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Shape note singing is a style of early American folk music that uses four-part harmony and a special notation system to create a unique and powerful sound. The texts used in this long and vibrant tradition explore a wide range of topics, from the daily struggles of life in early rural America, to the deepest questions about the purpose and meaning of life, to current events and politics. It was also an important conduit of cultural exchange. Thomas Commuck’s 1845 hymnal, Indian Melodies, is written in the shape note style, and is widely acknowledged to be the first published musical work by a Native American. They will explore Indian Melodies, The Sacred Harp and related texts from the shape note tradition with singing and introductory workshops.
The Minnesota State Sacred Harp Singing Convention meets regularly to sing from The Sacred Harp and other American shaped-note tunebooks. They are a singing community, not a performance group. They have all-day singings (“conventions”) in February, July and September, and two-hour singings at least once a week.
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Building
1308 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
9pm - 2am each night