Shape Note Downloads

     New Dominion Chorale is making these scores, which are in the public domain, available for you to download and use. Each download contains a file in Finale format and a TIFF image which can be displayed and printed from a word processor. Files have been checked for viruses and compressed with Stuffit® from SmithMicro.

     This shape-note music is a gift to choral groups from New Dominion Chorale. We have enjoyed performing shape-note music in concert, and many of us have sung it in smaller choirs, as well as in traditional gatherings devoted to this vigorous early American music. The scores are in the public domain in their original, "shape-note" notation, but are posted here are in contemporary notation so a variety of groups may sing them for pleasure or in performance.

     The uniquely American shape-note music is being sung with great enthusiasm in traditional venues all over the United States, with information easily available on the Internet, and taking part in an "all day sing with dinner on the grounds" or a convention is a wonderful experience. The fellowship and the astonishing power of this a cappella singing can be addictive! The scores offered here are not intended to be sung in the traditional manner, but to make the music accessible for contemporary vocal groups.

     Notice that the third staff from the top is the melody line. This line is traditionally sung by tenors and some sopranos. If there aren't enough tenors, then use high baritones or low altos. One of the joys of this music is that each part is intended to be interesting to the singer - each has its own melody.

     A few of the tunes are familiar, but most standard hymnbooks have altered the chords from the original version. The characteristic sound of the shape-note music may remind you of background music in Civil War documentaries. No tempos or dynamics are listed. In traditional practice, the tempo (and the pitch!) are at the discretion of the leader, and the singing is usually at a comfortably full volume throughout.


The files are self-extracting archive files for the Apple or Windows operating systems. Simply download a file by clicking on its title. Choose Save to save the file to your computer. After download has completed, click on the file to expand the archive.

Sponsored by New Dominion Chorale Thomas Beveridge,
Artistic Director

 Title  Self-Extracting EXE
 Apple SIT Format
 Africa  Africa.exe  Africa.sit
 Babylon is Fallen
 Babylon_Is_Fallen.exe  Babylon_Is_Fallen.sit
 Bear Creek
 Bear_Creek.exe  Bear_Creek.sit
 Edom  Edom.exe  Edom.sit
 Jordan  Jordan.exe  Jordan.sit
 Majesty  Majesty.exe  Majesty.sit
 New Britain
 New_Britain.exe  New_Britain.sit
 Pilgrim.exe  Pilgrim.sit
 Saints Bound
 Saints_Bound.exe  Saints_Bound.sit
 Saints Delight
 Saints_Delight.exe  Saints_Delight.sit
 St. Thomas
 St_Thomas.exe  St_Thomas.sit
 Thomas Town
 Thomas_Town.exe  Thomas_Town.sit
 White  White.exe  White.sit
 Wondrous Love
 Wondrous_Love.exe  Wondrous_Love.sit
 All Files


New Dominion Chorale - PO Box 6691 - McLean, VA 22106
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