The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion by William Walker (review)

The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion by William Walker (University Press of Kentucky, 1993)

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The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion by William Walker (review)

by Harry Eskew
Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 4: Southern Humor

University Press of Kentucky, 1993

Early nineteenth-century southerners usually learned choral music by attending singing schools taught by itinerant teachers, a number of whom compiled oblong tunebooks in easy-to-read shape notation. Of the several dozen shape-note tunebooks published before the Civil War, probably none was more popular than Southern Harmony by William Walker of Spartanburg, South Carolina. After having the first edition of Southern Harmony printed in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1835, Walker had each of the other four distinctive editions (1840, 1847 [2 editions], and 1854) printed in Philadelphia. Walker reported that 500,000 copies of Southern Harmony had been sold by 1866.