Concerts With Commentary: The Sacred Harp

Feb 23, 2016

The University of Tulsa School of Music continued its Concerts with Commentary series with "The Sacred Harp”, featuring performances by TU music students led by Professor Dana Maher and introduced by Dr. John Powell. This program was featured in the Lorton Performance Center’s Gussman Concert Hall on Thursday, February 11, 2016 on The University of Tulsa campus.

Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of sacred choral music that originated in the southern United States. The name is derived from The Sacred Harp, an historically important tunebook printed in shape notes with its origins in 18th- and 19th-century American music.

The evening's Concerts With Commentary program (click to enlarge)

Wikipedia features an excellent explanation of shape note singing. A Today Show article spotlights the revival of this musical form, as seen in this clip from the movie Cold Mountain. FASOLA is the national shape note organization. Here is a YouTube example of contemporary shape note singing from an Irish Shape Note Convention.

Selections from the evening’s program can be heard below, beginning with an overview of Sacred Harp singing by Dr. John Powell.