Learning Sacred Harp

Please note that this page has not been updated in several years.

The Sacred Harp sound

Here’s what Sacred Harp singing sounds like, as sung by traditional singers:

Here’s what Sacred Harp sounds like in the urban revival of Sacred Harp, outside of the Sacred Harp heartland of the Deep South (approx. 150 singers at the All-California Sacred Harp Convention):

Singing Sacred Harp

Learning from audio recordings

Sacred Harp singing is a participatory singing tradition. Although it is sung from written music, it is also an aural/oral tradition, and it’s important to listen to singers who have been immersed in the tradition.

Learning to lead Sacred Harp from videos

A democratic tradition, every singer may lead a tune during a singing. The basics of leading can be learned from videos.

More Sacred Harp and shapenote

Shape note music scores

Early American music for shapenote singers. Also included are one or two scores in standard musical notation. Composers include William Billings, William Walker, etc.

The texts and theology

What do you do when you don’t happen to agree with the theology of early American sacred music?

Texts for a new psalter

My personal collection of metrical paraphrases of psalm texts.


My Sacred Harp blog

Mostly dating from 2010 to 2022

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