The Sacred Harp is the only hymnal known to have been used in frontier Florida. Years before there was a church in this area, the settlers would gather on Sundays to exchange news and to sing from this hymnal.

The four shaped notes - Fa, Sol, La, and Mi - were meant for those who could not read music.

Incised stone slab of the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Incised stone slab of the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Image number: FS781196

Series: Folklife Collection. North Florida Folklife Project (Bethlehem Sacred Harp Sing Slide Tape Program). Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Photographer: McCallum, Brenda,

Accompanying note: "Years before there was a church in this area, the Sacred Harp Singers would meet at people's houses and sing. And then, later, they used to meet at an old schoolhouse which was called Johnson School and it was located on what is now Highway 674. But it disbanded and it was reorganized here at this church, the best that we can find out, on the 5th Sunday in May 1924."

Copy of the revised

Copy of the revised "Sacred Harp" by W.M. Cooper: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1979)

Image number: FS79354

Folklife Collection. Series 1577, no. 3. Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

The Sacred Harp hymnal (published 18--?)

The Sacred Harp hymnal (published 18--?)

Image number: N028946

Note: This hymnal is the only one known to have been used in frontier Florida. Although there were no church services in the 1850s, the settlers would gather on Sundays to exchange news and to sing from this ancient book. The four shaped notes; Fa, Sol, La, Mi; were meant for those who could not read music.

Sacred Harp singing by members of Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church : Old Chicora, Florida  (not after 1978)

Sacred Harp singing by members of Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Image number: FS781219

Series: Folklife Collection. North Florida Folklife Project (Bethlehem Sacred Harp Sing Slide Tape Program). Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Photographer: McCallum, Brenda,

Woman leading Sacred Harp singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida  (not after 1978)

Woman leading Sacred Harp singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Image number: FS781198

Series: Folklife Collection. North Florida Folklife Project (Bethlehem Sacred Harp Sing Slide Tape Program). Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Photographer: McCallum, Brenda,

Open Sacred Harp book for singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Open Sacred Harp book for singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Image number: FS781244

Series: Folklife Collection. North Florida Folklife Project (Bethlehem Sacred Harp Sing Slide Tape Program). Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Photographer: McCallum, Brenda,

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."

Girls leading congregation in Sacred Harp singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church (not after 1978)

Girls leading congregation in Sacred Harp singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church (not after 1978)

Image number: FS79188b

Series: Folklife Collection. North Florida Folklife Project (Bethlehem Sacred Harp Sing Slide Tape Program). Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Accompanying note: "Years before there was a church in this area, the Sacred Harp Singers would meet at people's houses and sing. And then, later, they used to meet at an old schoolhouse which was called Johnson School and it was located on what is now Highway 674. But it disbanded and it was reorganized here at this church, the best that we can find out, on the 5th Sunday in May 1924."

"Well, we thought for awhile, it was about gone, but as you see now, it's growing back again, and we hope it just continues on & on & on. If I, long as I can have anything to do with it, we will keep going."

Sacred Harp singing (not after 1979)

Sacred Harp singing (not after 1979)

Image number: FS79551

Series: Folklife Collection. Series 1577, Sacred Harp Singing ; no. 3. Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Mother and son with a Sacred Harp book at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida  (not after 1979)

Mother and son with a Sacred Harp book at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1979)

Image number: FS79216b

Series: Folklife Collection. North Florida Folklife Project (Bethlehem Sacred Harp Sing Slide Tape Program). Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Old man leading Sacred Harp singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Old man leading Sacred Harp singing at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Image number: FS781206

Series: Folklife Collection. North Florida Folklife Project (Bethlehem Sacred Harp Sing Slide Tape Program). Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Photographer: McCallum, Brenda,

Sacred Harp singing by members of the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church congregation: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Sacred Harp singing by members of the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church congregation: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Image number: FS781247

Series: Folklife Collection. North Florida Folklife Project (Bethlehem Sacred Harp Sing Slide Tape Program). Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Photographer: McCallum, Brenda,

Sacred Harp singing by congregation of the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Sacred Harp singing by congregation of the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church: Old Chicora, Florida (not after 1978)

Image number: FS781207

Series: Folklife Collection. North Florida Folklife Project (Bethlehem Sacred Harp Sing Slide Tape Program). Forms part of series S1577, Florida Folklife Archive, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers.

Photographer: McCallum, Brenda,