What is Shape Note Music

Shape-note singing involves congregational singing using tune books that employ specially shaped noteheads to facilitate reading for untrained singers. The seven-note scale is sung to a four syllable system brought to America by English Colonists. A differently shaped note head is used for each of the four syllables. The singer reads the music by following the shapes; singers unfamiliar with the system can ignore them. Several of the traditional shape-note tune books is are The Sacred Harp, Christian Harmony and Cooper Book.

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