We’re so very excited that the book is being reviewed! We sent an advance electronic copy to Sheila Girling Macadam and Edwin Macadam of the UK Sacred Harp and Shape Note Singers. Here’s a few excerpts from their thoughtful and positive review–you can read the entire review HERE.
In a time of recession that stretches beyond national and geographical boundaries, there is a lot to be said for comfort derived from the past. For many the arrival of The Shenandoah Harmony, in content and form an homage to sacred and secular music over more than two hundred years, will be welcomed as a ray of light in an otherwise troubled world. …
What started out as an intention to bring the music and the times of the Kentucky Harmony to a 21st -century audience, has patently expanded to embrace the demands of a new generation of singers and composers who have been eager for the opportunity to be more involved with this exciting genre. Were there any doubt about this, the YouTube videos and recordings of enthusiastic renderings of The Shenandoah Harmony sampler collection from early 2012 onwards, are more than sufficient testament. Thanks are due to the groups of singers on both sides of the Atlantic who, over the past year, have welcomed these tunes into their shapenote repertoire. The leap of faith shown by The Shenandoah Harmony Music Committee in their decision to self-publish a new anthology for a new millennium is well justified. The times certainly are a-changing, order your copy now.
Sheila Girling Macadam and Edwin Macadam
Steven Sabol is a longtime singer and author of the informative Sacred Harp & Shape-Note Music Resources page. He posted about the Shenandoah on the Fasola discussions list on February 20th (reposted here with his permission):
I bought my copy last night at the DC Capitol Hill singing and sang from it for around two hours. Lots of wonderful old songs (perhaps 2/3 in minor keys) [ed: the actual total is 53%] originally published in around 70 old collections from various parts of the US, with some emphasis on the songs published by Ananias Davisson. Remarkably, each tune has a code at the top indicating the original source and the page number on that source. Leafing through the book on the subway ride home, I found some beautiful well-known songs that years ago I learned from other tunebooks currently in print (Christian Harmony, Northern Harmony, and Missouri Harmony), such as Babylonian Captivity, Samanthra, Captain Kidd/Green Meadows, Converse, Thorny Desert, Pennsylvania, Harvest Hymn, and The Apple Tree, but most tunes were unfamiliar to me. There is essentially no overlap with The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition except for a couple of tunes presented differently, such as the great tune Stafford now with inoffensive lyrics (finally, we can now sing that song!). As mentioned, the publication and typesetting quality are first-rate. I am in awe over the fact that the Music Committee, which consists of Sacred Harpers with extensive singing but not previous musicological and publishing experience, were able to go through the learning curve required to produce such a first-rate, well researched magnum opus after only two years of work. I recommend that everyone buy a copy!