Sunday, November 01, 2009

Random Sacred Harp quotes 2

"I have seen this music go from a national curiosity to a cool pursuit. Keep it healthy by singing it, loving it, and contributing to its future." -- Martha Beverly

"Nothing is weirder than Sacred Harp. Its favored subject matter--the pilgrim, the grave, Christ's blood--is stark; its style--severe fourths and otherworldly open fifths--has been obsolete for more than a century. Its notation, in which triangles, circles and squares indicate pitch, looks like cuneiform. Yet it exudes power and integrity. Five people sound like a choir; a dozen like a hundred." -- From "Give Me That Old-Time Singing"

"Be sure not to force the Sound thro' your Nose; but warble the Notes in your Throat" -- William Billings

"Shape note singing is one way to recapture the sense of happiness and participation that was common to all Americans long ago during the great age of participatory singing." -- Bruce Hayes

"I’m not trying to write any jawbreakers; I like a good plain tune best." -- Marcus Cagle

"European music is less agreeable to the American ear than her own." -- Abraham Maxim, in The Northern Harmony, 2d ed. (Exeter: Norris and Sawyer, 1808). I think a lot of Americans have flip-flopped on this issue since 1808.

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