Web Sites with Information about
Sacred Harp and Shape-Note Singing


Sacred Harp Singing: History and Tradition, somewhat dated (2005) introductory essay by Steven L. Sabol (Washington, DC area Sacred Harp singers)

Sacred Harp Singing website, maintained by Prof. D. Warren Steel at University of Mississippi. This resource includes the following:

Sacred Harp Singing [Fasola.org] website, maintained by Chris Thorman, provides many important resources:

The Sacred Harp Online Index, compiled by Chris Thorman. This index is an integrated online version of all lyrics, words, titles, page numbers, poets, and composers in the Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition. Linked to the lyrics are the following indices: page numbers, titles, first lines, poets, composers, meters, words and phrases (Concordance). All of the indices are hyper-linked with the song lyrics and vice-versa. One can look up a word, find a list of songs using the word, and then click on the name of a listed song to reveal the complete lyrics and information of that song.

Sacred Harp and Related Shape-Note Music: Resources, compiled by Steven Sabol. This extensive guide contains information on how to obtain all currently available tunebooks, descriptive books and brochures, recordings, newsletters, videotapes, and other resources,concerning shape-note religious music in the Sacred Harp style but not on seven-shape gospel hymnody. There is also a limited chapter of resources on English (West) Gallery Music.

FaSoLa Minutes app for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), is a very useful app developed by Mark Godfrey and designed by Lauren Bock. One can search for "Songs" (from The Sacred Harp 1991 Edition), "Singers" (song leaders), and "Singings" from 1995 through last year. The data come from the Minutes book and database described above. Information for each song includes words of the verses, top-20 leaders of that song and where they led them, popularity as a function of year, and more. Information for each song leader includes a bar graph showing the number of songs he/she led each year, the songs led, and a variable called "entropy" measuring the variety of the leader's repertoire. Information for each singing includes the entire minutes of that singing, with song names as well as page numbers given. All of this information is loaded onto one's cell phone and is accessible without an Internet connection, for example at a rural singing. Also of great usefulness are the links to audio recordings, usually multiple ones, of nearly every song sung at various actual singings. They require a cell-phone or Wi-Fi connection and enable one to listen to a particular song of interest readily without having to search for a source on the Internet and download to one's phone or computer. The size is currently around 85 MB. The price is $4.99 from the Apple app store. Proceeds will be donated to the The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association.

FaSoLa Minutes app for Android Devices (phones, etc.). Mike Richards developed this app and modeled it after the original one for iOS described immediately above. Its functionality is similar but not identical to the iOS app. The price is $4.99. Proceeds will be donated to the The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association.

Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings. The annual minutes of Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) singings are compiled by Judy Caudle, David Ivey, Joan Aldridge, Shelbie Sheppard, and others and are placed online by Chris Thorman. One can browse the full directory or search by number or full names. Song numbers are hyperlinked to the title and lyrics. Minutes are available online for each year since 1995.

Regular Local Singings, compiled by Annie Grieshop. This list, organized by state or country, lists regular singings, from a variety of shape-note tunebooks, that occur at least four times per year (as distinct from conventions and annual singings). Contact names and addresses are given.

Shape Note Recordings Index, compiled by Berkley Moore but last updated in 2012. This useful resource, in the words of the compiler, "attempts to list every in print (or recently in print audio recording of Sacred Harp and Sacred Harp-style music, but only if: (1) the recording was made at a singing, or (2) if the recording was made by singers consisting primarily of those who regularly attend singings." There are some exceptions, and some English West Gallery recordings are also listed. The index consists of four sections: (1) an index of albums which lists all tunes on each album, (2) notes on the albums (3) sources of the listed albums, and (4) an index of tunes which lists all albums in which each tune is found.

Shape-Note Pages of Ishmael The Fiddler, by F. Ishmael J. M. Stefanov-Wagner. Ishmael The Fiddler has several informative pages on his Web site at MIT. One describes the history of the shapes in shape-note singing. It has informative photos of pages from the Bay Psalme Book, John Tuft's Introduction to the Singing of Psalm-Tunes, and Andrew Law's Musical Primer.

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