2015 Mid-Michigan All Day singing video

Regular Local Singings in Michigan:
East Lansing Singing
(1st & 3rd Mondays, 7-9 pm)
Kalamazoo Singing
(3rd Sunday, 4-6 pm)
Ann Arbor Singing
(2nd Sunday, 1-4 pm)
Detroit Singing
(4th Sundays, excepting Thanksgiving, 2-5 PM)
Grand Rapids Singing
(1st Saturdays, 9:30-11:15 AM)

Email notice sign-up of Lansing local singings and/or Michigan-area events.

One page introduction to shape note singing, suitable for printing.

Upcoming All-day Singings:
2015 Michiana All-Day Singing
July 18, 2015
2015 Kalamazoo All-Day Singing
July 19, 2015

Chicago Area Singings:
Anniversary Singing flyer, January 10-11, 2015
Midwest Convention, May 30-31, 2015
Hyde Park Anniversary Singing


January 1 - New Year's Day Singing from The Harmonia Sacra, 1 to 5pm, followed by a potluck supper at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Chapel of the Word inside Waltner Hall, 3003 Benham Avenue,
Elkhart, Indiana. Books available for loan or purchase. Contact: Samuel
Sommers, scmws@yahoo.com

Brief history of the Mid-Michigan singing.

Check out http://fasola.org and http://home.olemiss.edu/~mudws for more info about Shape Note singing.

Other Links

Watch entireall-day singings on YouTube!
2013 Kalamazoo singing
2014 Michiana singing

Video about Sacred Harp singing.

Wikipedia entry about shape note singing

Online Shape Note Singing recordings

Martha Beverly's photos of singings

Mason's Sacred Harp (or Eclectic Harmony) Download a pdf of the 1935 edition (A different book from The Sacred Harp).

American Church Harp Download a pdf of a shaped note songbook from 1856, in PDF format (15.8 MB).

1860 Sacred Harp Download a pdf of the 1860 Sacred Harp book (90.8 MB.)

Movie Trailer for
Awake My Soul:
The Story of the Sacred Harp
,
PBS documentary about Sacrd Harp Singing.

Return to site home

Note: No singing on Labor day 2015 in East Lansing!

Welcome to the Michigan regional shape note singing site. Shape Note singing is a method of sight-reading music, without having to understand the intricacies of musical notation. The relation of pitches to each other is found by using the scale fa sol la fa sol la mi (shapes are shown above in the page header) which is similar to the one we are all familiar with from the film, The Sound of Music, do re me fa sol la ti, except that the first three notes, "do re me" are replaced with "fa sol la" and the ti with mi. Although there are some secular songs written in the shape note style, mostly all the songs are hymns, but a singer does not need to adhere to any religion to sing these songs.

We sing out of the book called The Sacred Harp, which has been published continuously since the 1840s. The poetry is wonderful; the harmonies glorious. We are all singing for fun, not performance, so we don't always get it done "right," but we often do, and even those songs that aren't sung perfectly are still rewarding!

The method by which we sing is to go around the square (we sit in a square with Trebles (sopranos), Tenors, Bass, and Altos each claiming a side), each singer picking a song in turn, calling out the page number. Those people gifted with being able to figure out the pitch of the song sing us know the starting notes (no pitch pipes or pianos, as we pitch it a little lower than concert pitch)!

It is traditional for everyone to sing their part through once together, singing the shapes (that is, the names of the notes), and then we launch into the song.

After that, the leader, who called the page to sing, identifies the verses that are to be sung, (since the songs often have many verses, we don't often sing them all, so that we can sing more songs) and then beats time (or has someone else do it for them) so that we sing together.

Mid-Michigan Shape Note singings.

Join Mid-Michigan singers on Facebook!

Shape Note singing in East Lansing
1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 7 PM until 9 PM
E
dgewood United Church, 469 N. Hagadorn, East Lansing,
just a few blocks North of Grand River.

We meet down the main hall, outside the Sanctuary. Sometimes the lights aren't on, but keep going, we are, or will be, there, usually everyone arrives promptly at 7, so if you show up early, we won't be there to greet you.

Map to regular singings in East Lansing at Edgewood United Church

For more info, call 517-381-1321 (Bob) or email singing@fasolamichigan.org.

A 14 minute 53 second video of a portion of the Mid-Michigan All Day singing, 2010 June 4:

A shape note song from the American Church Harp (1856):

A Home in Heaven

 

 

This website maintained by Bob Borcherding, if you have any questions or notice any errors, please email at singing@fasolamichigan.org.