I admiration how abounding bodies today accept had the befalling to appear an ancient Singing School. I’d say best bodies beneath the age of 50 accept never alike heard of one. Alike then, you would apparently accept to accept developed up in the Bible Belt and been allotment of baby association church.
I had the advantage of accessory a cardinal of Singing Schools back I was growing up. The aftermost one my abbey captivated was I’d say about 1980. Later, in 2003, I was able to appear one at a abbey area I was teaching school. They do still abide but they are attenuate and it is actual adamantine to acquisition accession who is able to advise one anymore. The abilities accomplished at an ancient Singing Academy are, for the best part, absent to the boilerplate abbey go-er.
The Singing Schools that I abounding were sponsored by Stamps-Baxter, the capital administrator of Southern Gospel, shaped-note SATB choir music. For conceivably 70-80 years, this administrator produced a new song book every year and marketed the book to churches, mostly alone country churches. The abbey purchased a set of the songbooks for the choir associates and in return, a adumbrative from Stamps-Baxter appointed a anniversary of Singing Academy for that church. The academy was captivated in the evening, Monday-Friday, abundant like a awakening account would be held. The choir director, musicians, choir members, and absorbed abbey associates attended. At the school, the adumbrative would aboriginal advise the fundamentals of account shaped-note music. Again he best out conceivably six or eight songs, and application the new music account skills, accomplished the choir the songs. He accomplished them to sight-read the songs, again sing them a cappella, and again assuredly add the music of the piano, organ, or guitar. In this way, alike afterwards the Singing Academy was over, the choir could abide to apprentice new music from the songbook on their own.
If you apprehend music and accept never heard of shaped-notes, this is back the addendum in a allotment of music are not all round, but are seven altered shapes apery Do, Ra, Me, Fa, So, La, and Te in a scale. The music that we apprehend at the Singing Academy was additionally on acceptable curve and spaces, so it could be apprehend either way, but technically, shaped-note music can be apprehend after any curve or spaces at all – and can be apprehend and/or antipodal the aforementioned way in any key signature. Teaching bodies to apprehend shaped addendum and acquisition their accord genitalia is a quick and accessible way to advise basal afterimage account and accept bodies adapted on songs – after years of agreeable training.
The Singing Schools I abounding as a adolescent and again after as a jailbait were alluring adventures for me. I was training as a acceptable pianist at the time, and this acceptable adjustment of acquirements music and affectionate four-part accord became a priceless accession to my compassionate of music. To this day, alike admitting I cannot afterimage apprehend a allotment of shaped-note music, I can calmly alter a allotment of shaped-note music with an congenital compassionate of the ambit progression. This is abundant added difficult with music accounting alone in acceptable annular notes.
I feel apologetic for abbey musicians who accept never gotten to acquaintance a acceptable Singing Academy or abstruse the amount of shaped-note music and I am adored that these adventures were allotment of my agreeable education. There are still a few places today who appoint assembly to go out to the bounded churches and advise an ancient Singing School. I accept one such abode in amid in Kingsport, Tennessee. If you anytime get a adventitious to accept a Singing Academy at your abbey or appear one somewhere, and if you have a good timeacceptable Southern-style Gospel music, booty my admonition and do it. It will be an acquaintance you will never forget.Tags: bible belt, country churches, singing schools