The rich multicultural history of Protestant music, which absorbed in the folk styles of each region that was converted, is reflected in the repertory of the Sacred Harpers. There is the influence of John Calvin and the 1539 Genevan Psaltery and of the brilliant Scots psalmodists later in the sixteenth century, where unison and heterophony were fostered; of the musical reformers of the Anglican service; of the radical Methodists, like John and Charles Wesley, who brought many British folk and popular tunes into the hymnals by setting religious words to them; and, all-pervasive, of the Baptists, who led the way in the popular religious revivals in Britain and America and thus introduced many folk tunes and much folksy singing into the church.

From White Spirituals from the Sacred Harp, by Alan Lomax