Monday, February 23, 2009

Sacred Harp

When my brother comes to town, he usually times it along with a Sacred Harp convention. Sacred Harp is singing early american christian songs most written in the 1700's. There are no instruments. And it seems the goal is to sing as loud as you can. There are two sacred harp songs on my playlist (The Morning Trumpet and the Sacred Throne)...take a listen. (the first verse is shape note singing where they sing fa so la me....listen long enough to pass that and so you can hear the words of the song)
The singers sit in their part section and form a square around the room. The leader stands in the middle, keeping time while waving his/her arm. Usually the very dedicated singers sit in the front rows of the square, close to the leader. These singers usually wave their arms also, keeping beat with the leader. Here's my brother leading in the square.

What I love about it: The words to the songs. They are so beautiful and full of lines about salvation through Christ and obtaining rest in heaven when we pass on. I plan to buy one of the books just to have the lyrics on hand.'s fun to sing loud and not worry about what others think (my voice is usually drowned out by my brothers' anyway.)

If you like singing...and are willing to give up control over dynamics and pleasant sounding voices (the more old-timey you sound the better) then find a Sacred Harp group and attend a singing. Take some water and some headache medicine.
This singing was in Seattle near Belltown. So when I needed to clear my head I went for a walk and happened upon the Olympic Sculpture Park - part of Seattle's art musuem. It was really cool with HUGE sculptures and nice pathways and benches to enjoy them. I only saw a few...there were more near the water but I was limited on time. I plan to go back with my children. This is one of sculptures....I didn't see the plaque but I think it was titled, Waves.


Vicki said...

Your family sounds so great.... an Austenland sister and a Sacred Harp group singing brother. I had never heard of it before.

FitToSeeJane said...

I definitely want to go with you guys one of these times. I like the old timey sound!

Bennett Family said...

okay, i am ALL OVER THAT!!!!!!!!! lets go together. can we? please? WHEN???