Welcome to Sacred Harp Singing in Boston!
Join us to sing from the Sacred Harp and other shape-note tune books in Boston and beyond! No performances or rehearsals, commitment, experience, or ability required, just a wide variety of people coming together for singing, fellowship, and food. Free and open to all, loaner books are always available!
What is Sacred Harp?
Sacred Harp music takes its name from a series of American tunebooks called The Sacred Harp. It’s participatory, non-instrumental, choral music that anyone is invited to sing — there is no rehearsing for performance — with strong roots in the early music of New England and the deep South, and which has spread throughout the United States and to Canada, Europe, and Australia.
The Sacred Harp uses a system of musical notation, called shape notes, that allow even relatively new singers to sing tunes at a first reading. Singers typically sit in a square, by parts, and everyone is invited to lead from the center of the square.
If you’re not religious, or Christian, worry not — people from many traditions (and lack thereof) enjoy this music for its power and depth and for the joy of singing together.
More information is available at fasola.org. But the best way to learn about Sacred Harp is to join us in singing what just might be America’s oldest continuing choral music tradition.
Other Related Links
- Fasola.org (national Sacred Harp singing web site -- directory of singings, minutes, resources, and more)
- Camp Fasola (week-long Sacred Harp singing school -- youth & adult sessions in June & July)
- Awake My Soul (feature-length documentary on Sacred Harp singing)
- BostonSing.com Shapenote Resources (recordings, re-typeset tunebooks)