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The Promised Land

Posted by ndlxs


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- Play count: 363

Size: 2,545kb, uploaded 2/2/2008 9:02:54 AM
Genre: Unknown/None Chosen / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

A shape note hymn I have always loved. I first heard Curt Bouterse, the author of Waiting for Nancy, play this on dulcimer on KFBK in 1980, and the tune has haunted me for all of these years. My band Off to California does the major key acapella version on our CD

2 comments on “The Promised Land”

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Saturday, February 2, 2008 @1:36:04 PM

That was great - I loved it!  It paints a totally different yet compelling mood in a minor key.  When I finally get frailing down I think that I should spring something like that on the brethren at church.  Nice job singing that way up high note, by the way.

Can you recommend one or more sources of shape-note harmonized hymns?  I'm talking about where the melody is in the alto voice in SATB arrangements.  That would be handy for me for arrangement ideas.  Thanks loads for posting this.

ndlxs Says:
Saturday, February 2, 2008 @7:57:01 PM

The best source would be the Sacred Harp book; info on ordering it will be at, which is also a great resource too.  They usually call Shape Note music polyphonic, which I guess means all parts have a melody.  The traditional melody is in the tenor voice usually.  Traditionally, the tunes were written in the key that minimizes the number of ledger lines the typesetter had to use, so transposing them is ok.  Also, early in the 19th century, these hymns had only three voices: tenor, bass, and the soprano; the alto parts were added later and are often quite boring. 

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