Traveling Home: Sacred Harp Singing and American Pluralism by Kiri Miller is now available from the University of Illinois Press (ISBN 0252032144). Kiri is an assistant professor of music at Brown University. In 2002 she edited The Chattahoochee Musical Convention, 1852-2002: A Sacred Harp Historical Sourcebook, and authored the American Music article "First Sing the Notes: Oral and Written Traditions in Sacred Harp Transmissions" (Volume 22, No. 4 Winter 2004 475-501). This new book is a version of her 2005 PhD dissertation (A Long Time Traveling: Song, Memory, and the Politics of Nostalgia in the Sacred Harp Diaspora) -- though Kiri says it is "shorter and a bit more user-friendly."
"A powerful musical practice that has drawn together a diverse and far-flung community, Sacred Harp singing has roots in the American South and flourishing branches in New England, the Midwest, and on the West Coast. It has served as an emblem of American history in twenty-first century popular media, including the Oscar-winning film Cold Mountain. Meanwhile, the advent of internet discussion boards and increasing circulation of singer-produced recordings have changed the nature of traditional transmission and sharpened debates about Sacred Harp as an "authentic" form of Southern musical expression. Blending historical scholarship with wide-ranging fieldwork, Kiri Miller presents an engagingly written study of a musical movement that some have christened 'a quintessential expression of American democracy'." -- From the University of Illinois Press web site