The best way to learn how to sing Sacred Harp is by singing Sacred Harp! Join us in Palo Alto on the 2nd and 4th Sundays from 2-4 p.m., sing at one of the other Bay Area local singings, or attend an all-day singing.
The Berkeley Sacred Harp singers have a two page guide for new singers. If you’ve never sung from printed music before, pick up a copy of a beginner’s booklet at any Palo Alto singing (thanks to Pat Coghlan who printed these for us). This booklet will help you understand what you see on the printed page, and how you can turn that into music.
Purchase your own copy of The Sacred Harp so you can practice at home. You can buy a copy at any singing, or order yours online here.
If you’re a more experienced singer, one of the best ways to learn Sacred Harp singing at home is by watching videos, or listening to recordings of Sacred Harp singings. Videos will help you pick up the finer points of leading, while audio recordings of traditional Southern singings let you hear the traditional ways songs may be sung.
— The best selection of online audio is Robert Stoddard’s collection of live recordings.
— An excellent selection of online videos may be found on Pat Coghlan’s collection of Sacred Harp videos.
About Sacred Harp
Sacred Harp: The PUnk Rock of Choral Music, KALW reporter Shani Aviram’s radio piece on Sacred Harp
In the video below, Washington State singer Kevin Barrans describes the music and community of Sacred Harp:
In the video below, European singers describe what Sacred Harp means to them:
In the photo below, Linda leads a tune at the 2015 Palo Alto All-Day Singing: