Sacred Harp Singing in Georgia

[Learning to lead at Holly Springs, 12/4/04] This website is the Atlanta Sacred Harp singers' guide to shape note singings in Georgia.

Check our upcoming singings page for a list of singings this month in Georgia and eastern Alabama.

About shape note singing

Shape note music is a 200-year-old, uniquely American style of hymn singing. This tradition is also known as Sacred Harp, after the title of the best-known shape note tunebook. These haunting 4-part harmonies are sung in powerful, exuberant style, with singers seated in an open square. We sing not for performance but for the joy of singing and the community of singers, to which newcomers are always welcome.

[Raymond Hamrick leading at Emory University, 2/19/05] Georgia is in the middle of the traditional shape note heartland. The Sacred Harp was published in 1844 by Georgia residents B. F. White and E. J. King. Shape note singing survives as a living tradition in Georgia to this day. New singers from many different backgrounds are attracted to the powerful old songs and find that shape note singing is not only a release for the spirit, it's also a lot of fun.

If you have not tried shape note singing before, see our what-to-expect page. For general information, see and Warren Steel's Sacred Harp site. But The Sacred Harp is not for reading about. It is for singing. Find a singing and raise your voice.

About us

Atlanta Sacred Harp Singers is an informal network of people interested in participating in and promoting singing from the Sacred Harp and other shape note books in the Atlanta area. In addition to this website and email newsletter, we sponsor the monthly Decatur singing. We occasionally round up a group of volunteer singers for demonstrations of Sacred Harp singing for other organizations and events. And of course, we support shape note singing with our voices at regular and special singing events whenever and wherever we can.

Additions, corrections, comments, or questions? Send us an email. Messages sent to this site go to Laura Akerman, who writes the newsletter, to John Plunkett, who is very knowledgeable about singings in Georgia, and to Debora Grosse, who maintains the website.