In a typical day a hundred songs might be sung one after another, so it's a demanding physical experience.

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