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African American Rural Hymnody & The Sacred Harp
Documentation of the four-shape-note singing tradition in the "Wiregrass" region of Alabama from the William H. Tallmadge Baptist Hymnody Collection 1968-1980, SAA 33 and Rural Hymnody Symposium Collection, RG 11.02. by John H. Bondurant
From 2005-2016, the Sound Archives Fellowship program supported both the scholarly use of Berea's non-commercial audio / video collections and the conducting of cultural documentation projects that produced new material for future research use.
Article in Southern Spaces by James B. Wallace, Emory University. "This essay explores the history, geography, and contemporary practices of Sacred Harp—one form of a cappella, shape-note music—in the US South. "
This collection includes correspondence, sound recordings, notebooks, church association minutes, and hymnbooks compiled during the 1960s and 1970s by William H. Tallmadge while studying Old Regular, Primitive, and United Baptist hymnody in eastern Kentucky, western North Carolina, and western Virginia, as well as the African-American shape-note singing tradition in southeastern Alabama. (17 ms boxes)
The symposium was conceived by Berea faculty members Loyal Jones and William Tallmadge. Presenters looked to challenge the pioneering work of George Pullen Jackson. The audio recordings document each of the seventeen oral presentations, and performances by the A.L. Phipps Family, the Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers, and Sunday services at the Left Beaver Old Regular Baptist Church at Martin in Floyd County, Kentucky.
Boyd provides a personal and insightful study of the Southeast Alabama man who, during the Great Depression, appropriated the concept of the popular Shape-note tunebook The Sacred Harp into a new tunebook for African Americans that began what is now considered an important American folk music tradition. Boyd, a journalist and folklorist, uses research he began in the 1960s to create a portrait of Jackson and his music. The book, which was funded partly by the Alabama State Council for the Arts, includes a CD with 27 historical recordings. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)