Note: The first two Web sites below are good places to start learning about the world of Sacred Harp and related shape-note music. Both sites should be consulted, because each presents much worthy and nonoverlapping material.
The Sacred Harp Singing Page, by Professor Warren Steel at the University of Mississippi Department of Music. This resource is actively maintained by Prof. Steel, a foremost authority on early American psalmody and the Sacred Harp tradition. It includes the following important resources:
The Fasola Home Page, developed initially by Keith Willard and now maintained and revamped by Chris Thorman, is currently under the auspices of the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association. This Web site provides access to many important resources and has the following main sections:
Sacred Harp Singing: History and Tradition, introductory essay by Steven L. Sabol (Washington, DC area Sacred Harp singers)j 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 an extensive chapter of resources on English (West) Gallery Music.
Shape Note Recordings Index, compiled by Berkley Moore. 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.
Bibliography of Critical Material on Shape-Note Singing, compiled by John Bealle. This is a mammoth bibliography of books, journal articles, dissertations, and secondary literature.
Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings, compiled by Shelbie Sheppard and others. The annual minutes of Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) singings are compiled by Shelbie Sheppard, Pam Nunn, Carolyn Deacy, Chris Thorman, Keith Willard, and others. One can browse the full directory or search by number or full names. Song numbers are hyperlinked to the title and lyrics. Online minutes are available for every year since 1995.
Regular Local Singings, compiled by Shelbie Sheppard and 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 phone numbers or email addresses are given.
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.
Return to the FSGW Home page