Update to Issue 3.3

We’ve corrected some musical typos in the tune Cooper (the first page of Issue 3.3). Please replace this page if you’ve already downloaded the issue.

Download the new issue here.


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Volume 3.3 of The Trumpet available

Download the new issue here.

As we complete nearly 150 pages of tunes and the third volume of our humble offering, The Trumpet, and in a season of Thanksgiving, we are grateful to all the composers and authors who share, and singers who sing, the music we set before you.

We have several newly published composers in this issue. Phil Summerlin’s Didache is a communion text taken from an ancient Christian treatise; Phil did both the tune and the poetic translation. Micah John Walter contributes Cold River, a short marching fuge. Micah Sommersmith provides Watts’ Pains, a meditation on affliction. Scott Luscombe’s Stanley is a setting for “Trav’ler, haste the night comes on.” After Cory Winter moved to Austin, he wrote his eponymous tune for the group he sings with there.

This issue has two anthems — both Gray and Memorial anthem have Dan Brittain’s name attached to them; the latter was written in collaboration with Bruce Randall. Gray has delightful poetry and you’ll find the four pages of Memorial Anthem a good challenge for your sight-singing skills.
In addition, you’ll find tunes by people we are starting to consider Trumpet “regulars,” — Rob Kelley, Linda Sides, Stanley Smith (to whom we wish a speedy recovery), Ed Thacker, Matt Bell, Aldo Ceresa, and Randy Webber. Randy’s tune, Kynzie, has a story that goes with it. Randy heard a young girl named Kynzie (pronounced like “Kinsey”) humming a tune. With her mother’s permission, Randy transcribed it and wrote fuging parts to go with it.

On the last page, you’ll find two plain tunes by Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg. Anniston was written right after Jesse heard the news of Jeff Sheppard’s death, and Farewell Brethren seems a fitting song to sing as we say goodbye yet again to a singer we miss deeply, and as a parting song for this year’s issue.

We look forward to the new year, though — and your new compositions. Look for news of a compilation of the first three years of tunes from The Trumpet, and additions to our editorial staff. But mostly, send us your tunes, and Sing on!

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The Trumpet, Volume 3, Issue 2, now available

Download the new issue: The Trumpet, Volume 3, Issue 2.

From the editors:

We are delighted to bring before you another set of tunes composed in the tradition of dispersed harmony. Although these tunes will arrive to you a little later than usual ­— such are the pecadillos of the volunteer workforce involved — we think you’ll find these tunes “tunable and sound.”

You may be glad to know where some of the more unusal names come from. Chmielno by P. Dan Brittain was written for Camp Fasola Europe, held in that Polish city, and Plac Unii Lubleskiej, by Steve Helwig, is named for Lubin Union Square in Warsaw — so we are keeping up our Poland connections.
Matt Cartmill’s arrangement of Condescension found in the Southern Harmony may require special attention. It is in Mixolydian mode — it begins and ends on sol! — not the norm for Sacred Harp music. Matt wrote that he thought the tune “cried out” to be sung in Mixolydian. Give it a try.

We have one composer that we have not previously published — Christina Wallin’s sweet G# minor tune, Haven, can be found on page 116. We’ve enjoyed singing Kevin Barran’s tune, Shoreline, very slowly (as indicated); it’s a majestic plain tune doxology that will bring a class together, if the class is willing. Of course, we are also represented by other fine tunesmiths, including more plain tunes than usual. We like plain tunes, and are glad to publish them!

We do have two fine anthems. Nikos Pappas’s Bishkek is a fine setting of Perronet’s “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” Bishkek is named for the capital of Kyrgyzstan, where Nikos was sent as a cultural emmisary of the U.S. State Department to celebrate 20 years of peaceful relations between these two countries. Anne Heider’s Advent arrives in plenty of time to prepare for the Advent season — a good pairing with Linda Sides’s advent text for Good Tidings.

As we go to press, news comes to us of the death of our friend and mentor, Jeff Sheppard. We hope you’ll enjoy Tom Malone’s little tale of the Rocking Chair Convention, and we are grateful to Ginnie Ely for allowing us to publish her poem.

Sing on!

Dedicated to the memory of Jeff Sheppard.

— The Editors ed@singthetrumpet.com


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The Trumpet, Volume 3, Issue 1, available

We are very pleased to announce that the latest issue of The Trumpet is now available, with fine new songs to sing, and an essay or two to read. Download it now, and find a few people to sing it with you.

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The Trumpet Volume 2, Issue 3 Available! All-Day Singing coming up!

We are pleased to announce that the Volume 2, Issue 3 of The Trumpet is now available for download. It is somewhat pleasant to say that we have reached 100 pages of new compositions for you to enjoy.
There will be an all-day singing from The Trumpet on November 4th 1pm-5pm at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell at Durgin Hall, 35 Wilder Street. If you think you might be in the area, contact Tom Malone at shapenote@gmail.com. This will be the second annual singing.


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I asked James Solheim, composer of Kyrkjebøbakken in the most recent issue of The Trumpet, to tell us a bit about where the name “Kyrkjebøbakken” comes from. This is what he wrote:

About “Kyrkjebøbakken” by James Solheim

The tune’s name (approximately pronounced CHURCH-uh-bu-BOCK-en, with a Norwegian lilt) refers to the farm where my grandfather was born, on a hill overlooking Svatsum Church in Vestre Gausdal, a valley in central Norway.

Svatsum Chruch is a tiny, octagonal, all-wood country church with incredible acoustics about forty-five minutes northwest of Lillehammer. Shape-note music would sound great in this church, the building where my grandfather was baptised—but I doubt if the pews can be moved into a square.

“Kyrkje” means “church, and “bø” means the meadows where a farm’s buildings are located. Historically, rural churches in Norway had their own prosperous farms—so “kyrkjebø” would be the land where a church stands. Since “bakken” means “the hill,” “kyrkjebøbakken” would be the the hill over the church’s lands. A decent English translation of “Kyrkjebøbakken” would be “The Churchyard Hill.”

My ancestors had a beautiful view of Svatsum Church, and my relatives still live on the hills there. You can go to  Flickr.com and see views of the church and surrounding hills.
Norwegian is a complicated language, with two official written forms and hundreds of dialects, and “kyrkje” is perhaps more often spelled as “kirke” in the valley where Svatsum Church sits—but I chose “kyrkje” because it’s the more historically Norwegian spelling and because that crazy mix of letters is so fun to read!

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Revisions to Issues 2.1 and 2.2

There have been a few more changes (to fix typographical errors) in Issue 2, Volume 2. You may want new copies of the tune OLIVE TREE (corrected composer’s name) and the table of contents.

A significant change was made to Issue 2, Volume 1: We added a tune by James P. Page, BERRYTREE, at page 66 (the last page). This will keep the pagination running continuously. We had hoped to include BERRYVILLE in 2.2, but space constraints prevented us. So, print out 66, and add it to your collection — and, most importantly, sing it!

The Index file has also been updated.


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