Category Archives: News

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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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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200 Years of Bourbon

One of the joys—and sometimes frustrations—of choosing songs for The Shenandoah Harmony   was the often overwhelming number of different shape-note arrangements available for the same song.  BOURBON (13t), which has been in print since 1814, is a classic example.  We  chose … Continue reading

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Friendship (to every willing mind)

221b FRIENDSHIP is one of the few folk melodies in A Supplement to the Kentucky Harmony that has a well known, secular source—it was written by George Frederick Handel for his 1736 opera Atalanta.  Sometime in the sixty years after its first … Continue reading

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Four “Irish” Tenors

Here are four favorite melodies I find myself coming back to time and again…  All four were published by Ananias Davisson in the Shenandoah Valley.  They’re all minor and seem, at least to me, similar to a lot of Irish … Continue reading

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Shenandoah sampler discs

We’ve had numerous requests to make some sampler CDs for folks who want to get started with the book.  All these tracks are also available for free download on our web site.  They’re rough “field recordings” of various singings and … Continue reading

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Morgan’s Judgment Anthem, newly typeset

UPDATE: Our friends Becky, Leland, Cheri, and Ivy in Northampton recorded JUDGMENT ANTHEM! You can hear and download it from Soundcloud. I just completed a new shape-note edition of Justin Morgan’s JUDGMENT ANTHEM, available for download here. It’s a real choral … Continue reading

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Long-lost Shenandoah tunebook found

It’s rare to discover lost shape-note songs, let alone entire books, so I was completely floored to find that a copy of the long-lost James P. Carrell’s Songs of Zion (1821) was recently cataloged by the University of Virginia. Songs of Zion is … Continue reading

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The Electronic Edition

The entire Shenandoah Harmony is available as a hyperlinked PDF for $12 or the equivalent in your currency. The eBook has a fuller bibliography and 35 additional pages of indices: Index of Composers and Arrangers (with songs titles) Source Index … Continue reading

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