Shape notes are a music notation designed to facilitate congregational and community singing. The notation, introduced in 1801, became a popular teaching device in American singing schools. Shapes were added to the note heads in written music to help singers find pitches within major and minor scales without the use of more complex information found in key signatures on the staff.
Shape notes of various kinds have been used for over two centuries in a variety of music traditions, mostly sacred but also secular, originating in New England, practiced primarily in the Southern region of the United States for many years, and now experiencing a renaissance in other locations as well.
Read more about Shape Note: Shape Notes, Four-shape Vs. Seven-shape Systems, Effectiveness of Shape Notes, Origin and Early History, Rise of Seven-shape Systems, Currently Active Shape Note Traditions, Nomenclature
Other articles related to "shape note, shape notes, notes, note, shape":
... Shape notes have also been called character notes and patent notes, respectfully, and buckwheat notes and dunce notes, pejoratively ...
... Britain", the melody most currently associated with it, appeared for the first time in Walker's shape note tunebook Southern Harmony in 1847 ... Another shape note tunebook named The Sacred Harp (1844) by Georgia residents Benjamin Franklin White and Elisha J ... Shape note singing communities, with all the members sitting around an open center, each song employing a different director, illustrated this in practice ...
... quickly spread south, facilitated by the invention of shape notes, a system in which four different note heads corresponded to the four syllables (fa, sol, la and mi) then used in musical instruction ... While the shape-note system itself never took root in New England, The Easy Instructor and similar collections were instrumental in spreading the music of New England composers to the western and southern states ... the antebellum period, some teachers and publishers experimented with seven-character shape notes as well the system of Jesse B ...
... another—a bass, for example, might find himself singing a higher note than the tenors ... In fact, the dispersed harmony determined the oblong shape of the tune books, with a staff for each part so that singers would always know exactly which ... Carden’s borrowing from other sources was typical of all collections in the shape-note vernacular ...
... and dark, untamed folk harmonies of the old shape-note repertory seemed quaint and unschooled alongside the Victorian hymns coming into vogue ... by teaching people to sing three- and four-part harmony by note instead of merely following a lined-out hymn in unison ... Harmony in the 1850s “The Carmina Sacra was the pioneer round-note book in which the tunes partook more of the German or Puritan character, and were generally ...
Famous quotes containing the words note and/or shape:
“Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? Stopping the career
Of laughter with a sigh?a note infallible
Of breaking honesty.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“The shape of a rat?
Its bigger than that.
Its less than a leg
And more than a nose,
Just under the water
It usually goes.”
—Theodore Roethke (19081963)