"[One of the] most penetrating and subtle ethnographic accounts of Sacred Harp singing. I wholeheartedly recommend the book to all interested in traditional music, issues of tradition and revival, diaspora and nostalgia, and religious life in the United States."--Journal of Folklore Research
"Miller explains every aspect of the musical practice as both an observer and participant. The book is essential reading for anyone who has ever been stirred by singing the shapes."--Sing Out!
"Evocative, nuanced, never reductionistic, Miller's explorations of this vibrant tradition of American hymnody merits attention in Sacred Harp circles and beyond."--Christian Century
A compelling account of the vibrant musical tradition of Sacred Harp singing, Traveling Home describes how song brings together Americans of widely divergent religious and political beliefs. Named after the most popular of the nineteenth-century shape-note tunebooks--which employed an innovative notation system to teach singers to read music--Sacred Harp singing has been part of rural Southern life for over 150 years. In the wake of the folk revival of the 1950s and 60s, this participatory musical tradition attracted new singers from all over America. All-day "singings" from The Sacred Harp now take place across the country, creating a diverse and far-flung musical community. Blending historical scholarship with wide-ranging fieldwork, Kiri Miller presents an engagingly written study of this important music movement.