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Shapenote Singing: Bibliography and References

Compiled by: Robin A. McGalliard and Arlene Rodenbeck
Publication Date: June 17, 1977
(adapted from the Lomax website and subsequently updated - sgm-emlm)

A very full Bibliography can be found at

  • Abernethy, Franci E. "Singing All Day & Dinner on the Grounds." In Abernethy, F.E., ed., Observations & Reflections on Texas Folklore, Austin: Encino Press, 1972 (Publication of the Texas Folklore Society, number 37), pp. 131-140.
  • Baldwin, Jim. "Singing with So-Fa Syllables." Bittersweet, volume 2, number 1, Fall 1974, pp. 4-16
  • Beale, John. Public Worship, Private Faith: Sacred Harp and American Folksong. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1997.
  • Boswell, George W. "Verse and Music in the Sacred Harp." Southern Folklore Quarterly, volume 34, number 1, March 1970, pp. 53-61.
  • Boyd, Joe Dan. "Judge Jackson: Black Giant of White Spirituals." Journal of American Folklore, volume 83, number 330, October-December 1970, pp. 446-451.

    "Negro Sacred Harp Songsters in Mississippi." Mississippi Folklore Register, volume 5, number 3, Fall 1971, pp. 60-83.

  • Brown, Fred. "Harp Singers' Music is Poetry of the Generations." Knoxville News-Sentinel 2 May 1988: A3.
  • Buchanan, Annabel M. Folk Hymns of America. New York: J. Fischer & Bro., 1938.
  • Chase, Gilbert. America's Music. New York: McGraw Hill, 1955; revised second edition, 1966. Chapter 10, "The fasola folk."
  • Cheek, Curtis L. "The Singing School in America: Backgrounds." The Hymn, volume 13, number 1, January 1962, pp. 5-11.
  • Cobb, Buell. The Sacred Harp of the South: A Study of Origins, Practices, and Present Implications." Louisiana Studies, volume 7, number 2, summer 1968, pp. 107-121.
  • Cowell, Sidney Robertson. "The 'Shaped-Note Singers' and Their Music." The Score (London), volume 12, June 1955, pp. 9-14.
  • "White Spirituals." Modern Music, volume 21, number 1, November-December 1943, pp. 10-15.
  • Davis, Josephine R. "Early American Singing Schools." Music Journal, volume 20, number 3, March 1962, pp. 46, 94-95.
  • Daniel, Wayne W. "Sacred Harp." Georgia Journal Summer 1995: 37-39.
  • Emerson, Bo. "Joyful Noise." Atlanta Journal-Constitution 29 June 1997: M1+.
  • Eskew, Harry. "Wm. Walker, 1809-1875: Popular Southern Hymnist." The Hymn, volume 15, number 1, January 1964, pp. 3-13.
  • Gilson, F. The History of Shaped or Character Notes, with Specimens. Boston: F. H. Gilson, 1889.
  • Grayson, Lisa. A Beginner's Guide to Shape-note Singing. Rev. ed. Chicago: Chicago Sacred Harp Singers, 1997
  • Green, Archie. "Hear Those Beautiful Sacred Selections." 1970 Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council, volume 2, number 2, 1971, pp. 28-50.
  • Griffith, Kay. "Sacred Harp." Loblolly, volume 2, number 2, Fall 1974, pp. 11-16.
  • Hall, Paul M. "The Shape-Note Hymnals and Tune Books of Ruebush-Kieffer Company." The Hymn, volume 22, number 3, July 1971, pp. 69-76.
  • Hamm, Charles. "The Chapins and Sacred Music in the South and West." Journal of Research in Musical Education, volume 8, number 2, Fall 1960, pp. 91-98.

    "Folk Hymns of the Shenandoah Valley." Virginia Cavalcade, volume 6, Autumn 1956, pp. 14-19.

  • Hinton, Sam. "The Shape-Note Hymns: An American Choral Tradition." The Choral Journal, volume 13, number 5, January 1973, pp. 7-11.
  • Hoffman, Elizabeth. "Full, Conscious and Active Singing." Liturgy 90 [Archdiocese of Chicago] Oct. 1992: 8-9.
  • Holditch, Kenneth. "The Sacred Harp: A Southern Folk Hymnody." Louisiana Folklore Miscellany, volume 3, number 1, April 1970, pp. 5-15
  • Horn, Dorothy D. Sing to Me of Heaven: A Study of Folk and Early American Materials in Three Old Harp Books. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1970.
  • Howard, John Tasker and George Kent Bellows. A Short History of Music in America. New York: Thomas Y Crowell Co., 1967. Chapter 4, "The Years of the Revolution."
  • Hulan, Richard. "Folk Hymns: The Cane Ridge Legacy." In 1973 Festival of American Folklife (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1973), pp. 18-20.
  • Jackson, George Pullen. Another Sheaf of White Spirituals. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1952.

    Down-East Spirituals and Others. New York: J.J. Augustin, 1943. 2nd Edition, 1953. Reprint edition, New York: Da Capo Press, 1975.

    Spiritual Folk Songs of Early America. New York: J.J. Augustin, 1943. Reprint edition, New York: Dover Publications, 1964.

    The Story of the Sacred Harp, 1844-1944. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1944.

    White and Negro Spirituals: Their Lifespan and Kinship. New York: J.J. Augustin, 1943. Reprint Edition, New York: Do Capo Press, 1975.

    White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1933. Reprint Editions, Hatboro, Pennsylvania: Folklore Associates, 1964; New York: Dover Publications, 1965.

  • James, Joseph S. A Brief History of the Sacred Harp and its Author, B.F. White, Sr., and Contributors. Douglasville, Georgia: New South Book and Job Print, 1904.
  • Lomax, Alan. The Folk Songs of North America in the English Language. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1960.
  • Lowens, Irving. Music and Musicians in Early America. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1964. Chapter 6, "The Easy Instructor (1798-1831): A History and Bibliography of the first Shape-Note Tune Book." Chapter 7, "John Wyeth�s Repository of Sacred Music Part Second (1813): A Northern Precursor of Southern Folk Hymnody."
  • McDowell, L.L. Songs of the old Camp Ground. Ann Arbor: Edwards Bros., 1937.
  • Moser, Mabel Y. "Christian Harmony Singing at Etowah." Appalachian Journal, volume 1, number 4, Spring 1974, pp. 263-270.
  • Patterson, Daniel W. "Hunting for the American White Spiritual: A Survey of Scholarship, with Discography." Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal, volume 3, number 1, Winter 1970-71, pp. 7-18.
  • Perrin, Phil D. "Systems of Scale Notation in Nineteenth Century American Tune Books." Journal of Research in Musical Education, volume 18, number 3, Fall 1970, pp. 257-264.
  • Robinson, Mark and Greg Humber. "Singing Schools." Loblolly, volume 2, number 3, Winter 1974, pp. 24-29.
  • Sandburg, Carl. Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years. 2 vols. New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1926.
  • Scholton, J.W. "Amzi Chapin: Frontier Singing Master and Folk Hymn Collector." Journal for Research in Musical Education, volume 23, number 2, Summer 1975, pp. 109-119.
  • Seeger, Charles. "Contrapuntal Style in the Three-Voice Shape-Note Hymns." Musical Quarterly, volume 26, number 4, October 1940, pp. 483-493.
  • Simms, L. Moody, Jr. "Aldine S. Kieffer and the Musical Million." Journal of Popular Culture, volume 3, number 2, Fall 1969, pp. 281-286.
  • Steel, David Warren. Sacred Harp FAQ. <>.
  • Walker, William. Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion. 1853. Ed. Harry Plantinga. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Wheaton, Ill.: Wheaton College, 1993.
  • Wolf, John Quincy. "The Sacred Harp in Mississippi." Journal of American Folklore, volume 81, number 322, October-December 1968, pp. 337-341.

This Web Site has been set up for the United Kingdom Sacred Harp and Shapenote Community in order to provide a resource centre for singing in the United Kingdom.  Any correspondence, helpful suggestions and contributions as to content, amendments, additions and new web links should be sent to      Contents of this website � 1998-2019 Edwin and Sheila Macadam, Oxford, United Kingdom.