Sacred Harp traditions

If you enjoy singing Sacred Harp music, you may want to learn more about the tradition.


1. NPR reports on Sacred Harp singing

In 2003, NPR’s Melissa Block did a twelve minute report on traditional Southern singing that offers good concise introduction to the Sacred Harp tradition.


2. Online introduction to the tradition

An excellent online introduction to the Sacred Harp tradition may be found on the Web site.


3. Books on Sacred Harp

Two excellent books on the Sacred Harp tradition, both of which are readable and accurate, can be previewed on Google Books.

The Sacred Harp: A Tradition and Its Music by Buell Cobb, Jr. (University of Georgia, 1978, 1989, rpt. 2004), provides an excellent introduction to the Sacred Harp tradition for the general reader. This book was written in 1978, and revised in 1989, with additional material that describes the urban revival of Sacred Harp singing.

Sacred Song in America: Religion, Music, and Public Culture by Stephen Marini (University of Illinois, 2003) contains a chapter on Sacred Harp singing: “Sacred Harp Singing: Continuity and Change in the American Singing-School Tradition” (pp. 68-99). This chapter provides a useful update to Cobb’s book. Marini describes the continuing evolution of Southern singing, and the continued growth of the urban revival. You can read this chapter in the Google Books preview.


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