First observe of how many Notes compass the Tune is. Next, the place of your first Note; and how many Notes above & below that: so as you may begin the Tune of your first Note as the rest may be sung in the compass of your and the peoples voices, without Squeaking above, or Grumbling below.

Brooklyn (Joe Beasley) singing June 14, 2015 — notes

Brooklyn (Joe Beasley) shapenote singing, Sunday, June 14, 2015. At St. Paul’s Church, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York.  Singing from THE SACRED HARP, 1991 Denson edition and 2012 Cooper Book Edition [CB], and the Shenandoah Harmony [ShH]). The calls go round the room in this singing.

Present: Paul, Sarah L., Jon, Patrick, Mary Ellen, Sam, Zoe S., Molly, Ann, Carol. Visiting from Bristol: Sue, Charlie. Friend of Charlie’s: Katie. Visiting from North Carolina: Steve & Betsy Walker.  New: Alice

Alice was chasing a particular text, as you’ll see below, though it was never clear if we had found the Platonic tune she had in mind. Molly led maybe her first fuging tune. (Autocorrect wants “fudging” tune. I’m sure many of us were doing some fudging, but that’s not the goal.)

Jon pitched the Cooper book and I did most of the rest.  Quiz: What song below might be represented by this famous painting?


Opener: 56t        COLUMBIANA    nbm
31t            NINETY THIRD PSALM        Charlie
49t            OLD HUNDRED            Sue
49b            MEAR                    Paul
61            SWEET RIVERS            Sarah
128            THE PROMISED LAND        Steve
48b            KEDRON                Patrick
ShH 307        JOLLY SOLDIER            Sam
CB 505        CLEANSING FOUNTAIN        Mary Ellen
480            RESURRECTION            Betsy
114            SAINT’S DELIGHT            Alice
ShH 13t        BOURBON                Nancy
53            JERUSALEM            Charlie
CB 571        NOT MADE WITH HANDS        Jon
388            HAPPY SAILOR            Sue
CB 572        WE WILL SING W/THE ANGELS    Paul
ShH 124        GONE TO REST            Sarah
565b            THE HILL OF ZION            Steve
47b            IDUMEA                Zoe S
112            LAST WORDS OF COPERNICUS Patrick
ShH 239        VOICE TO THE SHEPHERDS    Sam
ShH 147        RIVER OF JORDAN        Mary Ellen
288            WHITE                Molly


Callback:  82t    BOUND FOR CANAAN    nbm
43            PRIMROSE HILL    Alice
ShH 15        CONVERSE    Ann
ShH 174        FAITHFUL SOLDIER    nbm
ShH 175        CHANGING SEASONS    Katie
335            RETURN AGAIN    Charlie
CB 174        GOSPEL MESSAGE    Jon
111b            TO DIE NO MORE    Sue
ShH 132        STAR IN THE EAST    Ann
CB 133        JOHN 4:14    Carol
ShH 22b        PSALM 30    Sarah
107            RUSSIA    Steve
86            POLAND    Patrick
ShH 104t        TIME IS WINGING US AWAY    Sam
276            BRIDGEWATER    Molly
36            NINETY-FIFTH    Alice
203            FLORIDA    nbm
39t            DETROIT    Katie
217            BALLSTOWN    Charlie
CB 336t        HESTER    Jon
122            ALL IS WELL    Sue
124            LOVER OF THE LORD    Carol

Closer, selected by the Bristolians: 282 I’M GOING HOME

Totals: 23 plus 23 for 46 songs; 29 Denson, 6 Cooper, 11 Shen Harm. The Denson book dominated, unusually. Only three (RIVER OF JORDAN and CONVERSE from the ShH and CLEANSING FOUNTAIN from the CB) duplicate choices from last month, and only two (WHITE and ShH 22b PSALM 30) from April.

June 2015 Brooklyn singing and other schedule issues

We’ll sing from three books in Brooklyn as usual on Second Sunday, June 14, 2:00 at St Paul’s, Clinton and Carroll Streets.  I have to be uptown at 7:00 so let’s patronize our favorite backyard beer bar in the neighborhood, Strong Place on Court Street, afterwards.  Third Sunday UES singing is off for the summer, but we will sing as part of the Porch Stomp sub-festival during Make Music New York on Sunday, June 21, the summer solstice.  We’ll probably sing two sets interspersed with some light explanation, at least some of it under Liggett Arch, between noon and 3:00.  To be there for the whole thing, take an early ferry (11 or 11:30) from the Battery or the foot of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. (It’s all explained here.)

Fourth Saturday Christian Harmony should go forward as usual. More to come.

CANCELLED — First Sunday singing, June 7, 2015

Not a single hand went up when the group at singing last night was polled for those planning to attend Sunday’s EVil singing, so it was determined that we’d do best to cancel for this month.

Brooklyn singing, May 10, 2015



Brooklyn (Joe Beasley) shapenote singing, Sunday, May 10, 2015. At St. Paul’s Church, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York. Singing from THE SACRED HARP, 1991 Denson edition, the Cooper Book, 2012 Edition [CB], and the Shenandoah Harmony [ShH]). The calls go round the room in this singing.

Present: Dick, Jordan, Patrick, Sam, Solon, Chris C., Nancy B., Sarah L., Mary Ellen, Ezra, Jon, nbm, Ann, Paul, Anna, Molly, Evan.

Jon pitched the Cooper book, Chris pitched the Denson book, and I pitched the Shenandoah, aside from the singers who keyed their own. Other singers were helpful in adjusting pitches where needed.

Defying predictions, we sang few “mother” songs, though Jon contributed the charmingly ghastly CB 363 (“She’s gone from earth to heaven, I have no mother now”). We really liked Ann’s early CB pick, CB 273 MARTHASVILLE, and I believe the altos enjoyed their line in CB 361. Nancy Britton, as is her wont, found us some less-sung Shen songs. Sarah chose to omit the bird’s-eyes in the A section of ShH 162, which worked well once we figured it out, but the fermata quota was more than filled by our CB songs. We had trouble with ShH 86, SONG OF MOSES, with its tricksy little intervals from that Mr. Ingalls, and also with Timothy Swan’s characteristically strange BONDAGE, ShH 167. But we were modestly proud of our rests in ShH 254, PENNSYLVANIA. Heaven rejoices, modestly.
Opener: 31b WEBSTER nbm
ShH 260t CONFLICT Paul
ShH 48 CAPTAIN KIDD Jordan Read the rest of this entry »

New York Sacred Harp updates

*We’ll sing on Mother’s Day this weekend in Brooklyn (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Carroll Gardens, at Carroll and Clinton Streets, 2 p.m.).  Anyone willing to come by my place at 1:00 to help put covers on the new Cooper books and a few others, please let me know.  Entertainment chez moi after singing — if it’s nice enough, we could move out to the Urban Meadow around the corner.

*Next Friday night and Saturday, May 15 and 16, is the Garden State Singing Convention. Friday night will use the three books we sing from in Brooklyn (Denson and Cooper Sacred Harps and Shenandoah Harmony); Sunday is all Denson. I plan to take the train out Friday night; looks like there’s a 6:10 that arrives at Watchung Avenue, a five minute walk away, at 6:52.

*Summer Wednesday singings will stay at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Christopher Street rather than moving to St. Peter’s in Chelsea, by slim majority of two classes of singers.

*Big news for the fall is that our 2015 All-Day Singing, Saturday before the third Sunday in September, will be at Marble Collegiate Church on Second Avenue and Seventh Street. Congratulations to Carol and Aldo for obtaining the use of this admirably suited space for the All-Day and also our regular Sunday singing on the following day. (That’s September 19 and 20.)

Brooklyn singing, April 12, 2015 — minutes

It’s been a year, just about, but here are some nice fresh minutes of our lively spring singing on Sunday.

Brooklyn (Joe Beasley) shapenote singing, Sunday, April 12, 2015. At St. Paul’s Church, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York.  Singing from THE SACRED HARP, 1991 Denson edition, the Cooper Book, 2012 Edition [CB], and the Shenandoah Harmony [ShH]). The calls go round the room in this singing.

Present: Solon, Greg, Gwen, Nancy B., Sarah L., Andre, Paul, Anna, Kris, Leon, Liora, Molly, Chris C., Sarah H., Eric, Evan, nbm. New: Jen, Becca (friends of Solon). Listening: Christina.

For whatever reason, we got off to a Shenandoah start and stayed there much of the day, though Terry, Chris, and I made sure the CB had some representation and of course a thread of Denson songs ran through the afternoon.   Gwen pitched the Denson songs, I pitched the Shen songs till late in the day, when I asked Chris to take over, and he pitched the Cooper songs, while a number of singers (including Andre, Jordan, and Leon) pitched for themselves. Andre sat with the treble, alto, and tenor over the course of the day, outdoing Gwen and Eric who only sat with two lines each, if I remember correctly. It was a lovely afternoon and I am grateful to everyone who was willing to spend it inside, singing.

Among the songs that really impressed us was ShH 432t, NEW MONMOUTH. What a beauty.

Opener: ShH 264t    ANIMATION    nbm
ShH 264b        MILLBROOK    Greg
Lesson            Gwen
ShH 112        BETTER DAYS COMING    Gwen
ShH 260t        CONFLICT    Paul
159            WONDROUS LOVE    Solon
ShH 22b        PSALM 30    Jordan Read the rest of this entry »

Midweek singing receives an injection of Alabama soul, April 15

Elene Stovall, lively personality and super singer with lots of knowledge from Alabama, will be visiting the Midweek singing at St. John’s this Wednesday, April 15, at 7:00.  Celebrate Tax Day by buying Elene a drink with your refund — the stories will be worth it.


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