This authoritative reference work investigates the roots of the Sacred Harp, the central collection of the deeply influential and long-lived southern tradition of shape-note singing. David Warren Steel and Richard H. Hulan concentrate on the regional culture that produced the Sacred Harp in the nineteenth century and delve deeply into history of its authors and composers. They trace the sources of every tune and text in the Sacred Harp, from the work of B. F. White, E. J. King, and their west Georgia contemporaries who helped compile the original collection in 1844 to the contributions by various composers to the 1936 to 1991 editions. Drawing on census reports, local histories, family Bibles and other records, rich oral interviews with descendants, and Sacred Harp Publishing Company records, this volume reveals new details and insights about the history of this enduring American musical tradition. David Waren Stel is an associate professor of music and southern culture at the University of Mississippi. Richard H. Hulan is an independent scholar of American folk hymnody.