Inclusivity

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The Shenandoah Harmony Publishing Company and the co-authors of The Shenandoah Harmony are committed to building a welcoming and affirming shape note singing community. Currently, there is a much needed discussion about racial and gender inclusion in singing and we feel compelled to address this. Read more

Isaac Watts talk by Thomas Ward

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Our friend, Thomas Ward, gives a lively and intense presentation on Isaac Watts in the English Dissenting tradition in the early 18th century. Incorporating songs sung by the class at the NSV Double All Day 2018 social, Thomas discusses what…

In Memory of John Bayer, Jr.

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John Bayer, Jr. passed away on December 8, 2016 just over a year after the death of his wife, Loraine. They are survived by their children, Regina, Hans, and Jubal, and four grandchildren. I first met John Bayer in September 1990 at the United Convention in Chicago (held for the first time out of the South!)

Did Lucius Chapin write the Amazing Grace tune?

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The melody sung to John Newton's 1779 hymn "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound" is, without a doubt, America's best-loved hymn tune. An 1828 manuscript by Lucius Chapin (1760-1842), who was famous in his day as a hymn tune writer, raises the possibility that Lucius was its composer.

Consolation New

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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…

Questioning the Unanswered Cadence

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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?

Barring It All, Part 1

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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…

Meter, Rhythm, and the Most Awkward Farewell

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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 this…

Thoughts on Tune Families

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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…

Suffering Savior (p. 344t)

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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…

200 Years of Bourbon

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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…