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The Shapenote Album / Doug Fullington, Tudor Choir


Release Date: 09/04/2001 
Label:  Loft Recordings   Catalog #: 1042   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Justin MorganDaniel ReadTraditionalTimothy Swan,   ... 
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The music on this recording is taken from the repertoire of the 18th- and 19th-century American singing schools. What strikes listeners most forcefully the first time they hear this music is its distinctive sound, standing in sharp contrast to what is heard from a choir or congregation singing traditional church hymnody. Although it has been preserved and propagated in printed form, the harmonies, often based on 4ths and 5ths rather than 3rds, and even many of the tunes themselves owe much to rural American folk music. Also, the singing-school tunesmiths sought ways for the melody to crop up in all of the voices, or at least for each vocal part to have an interesting musical line, rather than to concentrate on harmonically supporting and Read more reinforcing a melody given to sopranos. Furthermore, men's and women's voices normally doubled the tenor and treble arts.

Singing schools were begun (ca. 1720s) to improve congregational singing, and their task was simplified when shapenotes were invented in 1798. Each note was given a shape that told the singer what degree of the musical scale it represented (no more learning to decode key signatures). Only four shapes were used initially, for the solmization syllables FA, SOL, A, and MI (MI is the "leading tone"). The use of shapenotes was, and is, quite effective in enabling singers to quickly sight-read and master unfamiliar music.

Shapenote music continues to be sung today by singers using tune books such as The Sacred Harp, first published in the early 19th-century and still in print. When folks gather for a day of singing, as they do with great regularity especially in the summer, songs are always sung through first with the solmization syllables instead of the lyrics so as to set the vocal parts in the singers' minds. This recording includes several examples of this practice. Whether sung with the surging beat and astringent vocal intonation of traditional singers, or given a softer interpretation, these songs retain the ability to move singers and listeners alike, to send us soaring away above the sky to see our God above.

-- KAREN E. WILLARD

R E V I E W S:

"The Shapenote Album will have you listening with a bubble of amusement. Loudly and lustily, the choir sings music from rural American singing schools of the 18th and 19th centuries. The music and its performance style have been carefully researched and replicated, and there's no doubt our singing ancestors had a good deal of fun."
— Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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Works on This Recording

1. Early my God without delay "Montgomery" by Justin Morgan
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1793; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: English 
2. Windham by Daniel Read
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1800; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: English 
3. Sweet Prospect by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: English 
4. Why do we mourn departing friends "China" by Timothy Swan
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1801; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: William Walker (1847) 
5. Soar Away by A. Marcus Cagle
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
6. The Better Land by Oren Adolphes Parris
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 1 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: English 
7. Weepin' Mary by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: McCurry and Power 
8. White by Edmund Dumas
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1856; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: English 
9. Mortality by Daniel Read
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 1 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: English 
10. Eternal Day by John P. Reese
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: English 
11. Heavenly Union by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: English 
12. Expression by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
13. Evening Shade by Stephen Jenks
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1805; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: English 
14. Kedron by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Amos Pilsbury (1799) 
15. Love the Lord by John P. Reese
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1859; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: English 
16. How condescending and how kind "Condescension" by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: English 
17. Come, come, ye saints by J. T. White
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844-1846; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: This selection is set to the the text of "All is Well." 
18. Africa by William Billings
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1770/1778; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
19. Traveling On by Seaborn McDaniel Denson
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1911; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: This selection was composed in collaboration with Joseph Stephen James, Sr. 
20. Happy Land by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 1 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Leonard P. Breedlove (1850) 
21. New Jerusalem by Jeremiah Ingalls
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: English 
22. Primrose by Lucius Chapin
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1812-1813; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 1 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: English 
23. Halleluyah by Traditional
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: William Walker (1835) 
24. Peace and Joy by Paine Denson
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: English 
25. Schenectady "From all that dwell below the skies" by Nehemiah Shumway
Conductor:  Doug Fullington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tudor Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1805; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: English 

Featured Sound Samples

Montgomery (Morgan)
Sweet Prospect (Traditional)
Peace and Joy (P. Denson)

Sound Samples

Montgomery
Windham
Sweet Prospect
China
Soar Away
The Better Land
Weepin' Mary
White
Mortality
Eternal Day
Heavenly Union
Expression
Evening Shade
Kedron
Love the Lord
Condescension
All is Well
Africa
Traveling On
Happy Land
New Jerusalem
Primrose
Hallelujah
Peace and Joy
Schenectady

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