More about the history and significance of African American Spirituals and Shape-Note Singing

These two rich American traditions of hymnody and music learning form the basis for our Good Friday worship this year at 7:30pm. Learn more about the fascinating history behind the music...

Spirituals

It's hard to overstate the importance of spirituals in African-American culture. Here are some starting places to learn more about this rich heritage of music and its significance.


Shape-Note Singing

  • The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association sponsors a fantastic website packed with resources at fasola.org
  • DigitalHeritage.org (sponsored by Western Carolina University and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area) has some wonderful information on how shape-note singing is part of Appalachian culture
  • Smithsonian Folkways provides a detailed Shape Note Singing Lesson plan and associated resources intended for grades 3-8
  Detail from a page from an early edition of  The Sacred Harp , a shape-note hymnal. Source: The Library of Congress (   loc.gov/item/ihas.200038829 ).

Detail from a page from an early edition of The Sacred Harp, a shape-note hymnal. Source: The Library of Congress (loc.gov/item/ihas.200038829).

David ChavezMusic