'Journey into the square' a geographical perspective of sacred harp

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michele Abee (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Susan Walcott

Abstract: This thesis analyzes how the Sacred Harp adapted to become a unique musical tradition culturally and geographically specific to the America South. By applying methods from the Geography of Religion and Music Geography fields with contributions from Atlantic History and Ecomusicology, an uncommon perspective emerges as a regional network of shape-notes reveal how it became Sacred Harp over time. Originating in England, psalter hymnals reach the American colonies through the Puritan culture. Once in the New England region the psalters become shape-notes. Eventually the Great Awakenings and Better Music Movement force shape-notes out of the North and they journey along the Great Wagon Road through the Appalachia backcountry. With their migration shape-notes become adopted in the Scots-Irish churches that are scattered throughout the region. The family ways of the Scots-Irish solidify the continuation of shape-notes which result in the emergence of the Sacred Harp. Due to the singing families that dominate this tradition Sacred Harp has survived to the present and has redistributed itself across the nation, practiced and loved by many others.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Atlantic history, Ecomusicology, Geography, Sacred harp
Shape-note singing $z Southern States
Sacred vocal music $z Southern States
Religion and geography
Music and geography $z Southern States

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