Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Frankfurt Singing School

Saalbau Nidda, Frankfurt-Am-Main, Germany

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The first Sacred Harp singing school in Frankfurt, Germany, was organized by Keith Macdonald, Jutta Pflugmacher, and Michael Walker, and was led by Aldo Ceresa.

Michael Walker welcomed the singers, gave an introduction in German, and then introduced Aldo Ceresa. Aldo called together Michael Walker, Dave Richardson, Ted Brown, Helen Brown, Cath Tyler, Jacqui Selby-Macleod, Ian West, Judy Whiting, Fynn Titford-Mock, Alison Mitchell Zunklei, and Chris Sepic and led a demonstration singing for the new singers from Germany, singing the following songs: 45t, 274t, 47b, 155, 430, 503, 65, 417, 236, and 282.


The class was called to order by Aldo Ceresa leading 56t. Michael Walker offered the opening prayer.

Aldo made some opening remarks and gave an introduction to the history, music, and practice of Sacred Harp singing. He then introduced the notes and rests on p. 15 (Rudiments), and pointed out the importance of the three “departments” of music in Sacred Harp: time, tune, and accent. Aldo continued by introducing the four shape notes and the major and minor scales, and the class practiced singing the scales and the various intervals. He then introduced the four voice parts and explained their placement in the hollow square. Michael Walker assisted by translating some of the lesson into German. The class sang 49b (first in separate parts, then together).


The class was called to order by Aldo Ceresa leading 105. Aldo led 39t (first in separate parts, then all together), and explained the origins of the tune names and the meanings of the text meter indications. He also explained the different customs for observing repeat marks, and introduced the fuging tune. The class sang 155 (first in separate parts, then all together).


Aldo welcomed the class back, and began the session by explaining the modes of time, emphasizing the importance of accent, and encouraging singers to beat time while singing. He continued by leading songs in each of the seven modes of time, singing 49t, 84, 209, 31t, 348b, 62, and 64.


The class was called to order by Aldo Ceresa leading 114. Aldo gave further instruction in singing, keeping time, and leading as the singers took turns choosing and leading songs.

Leaders: Fynn Titford-Mock 497; Aldo Ceresa 189 (by request of Jutta Pflugmacher); Alison Mitchell Zunklei and Svenja Spieker 40; Helen Brown 187; Irene Brockert 345b; Jacqui Selby-Macleod and Emily Dowd 122; Ian West and Andreas Manz 324; Jens Kaufmann and Aldo Ceresa 112; Dave Richardson 229; Keith Macdonald 299 (by request of John Page); Chris Sepic and Marion Flottau Sepic 350; Wolfram Pflugmacher 105; Michael Walker 182; Ted Brown 546; Judy Whiting 318; Cath Tyler 448t; Jean Page 288; Andreas Manz and Aldo Ceresa 29t; Chris Sepic 28b; Jacqui Selby-Macleod 70t (for Jutta Pflugmacher).

Aldo made some closing remarks and thanked the singers, giving special thanks to organizers Michael Walker, Keith Macdonald, and Jutta Pflugmacher, and all the singers who traveled from the UK. Aldo Ceresa led 62 as the closing song, and Helen Brown dismissed the class with prayer.