Posted by: northeastnation | July 17, 2013

Shaped-note singing offers glimpse into Southern musical history

Shaped-note singing is an American tradition of hymn-singing that endures today in churches and annual singing schools and conventions. The style began in New England in the 18th century and made its way to the Southern states where it enjoyed popularity through the mid-19th century.

New ImageFans of the style, as well as newcomers to the method, will be treated to a concert and workshop by singers from Kingsport’s Tri-City Gospel Music Camp July 25 at 7 p.m. at Northeast State’s Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public.

Basically, shaped-notes allow for a simplified way to read music. Based on squares, ovals, diamonds, and triangles – the distinctive shapes of the notes instantly tell what pitch to sing. The style gained a great following in colonial times when many singers were musically untrained.

The performing arts center is located at 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

For more information, contact Jim Kelly at jpkelly@NortheastState.edu or 423.279.7669.

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