In this part of the South, the terms "shape note" and Sacred Harp sometimes get used interchangeably. The latter is actually the songbook favored by most modern practitioners of the shape-note singing tradition. Among the other collections printed in the 19th Century was The Social Harp, a collection of sacred and secular Antebellum folk tunes collected by Hart County farmer John G. McCurry. His songbook, first published in 1855, might have been lost to time were it not for the University of Georgia Press' 1978 reprint. The lone organized annual singing from The Social Harp is hosted each February at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. No experience is required to participate, and listeners are welcome.
Experience the early American a cappella singing tradition using The Social Harp, compiled in 1855 by John Gordon McCurry, Jr., and The Sacred Harp, first published in 1844 by B.F. White. Potluck lunch. See Calendar Pick on p. 16.