Winchester Shape Note Singing


Shape Note singing is an American four part harmony folk singing tradition using songs dating from the 16th through to the 20th centuries which brings communities together to sing for pleasure. Shape note songs are characterised by beautiful harmonies and haunting melodies. The term Sacred Harp refers to the human voice and is also the name of the tune book from which we sing, first published in 1844 and most recently revised in 1991. The shape note system uses squares, triangles, circles and diamonds corresponding to notes in the scale, making the music easy to sing for beginners and experienced alike. We have plenty of loaner books so the only equipment you will need is your voice!
The Shape Note Singers of Winchester have been singing since 2016. We do not have rehearsals; we simply meet regularly to sing for pure enjoyment. There is no conductor or director – anyone who wishes to choose and lead a song from the book can do so. We sing every other Thursday from 7.30 to 9.30pm in the room behind St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Hill, Winchester SO22 5AB, usually followed by a social beverage in the Albion pub.
We sing in full natural voice, so it’s pretty loud, making it a great environment for beginners to build confidence in their voices. New singers of all levels of experience are always welcome – no prior sight reading ability necessary. Just turn up and sing with us! So whether you are a beginner or have some experience you will be made very welcome.

After a well-earned summer break we are looking forward to our first session of the Autumn term 2021. The session will begin with a short singing school, in which the rudiments of Shape Note singing will be explained. So if you are new to Shape Note Singing, or want to try it, this is a very good opportunity to have a look at how it works. Any questions do email

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