Newcastle Sacred Harp Logo

About Sacred Harp

Sacred Harp is a community folk hymn singing tradition from the United States. The Sacred Harp is also the name of the book we sing from.

Our singings are friendly and open to everyone. We don’t rehearse or perform and no-one’s in charge. Everyone just sings for their own enjoyment. You don’t need to be able to read music yet or have a “good” voice to come along.

Anybody is welcome to walk in, find a seat, and join in with the singing. You will be gently encouraged to join in regardless of whether you think you are a good singer. The atmosphere will be relaxed. At all-day singings, there will be plenty of food.

Helpful links

UK Sacred Harp Calender has information about other UK and Europe singings from the Sacred Harp and other shapenote books. is the website for the annual UK Sacred Harp convention.

The Wikipedia page on Sacred Harp has lots of information about the history and conventions of Sacred Harp singing.

Lisa Grayons’ A Beginner’s Guide to Shape-Note Singing (PDF download) has “hints, stories, advice, and minutiae” for new singers. Highly recommended!

You can find lots of videos on YouTube of Sacred Harp singings which is a good way to get a small sense of what singings look and sound like.