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Sacred Harp Singing
Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
Sacred Harp Singing
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, Christian, Gospel
 
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

The sound may not be up to contemporary standards on this disc, but historically it is perhaps the most important recording ever released of Sacred Harp singing. Part of the Library of Congress's Archive of Folk Culture se...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
Title: Sacred Harp Singing
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rounder Select
Release Date: 1/13/1998
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, Christian, Gospel
Styles: Traditional Folk, Southern Gospel
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 012136150320, 712136150329

Synopsis

Amazon.com
The sound may not be up to contemporary standards on this disc, but historically it is perhaps the most important recording ever released of Sacred Harp singing. Part of the Library of Congress's Archive of Folk Culture series, this was the first recording to be created "in the raw," from an entire singing convention, replete with the heart-rending testimonials and the sound of singers getting into pitch. Folklorist Alan Lomax with George Pullen Jackson (at the time the foremost authority on Sacred Harp singing) recorded this fascinating document. Jackson authored several works and did extensive research on the often secular roots of Sacred Harp songs and delved into the lives of important original composers such as Billings, Read, and Ingalls. Since its release, Sacred Harp Singing has become a Rosetta stone of sorts for contemporary singers, who can compare their sound against that of the first authentic recording of a convention, the Alabama Sacred Harp Singing Convention of August 1942. --Mike McGonigal

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CD Reviews

Fascinating and powerful
Chris Johnson | 12/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Someone once described sacred harp singing as singer's music rather than listener's music, which is as accurate a label as I can think of. This is like nothing you've ever heard before and it will stay with you for a long, long time."
Hear God's People in Simple, Perfect Praise
Deborah Bruzzo | Islip, NY USA | 07/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I must respont to the "muddy" review. This is not music to be critically listened to as an art form. There is no intention to make art here; this is the sound of the human voice singing words of praise. It's corporate and made for God's ears, not our's which get caught on "hooks" and complicated arrangements. John Wesley said that no voice should stand out - Even I with a highly trained voice just sing along on worship. It's a refreshing diversion from contemporary CHristian praise music which features the voices of Barbie and Ken. THIS IS REAL AND ABSOLUTELY RAW. One is correct if they find it hard to sit back and listen too (unless one has an interest in musicilogy as did the recorder of these songs) BUT IF YOU WANT TO WORSHIP IN A PURE AND NEW (though it's old), I SUGGEST YOU ACQUIRE A HYNAL so you can forgrt about the self and sing along. This recrding was created as an historical document, but it brings me so much more. The COLD MOUNTAIN soundtrack has two of these shape note pieces on it IDUMEA was extremely effective and haunting during the huge battle scene in the movie."
Music to move you...
Josh Z. Bonder | Toronto | 04/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While the three-star reviewer does have a point (the recording quality on this disc is not as clear as say the southern journey recordings), this should only be of minor consequence. Alan Lomax himself stated that this attempt at recording a sacred harp singing was not as successful as his later attempts in stereo (refer once again to southern journey). However, the recordings are not necessarily unclear or "muddy" as the aforementioned reviewer put it. They are quite clear enough to hear just how emotional and moving these renditions are. While the recording quality is not as good as some other discs, I prefer versions of songs on this disc to others I've heard (David's Lamentation, Wondrous Love, etc.) It also contains the only recorded version I've heard of "Lover of the Lord", a wonderful sort of curiosity within this set, with a sound all its own. For the historical value and notable renditions contained on this disc, it is more than worth your investment. The only prerequisite is that you know what you're getting into: This is some of the most authentic, unabashed and powerful music you're likely to hear, regardless of when or how it was recorded."