Category Archives: Hamrick on The Sacred Harp

Raymond Coooper Hamrick’s writings on Sacred Harp’s history and practices.

The Twentieth Century Looks at William Billings

Editor’s Note: When Raymond C. Hamrick returned to Sacred Harp singing after World War II he was immediately drawn to the music of the eighteenth-century New England composer, William Billings. Billings also piqued Hamrick’s scholarly curiosity as this article—first published … Continue reading

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The Curious History of Shape-Notes

Editor’s Note: In this essay, first published in The Harpeth Valley Sacred Harp News 2, no. 4 (September 20, 1965), Hamrick places shape-notes in the context of American vocal music history, from their advent in the colonial era through the twentieth … Continue reading

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The Matter of Tempo in The Sacred Harp

Editor’s Note: A watch and clock repairman and jeweler by trade, Raymond C. Hamrick had an excellent sense of time. In combination with his inquisitive approach to the tradition he loved so much, it’s little surprise that “the question of … Continue reading

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Sojourn in the South: Billings Among the Shape-Noters

Editor’s Note: Raymond C. Hamrick contributed this article to a 1996 special issue of the Quarterly Journal of Music Teaching and Learning 7, no. 1, devoted to eighteenth-century New England composer William Billings. In an April 2014 interview, Hamrick recalled … Continue reading

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The “Ins” and “Outs” of Revision

Editor’s note: Raymond C. Hamrick wrote this previously unpublished article on the revision and publication of The Sacred Harp: 1991 Edition in August of 1995. He hoped that the essay—the first on the revision of any edition of The Sacred … Continue reading

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“My Interest Was in the Background of the Music”:
Raymond C. Hamrick and Alan Lomax in Conversation

Editor’s Note: Alan Lomax interviewed Raymond C. Hamrick during a break in 1982 June memorial singing at Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church in Bremen, Georgia. An outspoken and prolific folklorist, Lomax attended the convention with a large crew to record … Continue reading

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