Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sacred Harp/ Shape Note singing

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I find this kind of music utterly marvellous and deeply spiritual.

It was originally English, went to New England then spread to survive mainly in the Deep South.

But this is a truly great poem by Charles Wesley - "And am I born to die?" done by an American Indian choir.

What happens is that the choir breaks into the four voices (treble, alto, tenor, bass) in an inward-facing square. (The music is designed for participation - not passive listening).

First the choir tunes to a chord, then sings the notes in a kind of tonicsolfa, then sings the words: you need to read the words as you listen.

The style is almost wholly based on block chords, with not much in the way of melody.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU_QFvkPJvw

Lots more on this website

http://fasola.org/

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