The basics

First: If you don’t have it already, get the beginner’s guide: First time at a Sacred Harp singing?

Second: We sing from a book called The Sacred Harp and we always have “loaner books” you can borrow. Some people like to own a copy of the book so they can look through it between singings, and you can buy your own copy of The Sacred Harp here.

Third: The following handouts, from the “Singing School” we held in 2011 may be helpful as you learn the names and shapes of the notes:
Fa Sol La scale, major and minor (you can also find this information on page 18 in The Sacred Harp book).
New Britain, or Amazing Grace, in 4-shape notes. This handout is helpful to new singers because each part has the lyrics printed just below their part. In The Sacred Harp book the lyrics are spread out over the page, and your eye has to jump between the line of the music and the lyrics for whatever verse you’re singing — you get used to it pretty quickly, but when you’re first starting out it’s nice to be able to practice at least one tune without having to worry about the lyrics.
Wayfaring Stranger, in 4-shape notes, with the lyrics printed below each part (similar to the previous handout).

 

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