Regular Local Singings
East Lansing Singing
(1st & 3rd Mondays, 7-9 pm)
(3rd Sunday, 4-6 pm)
Ann Arbor Singing
(2nd Sunday, 1-4 pm)
Lake Orion Singing
(4th Sundays, excepting Thanksgiving, 2-5 PM)
Grand Rapids Singing
(1st Saturdays, 9:30-11:15 AM)
(1st Wednesdays, 7-9 pm)
Regional 2017 all-day Singings:
2017 University of Michigan
March 18, 2017
2017 Detroit All Day Singing
April 22, 2017
May 13, 2017
2017 Midwest Convention
April 29-30, 2017
July 15, 2017
July 16, 2017
2017 Central Ontario
August 26, 2017
2017 Fox Valley Folk Festival (Batavia, IL)
Sept 3, 2017
Hyde Park (Chicago) Anniversary Singing
November 4, 2017
January 1 - New Year's Day Singing from The Harmonia Sacra,
1 to 5 pm, 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
Sacred Harp youtube videos:
2016 Michiana Singing
2016 Missouri Convention
2015 Midwest Convention selections
2015 Mid-Michigan Singing
2014 Michiana Singing
2013 Kalamazoo Singing
Video about Sacred Harp singing
Email notice sign-up for Lansing local singings and/or Michigan-area events.
(Sign up to get email notices about Lansing regular singings and regional events)
One page introduction to shape note singing, suitable for printing
and handing out at singings.
Brief history of the Mid-Michigan singing.
Shape Note singing resources:
Wikipedia about shape note singing
Online Shape Note Singing recordings
Martha Beverly's photos of singings
Mason's Sacred Harp (or Eclectic Harmony) 1835 edition PDF
Download a pdf of the
American Church Harp from 1856
1860 Sacred Harp Download
Movie Trailer for
Awake My Soul:
The Story of the Sacred Harp,
PBS documentary about Sacrd Harp Singing.
Return to site home
The All-Day University of Michigan singing, in Ann Arbor, is MARCH 18, 2017. Go here to find out more.
• The first Detroit All Day singing is April 22, 2017, for more information go here.
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 shown above in the page header)
which are similar to the solfege heard in The Sound of Music,
fa sol la fa sol la mi —four shape system we use
do re me fa sol la ti —seven shape system in the Sound of Music
For us, the first three notes, "do re me" are replaced with "fa sol la" and the ti with mi. This simplifies the relations between notes.
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 and men who ), 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 at
Edgewood United Church, 469 N. Hagadorn, East Lansing,
just a few blocks North of Grand River.
We meet in the chapel across from the Sanctuary. Sometimes the lights aren't on in the hallway, 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 email@example.com.
A shape note song from the American Church Harp (1856):