The Sacred Harp: A Tradition and Its Music

The Sacred Harp: A Tradition and Its Music

by Buell E. Cobb Jr.

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Overview

On any Sunday afternoon a traveler through the Deep South might chance upon the rich, full sound of Sacred Harp singing. Aided with nothing but their own voices and the traditional shape-note songbook, Sacred Harp singers produce a sound that is unmistakable—clear and full-voiced. Passed down from early settlers in the backwoods of the Southern Uplands, this religious folk tradition hearkens back to a simpler age when Sundays were a time for the Lord and the “singings.”

Illustrated with forty-one songs from the original songbook, The Sacred Harp is a comprehensive account of a unique form of folk music. Buell Cobb’s study encompasses the history of the songbook itself, an analysis of the music, and an intimate portrait of the singers who have kept alive a truly American tradition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820323718
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 12/07/2004
Series: Brown Thrasher Books Series
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 963,194
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

BUELL E. COBB is the author of Like Cords Around My Heart: A Sacred Harp Memoir and The Sacred Harp: A Tradition and Its Music. He taught English at West Georgia College (now the University of West Georgia) from 1969 to 1976. A longtime resident of Birmingham, he served as president of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company and, for fifteen years, as chair of the National Sacred Harp Singing Convention.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Brown Thrasher Editionvii
Prefacexv
1The Tradition1
2The Music30
3The Background and Early History57
4The Revisions84
5The Conventions128
6The Outlook149
Appendix ATraditional Sacred Harp Singings: Dates and Locations163
Appendix BSelected Songs from the Sacred Harp187
Selected Bibliography229
Notes232
Index237

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