The Sacred Harp:
Revised Cooper Edition

[Cover of Cooper Edition, 1992]

[NEW] The Sacred Harp, Revised Cooper Edition, 2012. The "Cooper Edition" is a tunebook descended from the 19th-century Sacred Harp and initially published in 1902 by W. M. Cooper. This Edition has been periodically revised by a different circle of singers and their families from those who produced the Denson and 1991 Editions described above. It has been traditionally used in the Florida panhandle, the southern regions of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, and in Texas. It is also used by black Sacred Harp groups in Alabama. Nationwide interest in the Cooper Edition (informally known as the "Cooper book") has increased dramatically in recent years, and currently there are Cooper Edition singings in nearly all regions of the U.S. The Cooper Edition has many songs in common with the Denson/1991 Sacred Harp (sometimes with different alto parts and titles) but also many other mid- to late-nineteenth-century songs having a relatively sweet harmony, including "call-and-response" songs. It also has a number of beautiful "folk hymns" not in the 1991 Edition, and several contemporary songs. Many Sacred Harp singers attend both Cooper Edition and 1991 Edition singings and cherish the unique songs of each tradition. The new 2012 Revised Cooper Edition represents a monumental cover-to-cover retypesetting of all pages by Karen Willard, a Seattle alto singer and shape-note music publisher. Improvements and corrections were made carefully to enhance singability and readability without altering the music or changing the character of the tunebook. Ms. Willard reports the following improvements: The dark blue hardbound 608-page book is 1/2 inch taller and 1/2 inch wider than before. The 612 songs (counting two in the Rudiments) include 14 newly added songs, 12 by currently living composers. No songs were deleted. All known musical and typographical errors were corrected. All remaining uses of "etc." were replaced with actual lyrics, and additional verses were added to 95 songs where there was space for more. Eleven songs were moved to different pages to allow more room for previously cramped songs. All alto parts are now in the treble clef rather than alto clef. The Rudiments section is now much more readable, and minor errors were corrected. The Tunename Index includes names used in the Denson/1991 editions where they differ from the those in the Cooper Edition. Finally, the name of the book itself was changed from The B.F. White Sacred Harp (the name used from 1949-2006) to The Sacred Harp, the name used from 1902 until 1949; however the former name is printed on the spine. Clearly everyone who attends Cooper book singings will want to buy a copy of this new edition. The base price is $20.00 per book regardless of the quantity purchased. Bulk orders are by case (10 books/case). Shipping charges (to U.S. addresses) are as follow: First book (or one book) $5.00; for additional books up to 5 books add $2.00 per book; and for a case of 10 books add $20. Inquire about shipping charges for orders to non-U.S. addresses. Make checks payable to the Sacred Harp Book Co. Address orders and inquiries to Mr. Bill Aplin, Secretary/Treasurer, Sacred Harp Book Co. Inc., 200 S. Johnson St., Samson, AL 36477, e-mail aplinbill-at-gmail-dot-com, phone 334-898-7253.