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The Long Island Traditional Music Association

"giving you that old song and dance"

Shape Note Singing

A note from the webmaster

As of today [February 23] I have seen conflicting information about any 2017 version of an all day Yale Sing. More updates, and possibly an email broadcast if I can confirm the event is a 'go'.

Shape Note Yale Field Trip!

A Note from Martha

There seems to be an overwhelming need to participate in an all day sing. There's one this Sunday at Yale so..... we're off to visit Yale in order to satisfy this yearning. Unfortunately, this requires the cancellation of this month's regular sing.

On the up side... We are arranging carpools and crossing the Sound using the Port Jefferson/Bridgeport ferries. If you're interested in joining in, call me at 631-807-3391 and we'll add you to our list so that we can work out the car pools.

If you've never been able to participate in a large sing, think seriously about joining in. I'd not hesitate to liken it to being in the middle of an organ.... not that I've ever experienced that action...........

Here is the information Yale has put out on their facebook page:

Join us for the second annual New Haven All-Day Singing on Sunday, April 15 from the Denson Revision of the Sacred Harp. We will begin singing at 10 AM and break for dinner at 12:30.

We will convene the day after the Rhode Island All-Day in Providence, a short two-hour drive from New Haven. If you are coming for the weekend and would like a place to stay, please contact our housing coordinator, Ian Quinn, at ian.quinn@yale.edu.

Connecticut Hall is located in Yale University's Old Campus, bounded by College, Chapel, High, and Elm Streets. To find it by GPS, use 344 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520. This will take you to Phelps Gate, the main entrance to Old Campus. After you've passed through Phelps Gate, Connecticut Hall is the first free-standing building on your left. Sunday street parking in the area is typically ample and always free.

New Haven is easily accessible by car on Interstates 91 and 95, which intersect a half-mile from campus. Train service is available from New York on Metro-North or from points north on Amtrak. The singing is a twenty minute walk or five minute cab ride from Union Station.

If you have any questions, please contact our chair, Philippa Stoddard, at philippa.stoddard@yale.edu or our vice-chair, Charles Biada, at charles.biada@yale.edu.

Come and sing with us! All are welcome, regardless of creed or musical experience.

Join use every third Sunday at Bethany Presbyterian Church, Huntington Station

Sacred Harp singing, also known as shaped note singing, is an a capella form of singing that began in New England. Early in America's history, there were tune books containing just the music and there were word books containing only the poetry written by people such as Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley. People would sing the poetry using any tune that had a matching meter. Harmony was an impromptu thing before the Singing Masters began to write down the parts.

Towns and parishes would hire an itinerant singing master to teach music, and he would bring with him music that he had written or that he had collected, often in a book that he had published (which he would sell).

Musically uneducated people learned to sing by ear and taught the tunes to each other using a system of syllables representing the different pitches. In England, this Fa-Sol-La-Mi method of solfage existed before our forefathers came to America

The "shape-note" musical notation was invented in order to facilitate the teaching of written music. This system of music notation uses standard ledger lines and spaces in which the degrees of the scale are identified by a sequence of differently-shaped note heads associated with the sung syllables. Writing down the Fa Sol La Mi syllables as shapes provided a big help in teaching the people to see what they already knew in their heads.

for more information, contact Martha 631-325-8272 or Terry 718-740-3808

There are also excellent informational resources at other sites on the web. Visit Sacred Harp Singing or the Fasola Home Page for more information and even more links to the Sacred Harp experience.