We meet once a week for singing school. We sit in a hollow square. Altos, north. Trebles, east. Basses, west. And the tenors, who lead from the south. Many songs in the Sacred Harp tunebook, published by two Georgians in 1844, tell of death and salvation. But there are social tunes, about Buonaparte, old mother, rambling and roving, or singing school itself. Most of our tunes date back to 1780 – 1800 named after the New England congregations where they began, back when the North still had psalm-tune schools and composers. The shape-note – diamond, rectangle, oval, triangle – system we use, invented in 1801, has taught generations of Americans to sing without formal training. Our singing recalls the days when church music was sung by all. We sing for the joy of it. Loud is good and louder is better. We don’t perform. We sing as an end in itself.
Corequisites: Attendance at off-campus public singings. Date, time (usually on weekends during the day) and frequency TBA.