Bloomington Sacred Harp

Shape note singing in and around Bloomington, Indiana

Archive for the tag “sacred harp”

Local Paper Features Bloomington Sacred Harp Singing

The following article is posted in full with permission from The Herald-Times. The photos have been added by Aaron.

Oct 21, 2018) Music lovers can shape their weekend around a shape note singing event that’s become a tradition in Bloomington.

Shape note singing also goes by “sacred harp” — referring to the human body (like a harp) as an instrument. Developed in North America from 1770 to the mid 1800s as a way for teachers to instruct students how to read music and sing, it shared a comeback with the revival of folk singing in the 1960s.

Reading music can be difficult, and scores can be exceedingly complicated. Sight singing — picking up a piece of sheet music and immediately trying to grasp the tune, rhythm, key and tempo — is even harder. And for singers, it can be daunting. Read more…

A Message from Moira Smiley

1936166_105800615853_3060082_nOne of the reasons I became interested in Shape Note music was from hearing Moira Smiley sing in Bloomington, IN. One particular concert took place as part of the Bloomington Early Music Festival. I was hooked.

I decided to reach out to Moira to see if she would do a personal video talking about the influence of Shape Note music on her music and also to help us spread the word about our upcoming All Day Singing. Here is her response. Down below, I’ll post some of Moira’s music. Update: This post is from 2016. This year’s All Day Singing takes place on October 21st. Details here.


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