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date: 22 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

With a turbulent musical fabric of open and parallel fifths, high-decibel vocal production, and a grassroots DIY organizational structure, Sacred Harp singing has been described variously as “Gregorian Chant meets Bluegrass” and “Punk Rock Choral Music.” With historical roots in rural singing schools of New England and the American South, singing from The Sacred Harp tunebook remains a living, growing, and vital musical multinational subculture that operates without auditions, rehearsals, or performances. This chapter discusses participatory and social factors of music outside the presentational frame, the ideas of serious leisure, and philosophical notions of musicking and musical praxis to illuminate ways in which Sacred Harp singing stands apart from the concertizing traditions of Western art music and choral performance.

Keywords: choral pedagogy, praxis, Sacred Harp singing, shape note, musicking, participatory music, serious leisure

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