World Wednesdays: Sacred Harp

Sacred Harp or shapenote singing is a dis­tinc­tive Amer­i­can musi­cal form. Relat­ed to oth­er solfege, or named note, sys­tems used in Europe, the Sacred Harp devel­oped in the 19th cen­tu­ry as a way of teach­ing music in com­mu­ni­ties that lacked musi­cal instru­ments.

This week’s World Wednes­days pro­gram will give lis­ten­ers a taste of a tra­di­tion­al Sacred Harp singing ses­sion, fea­tur­ing a selec­tion of tunes from the Sacred Harp and oth­er shapenote hymnals–including some non-tra­di­tion­al inter­pre­ta­tions. The four-note fa-so-la-mi solfege sys­tem will be explained. The record­ings will include an intro­duc­to­ry prayer, and there will be a live “memo­r­i­al les­son” to remem­ber those who are gone.

World Wednes­days, an infor­mal explo­ration of tra­di­tion­al music with pre­sen­ter Otenth Pader­born, occurs week­ly from 6–7pm SLT in The Claren­don Con­ser­va­to­ry in New Bab­bage, or lis­ten at

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