The Performance of History: Motivations for Revivalist Participation in Sacred Harp of the Chesapeake Bay Area
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Sacred Harp performance exists in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland, Virginia and southern Pennsylvania primarily inside a revivalist setting of folklore societies. Singers identify both the musical sound and the community of singers as their primary motivation for participating in Sacred Harp. Many singers are originally attracted to it because of its harmonies and structure and explore new repertoire through the use of recordings and attendance at conventions. The convention system further enables a community with local, regional, and national levels, which then helps deepen commitment to Sacred Harp performance. Finally, singers interact with historical practices through performance, which results in a transformation and rejuvenation both of the singer and of Sacred Harp itself.