Gentle Words

Composed by Sister Polly M. Rupe
Arranged by Wayland Rogers
Voicing: SATB a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 0813
Price: $1.70

This arrangement is based on the modern edition of the tune by the composer, singer and musicologist Roger Lee Hall, who discovered the melody in 1974 while doing research at the Shaker Heights Historical Society in Ohio. It was part of a manuscript music volume in Shaker “letteral” notation which had been collected by Sister Alma McGill. Its composition, however, was by Sister Polly M. Rupe from Pleasant Hill Shaker community in Kentucky during the 19th century. Customarily Shaker songs were performed in unison and without accompaniment or harmony. And although I have supplied an implied harmony and a bit of counterpoint I have endeavored to maintain the simplicity inherent to the Shaker tradition. I am grateful to Mr. Hall for his scholarship and enthusiasm for Shaker music as well as providing the source material for this arrangement.

                                                                          Wayland Rogers

recording performed by North Shore Unitarian Church
Deerfield, Illinois
Wayland Rogers, conducting

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