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Sacred Feast

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  8 reviews

Some have called Sacred Harp singing America’s earliest music. This powerful nondenominational religious singing, part of a deeply held Southern culture, has spread throughout the nation over the past two centuries. In A Sacred Feast , Kathryn Eastburn journeys into the community of Sacred Harp singers across the country and introduces readers to the curious glories of a t
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Published April 1st 2008 by University of Nebraska Press
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I stuck my toe into Sacred Harp singing once upon a time, and I loved it. But, circumstances and a slight feeling of inhospitality in the group I sang with, ran me off. (It was probably me!) Kathryn Eastburn's account of this marvelous "sacred harp" singing tradition, makes me long to join up again. The shape notes take some getting used to and I never quite did, but Eastburn's explanation of how to do it made me feel more secure. She travels widely to group sings and explores the tradition and ...more
A Sacred Feast takes the journey of Kathryn Eastburn's introduction to and unfolding love for Sacred Harp singing. As a journalist, she is commissioned to write a piece on a Texas Sacred Harp sing, and from that point forward, narrates the next several years of traveling to Sings in different regions of the country. Eastburn writes vividly about these local singers she gets to know - the things that make each singing locale unique, individuals that strike her and she gets to know better over tim ...more
Tales of shape note singing

Tales of shape note singing

Want to know what it's like to visit a singing? Want to know about dinner on the ground? This is the book for you. Why doesn't Amazon stock either the Denson or Cooper Sacred Harp? You will want one or both if you read this book.
Leah Coffin
An excellent overview of the Sacred Harp tradition - and I intend to try making at least one of those recipes.
I was prepared to be a bit skeptical about this, but it won me over. It's a lovely account of several Sacred Harp conventions and dinner on the grounds. Eastburn captures the flavors (sorry) of both the singing and the food of this tradition. She visits a few different singings and recounts her experiences there. At the end of the chapter there are the recipes for the dishes prepared by the people she's talked with. It's not a comprehensive book, but it's not trying to be. I just wished there we ...more
Ayne Ray
As a Sacred Harp singer, let me point out first are foremost that there are no harps in Sacred Harp singing; the term refers to the human voice as an instrument, and all songs are sung with no instrumental accompaniment. Also known as shape note singing, it is one of the oldest musical traditions in the United States and has an extremely interesting history.
This is a short and sweet little account of shape-note singing communities around the country, full of lovely descriptions of dinner on the ground (and recipes). However, at times, it reads like a somewhat impersonal journalistic "who's who" of the Sacred Harp world. I wish Ms. Eastburn had delved a bit deeper into the effect of Sacred Harp on her personal life.
Mar 13, 2009 Joanna marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
A cookbook & musicology/ethnomusicology book about Sacred Harp?!? Sounds like a dream book...
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