Open Sacred Harp book for singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church - Old Chicora, Florida

Open Sacred Harp book for singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church - Old Chicora, Florida

Credit this photo: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
(please include photographer's name when noted).


  • Open Sacred Harp book for singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church - Old Chicora, Florida

Image Number

  • FS781244


  • 1978

Date Note

  • Photographed on October 29, 1978.

Series Title

General Note

  • Accompanying note: "In 1884 Benjamin Franklin White, a singing school teacher living in Harris County, Georgia, published The Sacred Harp. This book of 'Old Baptist' religious folk song was to become the most popular and long-lasting of the American shaped-note songsters. The Sacred Harp is written in the ancient 'fa so la' musical system. This scale, used in Old English music and carried to America by British settlers, has only four notes...FA, SO, LA, MI."
  • "An American invention was the use of shapes to identify each of the four notes. This visual aid was used in American Singing Schools to make the learning and teaching music easier. First the song is lined out using the notes, then the words are sung on the second round. The Sacred Harp became the official songbook of many Southern Musical Conventions and spread from Tennessee to Florida, Georgia to Texas. After the turn of the century, shape-note FA, SO, LA singing began to decline. However, in the Southeast United States the Sacred Harp has undergone many revisions since its beginnings. The Cooper Revision of 1902 is the most popular book in Florida and is used in many Sacred Harp sings today."

Title of Work

  • Sacred Harp, The

Photographer/Personal Author

Physical Description

  • 1 slide - col.

Subject Term

Geographic Term

Subject Corporate

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