What is Shape Note Singing?

Today people gathered at the State Department of History and Archives to participate in a unique way of singing. Shape note singing was originally  developed to help people learn how to read music. The art form is still popular practice in Alabama.

Shape note singing is an early American form of hymn singing. It started in New England and eventually moved to the South where the tradition continues. It began in churches , but today the singing is more of an event itself. Singers gathered in the  rotunda of the archives building. This was the 22nd annual year of the rotunda singing.

It was sponsored by the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the Alabama Folk-Life Association, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. In the 1960’s many shape note singers worried that the art form would fade away, but interest in shape note singing has grown.

Shape Note singing is a historic Alabama art tradition. To hear a sample of what shape note singing is click this link: Shape Note Singing

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