What is the shape-note system of singing?

What is the shape-note system of singing?

shape-note singing, a musical practice and tradition of social singing from music books printed in shape notes. Shape notes are a variant system of Western musical notation whereby the note heads are printed in distinct shapes to indicate their scale degree and solmization syllable (fa, sol, la, etc.).

How does Sacred Harp singing work?

Sacred Harp singing is a community musical and social event, emphasizing participation, not performance, where people sing songs from a tunebook called The Sacred Harp.

Is Sacred Harp religious?

As the name implies, Sacred Harp music is sacred music and originated as Protestant Christian music. Many of the songs in the book are hymns that use words, meters, and stanzaic forms familiar from elsewhere in Protestant hymnody.

What is the Fasola system?

Definition of fasola : a system of solmization used in England and America in the 17th and 18th centuries using of the original six Guidonian syllables only the four fa, sol, la, and mi and often used in conjunction with the shape-note system of musical notation.

What kind of singing is in Cold Mountain?

This is “shape note” music, an a cappella, traditional form of folk hymn singing that dates to Colonial times. Also known as Sacred Harp music, it’s enjoying a revival after being featured in the film “Cold Mountain” and on its soundtrack.

What is Fasola in music?

While most shaped-note books have died out, there is still a large and vigorous shaped-note (or fasola) singing tradition based on the Sacred Harp. Compiled in 1844, the Sacred Harp has had not only an unbroken publishing tradition but is available in several versions.

What is Sacred Harp music?

Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of sacred choral music that originated in New England and was later perpetuated and carried on in the American South. The name is derived from The Sacred Harp, a ubiquitous and historically important tunebook printed in shape notes.

Who is the female singer in Bible?

The Song of Deborah is found in Judges 5:2–31 and is a victory hymn, sung by Deborah and Barak, about the defeat of Canaanite adversaries by some of the tribes of Israel.

Do Sacred Harp Singers perform a capella?

Sacred Harp groups always sing a cappella, that is to say, without accompanying instruments. The singers arrange themselves in a hollow square, with rows of chairs or pews on each side assigned to each of the four parts: treble, alto, tenor, and bass.

What is shape note method of singing?

The shape-note method of singing from written music first appeared in a book called The Easy Instructor, printed in 1801. It used four syllables for the seven notes of the scale and gave each syllable a distinctive note head: a triangle for fa, an oval for sol, a rectangle for la, and a diamond for mi.

How do you sing the shapenote system?

Start by singing fa at any medium-range, comfortable pitch, and then move up the scale with sol, la, fa, sol, la, mi, fa. Try singing back down: fa, mi, la, sol, fa, la, sol, fa. Sing the scale again in a different key. Explain that one of the advantages of the shapenote system is that you can sing without regard to the key signature.

How many shape-note recordings are in print?

There are dozens of shape-note recordings in print. Some of the earliest were made by Folkways Records, which the Smithsonian acquired in 1987. To supplement the issue, Smithsonian Folkways has put sound clips of three songs on a website.

What are the advantages of the shapenote system?

Explain that one of the advantages of the shapenote system is that you can sing without regard to the key signature. Once the pitch is set, you need only pay attention to the intervals, represented by the shapes.

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