Author Archives: Rachel Wells Hall

About Rachel Wells Hall

Rachel grew up in a family of folk musicians. She first sang shape note music with her mother in the late 1980s in Cincinnati, Ohio, and returned to singing in Philadelphia in 2009. In addition to singing, Rachel plays English concertina, diatonic accordion, piano, fiddle, and tabla. She is an associate professor of mathematics at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Download the (in)Complete Recordings

We’ve had a number of requests for a way to download all the recordings from our (in)complete recordings playlists. Here goes… Just a warning – as of February 13, 2018 we have 467 songs in the playlist, for a total of around 3 GB. Continue reading

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Consolation New

The song Consolation New appears on page 143 of The Shenandoah Harmony.  Although it was first published in Harrisburg, Pa. in 1813, the tune is probably far older.  Ananias Davisson rearranged the tune in 1822 and included it in A Supplement to … Continue reading

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The (in)Complete Recordings

Here are over 450 recordings to help you learn songs from The Shenandoah Harmony. To download a song, click to start it playing and then click “Download.” Continue reading

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Holyoke Range All-Day 2014 Recordings

We had a wonderful time singing in Massachusetts on Saturday, May 3.  Thanks to everyone involved, and, in particular, Cheri Hardy for chairing the singing and the Western Massachusetts community for your warm hospitality! Minutes for the singing are on … Continue reading

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Questioning the Unanswered Cadence

There’s sometimes an audible gasp from the class after singing REDEEMING GRACE, THE HUMBLE PENITENT, or Allison Blake Steel’s arrangement of HICKS’ FAREWELL. Why the surprise? Continue reading

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Barring It All, Part 1

Thanks to some perceptive comments on fasola-songwriters and elsewhere, I’m going to revisit my previous post on rhythm and meter.  Two comments that intrigued me were Leah Velleman’s idea that there might be a generative theory of rhythm that applies … Continue reading

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Meter, Rhythm, and the Most Awkward Farewell

Here’s a sequel to my previous post on tune families.  After reading Charles Seeger’s article ”Versions and variants of the tunes of ‘Barbara Allen,’” I was intrigued by the idea of adding rhythm to my analysis of tune families.  In … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Tune Families

In many early American churches—and some churches today—congregational singing consisted of either a preacher lining out a melody, with the congregation responding, or a cappella singing using words-only hymnals.  In either case, most folks learned the melody by ear.  Over generations and … Continue reading

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In Bethlehem City Christmas CD

We had a wonderful weekend at the Lehigh Valley All-Day Shenandoah Singing!  Not surprisingly, a lot of the Christmas songs in our book—in fact, almost all of them—were sung at some point during the weekend.  I’ve put together a Christmas … Continue reading

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Suffering Savior (p. 344t)

This was my response to a post by Matt Bell on the fasola-discussions list, but it deserves its own place here… The arrangement of SUFFERING SAVIOR that’s in William Hauser’s Hesperian Harp is one of my favorite songs.  It’s in the … Continue reading

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