Sacred Harp singing
On the second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 pm.
Held at Heath Street Baptist Church, Heath Street, Hampstead, London, NW3 1DN. See map and get directions.
Beginners are always welcome!
Recently the subject of a documentary on BBC Radio 4, Sacred Harp singing is an old a cappella hymn-singing tradition from the American South - older than gospel, certainly, with tunes so old that their origins are sometimes obscure. This singing tradition preserved forms, devices and harmonic tastes that were swept away in Europe as classical choral and sacred music evolved – a kind of early church music, but from the New World.
In its original home region of the southern US, a Sacred Harp singing is akin to a church service, and even for those who lack any kind of connection to the original tradition and the Protestant Christianity in which it is rooted, it is far more than just music. There is no getting away from it: this music is spiritual and - perhaps more than anything else - it is about communicating and connecting with others by singing together. The experience can be overwhelming.
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