Photo by Tanya Mueller.

Shape note sing and potluck in Derby Line January 5

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/News
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DERBY LINE — A group of singers from Vermont and Quebec gathers every month to sing shape note or sacred harp music at the Unitarian Universalist Church Hall in Derby Line.

The group sings from the songbook The Sacred Harp, and the sing is followed by a potluck.

An upcoming sing will occur at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, with the potluck at 5 p.m.

Shape note music is sung without instruments in four-part harmony, without a leader and with the singers sitting in a square with the four parts facing each other.

Traditionally, this was the music taught by itinerant singing school teachers traveling around small New England towns in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The tradition then moved south and has seen a resurgence in recent years across the country.

Notes are written in shapes as well as on a staff to assist those unfamiliar with reading music.

The lyrics are often related to early Protestant religions.

Often heard at Village Harmony concerts in the area, it’s great fun to sing and organizers say that newcomers are always welcome and encouraged to come.

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