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Sacred Harp Singing
Sacred Harp singing is a community musical tradition that has been part of rural life in Mississippi for over 100 years. The singers get together at annual "all-day singings" to sing from The Sacred Harp, a book of early American religious hymns that was originally published in 1844 (it has been revised and reprinted many times since). The music in The Sacred Harp is printed in "shape notes," a notation system in which four different shaped note heads correspond to the syllables Fa, Sol, La, and Mi. Everyone who attends a Sacred Harp singing is encouraged to participate. While the number of annual singings in Mississippi has decreased over the years, there still are many dedicated singers who travel throughout the state and region to participate in these events.

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Photo of Sacred Harp Singers at Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church

Sacred Harp singing at Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church, Newton County. Photograph © by Charles R. Franklin.

"I'm Going Home" sung by the Mississippi State Sacred Harp Convention.
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