Shapenote Singing at The Parlor Room

  • Thu, Jan 19, 2023 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • The Parlor Room

    32 Masonic Street
    Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
Ticket Price Free This event is now over

Community "Shapenote" Singing and Workshop
at The Parlor Room
Thursday, January 19
Free Admission

A storied living tradition of vibrant community singing in four part harmony from books like The Sacred Harp, in print since 1844, “shapenote” singing is known for its foundational role in the birth of “American music,” and was among the earliest childhood influences on artists including Jean Ritchie, The Louvin Brothers, Doc Watson and Johnny Cash.

Most closely associated with the American deep south, many of the songs in the contemporary shapenote repertoire were composed locally and first published in the late 18th century less than a hundred yards from the Parlor Room, and over the past three decades the local singing community has become one of the largest and most active in the world. The texts are predominantly sacred, while the singing is fiercely inclusive and social. All are welcome to participate, regardless of who you are or what you know about music.

Tim Eriksen is known for his pioneering work in post-punk and traditional Americana as the frontman of the band Cordelia’s Dad, and for ongoing collaborations with Omar Sosa, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Alison Krauss. Currently Musician In Residence at Historic Deerfield, he has taught courses in shapenote music at Dartmouth, Smith, Amherst and Hampshire Colleges, and worked as a performer and consultant on projects ranging from the upcoming indie horror film The Outwaters to the 2003 Oscar winning Cold Mountain, for which he worked closely with Brendan Gleeson, Nicole Kidman and Jack White.


The Parlor Room Nonprofit and School of Music's mission is to: Promote a vibrant musical community in downtown Northampton, MA for musicians of all abilities and at all stages of their career. The Parlor Room will bring nationally touring and local acts to our listening room to provide an exceptional experience for the artist and audience and guide musicians and anyone interested in a career in the music industry through our school of music. Learn more at

The Parlor Room is a BYOB venue.  Tickets are non-refundable. 

The Parlor Room is located at 32 Masonic Street Northampton, MA 01060

Date & Time

Thu, Jan 19, 2023 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Venue Details

The Parlor Room

32 Masonic Street
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060 The Parlor Room
The Parlor Room

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