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Fa so la singing

But they are not a choir in the usual sense. Rather, this is a community singing event, more like a Messiah sing-along, where everyone is welcome to pick up a book and join in with the singing. In fact, everyone who wants to can select a song and lead the group in singing it. The music has a striking, sometimes modal quality unlike modern choral music, and the singing style could be described as vigorous. The group carries on a year-old tradition of community singing still practiced in small communities in the South, and there are similar groups around the country. While the practice singings are informal, the group sponsors an annual All-Day Singing in July , and once every three years, they host the All-California Convention, two days of singing the next one will be in January, At the most recent All-California Convention, singers from 11 states gathered for two days of vigorous singing and fellowship. The music of The Sacred Harp is written out in a slightly modified musical notation, which would look familiar to anyone who reads conventional music. As in a conventional choir, singers of the same part sit together, but in this group the four parts form a hollow square, so that the focus of the music is toward the singers. See their website www.
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What is Sacred Harp singing?

It soothes the soul like a remnant of Eden, or a preview of the Promised Land. In a culture increasingly immune to simple pleasures, few Southerners today partake of such an experience by any means more direct than secondhand nostalgia. There exists in our midst, however, a wellspring of the living past. Since the early 19 th century, congregations from Athens to Mobile have nurtured and sustained what some folklorists have called one of Alabama's most remarkable cultural jewels. Sacred Harp singing, the largest surviving branch of traditional American Shape Note Singing, takes its name from the songbook "The Sacred Harp," first published in Also known as "fa-so-la" singing, the a cappella musical style actually predates the publication of the book. Appalled at the lack of musical skills displayed by their congregations, New England clergy of the 18 th Century developed singing classes to teach their members ways to improve their vocal abilities. The classes became so popular that the singing method soon spread into the surrounding community and became an integral part of the area's social life. New creative, lively pieces created by the locals did not conform to rigid European conservatory rules of the times. The new songs were based on the Scottish and English church music that made free use of counterpoint and dance rhythms coupled with loose harmonic rules.
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Sacred Harp singing is a non-denominational community musical event emphasizing participation, not performance. Singers sit facing inward in a hollow square. The singing is not accompanied by harps or any other instrument. The group sings from The Sacred Harp , an oblong songbook first published in by B. White and E. The repertory includes psalm tunes, fuging tunes, odes and anthems by the first American composers , and also settings of folk songs and revival hymns The current Edition contains many songs in these styles by living composers. This style of singing stems from singing schools in the colonial period. Preserved in the rural South, Sacred Harp singing also called fasola singing or shape-note singing is making a major resurgence in cities and campuses throughout North America and beyond. North Mississippi is fortunate to have traditional all-day singings within easy driving distance.
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But they are not a choir in the usual sense. Rather, this is a community singing event, more like a Messiah sing-along, where everyone is welcome to pick up a book and join in with the singing. In fact, everyone who wants to can select a song and lead the group in singing it. The music has a striking, sometimes modal quality unlike modern choral music, and the singing style could be described as vigorous. The group carries on a year-old tradition of community singing still practiced in small communities in the South, and there are similar groups around the country.

While the practice singings are informal, the group sponsors an annual All-Day Singing in July , and once every three years, they host the All-California Convention, two days of singing the next one will be in January, At the most recent All-California Convention, singers from 11 states gathered for two days of vigorous singing and fellowship.

The music of The Sacred Harp is written out in a slightly modified musical notation, which would look familiar to anyone who reads conventional music. As in a conventional choir, singers of the same part sit together, but in this group the four parts form a hollow square, so that the focus of the music is toward the singers. See their website www.

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