Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of community singing that originated in colonial New England, and has been preserved for generations in the deep South of the United States.
The name is derived from The Sacred Harp, a tunebook printed in shape notes first published in 1844. The book is a rich collection of shape note songs from various sources, from the 1770s to the present day.
Australians first gathered to sing from The Sacred Harp in 2001 in Melbourne. There are now also regular singings in Blackwood, Canberra and Sydney.
This music is loud, participatory, folk hymn singing. There are no rehearsals and no performances. We just gather to sing in friendship for the joy of the music.
People of all faiths, and no faith, and singers of all abilities are welcome to come as often (or as infrequently) as they are able.
This 4 minute video provides an excellent overview (recorded at the 2015 annual singing at Shoal Creek Church in Alabama’s Talladega National Forest).
For more information on Sacred Harp visit http://fasola.org/.