List of shape-note tunebooks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shape notes are a system of music notation designed to facilitate choral singing. Shape notes of various kinds have been used for over two centuries in a variety of sacred choral music traditions practiced primarily in the Southern region of the United States.

"Shape-note singers used tune books rather than hymnals. Hymnals were pocket-size books with texts only. Tune books were large oblong-shaped books with hard covers (nine inches by six inches was a typical size), often running to over four hundred pages. They included both music and text and were introduced by an extended essay on the rudiments of singing. Each song was known by the name given to its tune rather than by a title drawn from the text."[1]

The following is a partial list of the shape note tunebooks published over the last two centuries. The list is divided according to the two main systems of shape notes—four-shape vs. seven-shape—and within these two categories is sorted chronologically.

For full information on shape-note tunebooks, including a list of public-domain tunebooks available online, see Shape note.

Four-shape shape-note tunebooks[edit]

Seven-shape shape-note tunebooks (partial)[edit]


  1. ^ Turner, Steve and Collins, Judy (2003). Amazing Grace: The Story of America's Most Beloved Song, p.118. ISBN 978-0-06-000219-0.
  2. ^ Amazon page

External links[edit]