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A Shaker Music Miscellany

The largest collection of recorded Shaker music
available anywhere!





For the 40th anniversary of his first published Shaker music research in 1974, Roger Lee Hall, has prepared this Deluxe DVD-ROM playable on your computer with Microsoft Word and Mp3 music files.

This multi-media collection covers his research and many publications over many years from his first research in 1972 up to the present day. It covers over two centuries of Shaker music from the 1780s to the 1990s.

Included are many Shaker spirituals which he has discovered and edited for performance, such as these songs: "Blended Together" and "Gentle Words"; and these hymns: "Celestial Praises" and "The Humble Heart."

He also has written about important Shaker composers, such as Elder Issachar Bates ("Come Life, Shaker Life"), and Elder Joseph Brackett ("Simple Gifts").

This collection is essential for any music library or Shaker museum, and for researchers dealing with religious or folk music material, plus those writing a scholarly paper, article, book, planning a concert, or producing a recording.

To order your copy -- click here




Shaker Music in the 20th Century

(PineTree Press, 2015)

Excerpt from the title song:

Give good gifts one to another,
Peace, joy and comfort gladly bestow;
Harbor no ill 'gainst sister or brother,
Smooth life's journey, as you onward go.

"Give Good Gifts" by Sister Martha Jane Anderson expresses the wish of caring for others. It was first published in the 1893 Shaker hymnal and has been recorded several times, the first one in 1995 by The Sampler Chorus. Thus, "Give Good Gifts" has become known in the 20th century and that is the focus of this new informational DVD, which includes the following:

  • Lyrics book with 25 Shaker spirituals, including "Give Good Gifts"
  • Sheet music collection with 12 Shaker spirituals
  • Image gallery with original Shaker music, leaders, music programs.
  • Bonus music albums: "Gentle Words" and "Willow Tree"
  • Bonus video clips

The lyrics book is dedicated "In Loving Memory of Sister R. Mildred Barker" from the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community. It was compiled and edited by Shaker music scholar and singer, Roger Lee Hall , and contains historical material about Shaker music performed during the 20th century. Among the treasures in the book are the many discoveries made by Mr. Hall over the past 40 years of his research.

Part One of the book includes a brief history of Shaker music written by a Canterbury Shaker. Also, a conversation from 1972 with two Canterbury Shakers: Eldress Bertha Lindsay and Sister Lillian Phelps. In addition, there is a time line of important events during the 20th century, including little known facts and unique illustrations, such as the Canterbury Shaker Orchestra and a sample concert program from 1932.

Part Two contains the words and commentary for the 25 Shaker songs, hymns, and anthems from the 19th century and sung during the 20th century with accompanying music files.

There are many attractive illustrations in color and black & white, including Shaker church leaders and sample music manuscripts.

At the back of the book is an exclusive interview with composer Aaron Copland (1900-1990) about his arrangements of "Simple Gifts."

One of the additional items included on this computer disc is a collection titled, "How Happy Are They," with 12 Shaker spirituals from Kentucky and Ohio edited and arranged by Roger Lee Hall.

Also, there are several scholarly articles written by Mr. Hall, including his first article from 1975 titled, "Shaker Hymnody: An American Communal Tradition," with this illustration of a Shaker hymn in alphabet music notation:

There are also several bonus features:

Music albums:

Two music albums with Shaker songs and hymns. One album is titled "Gentle Words" and has all the Shaker spirituals in the lyrics book, including "Give Good Gifts." The other album, titled "Willow Tree," has additional Shaker spirituals, performed from arrangements by various soloists and choruses.

Video clips:

Six Shaker spirituals performed and filmed at two concerts in 2013 by The Canterbury Singers, Kathryn Southworth, Director -- the music is available on the CD, "Celestial Praises" -- click here


To get "GIVE GOOD GIFTS": Shaker Music in the 20th Century, with lyrics book, music collection, music articles, two music albums and video clips on one DVD, playable on your computer, make a donation by credit card, including all shipping.

This DVD is for educational or personal use.

Make your donation to help support
American Music Preservation,
payable by credit card in US funds
to PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal.

To order, go to the AMP Store,

Click here



"The Humble Heart":
A Forty Year Survey of Shaker Music
(PineTree Productions, 2016)


This computer disc contains a summary of forty years of research, by Roger Lee Hall, one of the foremost authorities on Shaker music.

The survey highlights the entire history of Shaker music from the 1780s to the 1950s.

The title of this disc is from one of the best known early Shaker hymns, with words by Sister Eunice Wyeth (or Wyethe) and music by Elder Thomas Hammond from the Harvard Shaker community in Massachusetts.

On the multi-media computer disc there are 300 files including: four sheet music collections, taped interviews with past Shaker singers, several radio segments, over 50 audio examples, and 7 video clips including concert highlights of Shaker music with The Canterbury Singers, Kathryn Southworth, Director -- also available separately on this audio album:

"Celestial Praises" CD


On the computer DVD there is information about the earliest known complete song, "In Yonder Valley" and the last known song, "My Shaker Home," with an arrangement by Roger Lee Hall, and comments about this song by Darryl Thompson, who lived with the Canterbury Shakers in his youth and knew Sister Lillian Phelps who wrote it.

Here is the list of folders on "The Humble Heart" computer disc:

01 - Introduction
02 - Article: The Simple Gifts of Shaker Music in America
03 - First Known Shaker Song: "In Yonder Valley" (1787)
04 - Early Hymn: "The Humble Heart" (ca. 1822)
05 - Dance Song: "Tis the gift to be simple" (1848)
06 - Prose Anthem: "Millennial Praise" (1883)
07 - Music Collection 1: A Western Shaker Music Sampler
08 - Music Collection 2: The Happy Journey
09 - Music Collection 3: Invitation to Zion
10 - Music Collection 4: May We Ever Be United
11 - Last Known Shaker Song: "My Shaker Home" (1959)
12 - Triptych: "May I Softly Walk"/ "Gentle Words"/"Love is Little"
13 - Shaker music on Public Radio
14 - Resources (with checklists of printed hymnals and
most recorded tunes)
15 - Video clips - including concert highlights

To order this deluxe edition computer DVD (PTM 1060),
look under "Featured Title No. 8" at this link:

AMP Store






"Millennial Praise" -
Singing New Englanders:
From The Pilgrims to The Shakers

(PineTree Productions, PTM 1027)

This DVD contains a representative sampling of sacred and secular music covering approximately 300 years in the United States, from the landing of the Pilgrims to the last sacred music published by the Shakers in the early 20th century.

For more information:

Click here




"Simple Gifts":
Great American Folk Song

(PineTree Press, 2014)




Read about this best known Shaker song in a book by Roger Lee Hall, a composer, ethnomusicologist, and singer, who is the foremost authority on this Shaker song. Also included on the DVD are image gallery, music examples and video clips.

For more information,

Click here












This DVD was produced by Mary Ann Haagen, Musical Director of The Enfield Shaker Singers, She has written the following information for the DVD:

The Enfield Shaker Singers are a group of amateur and professional musicians who have been singing together for 20 years with the goal of discovering, learning and presenting the songs and dances of the American Shakers. The Singers' extensive repertoire is drawn from Shaker written and aural accounts. Shaker dance is a unique American worship tradition in which marching, gesturing and dancing were a powerful expression of faith and an affirmation of communal life.

The DVD has two sections. The first one is a twenty minute film demonstration of the dances and marching, with commentary by Mary Ann Haagen.

The second or extra section has complete versions of the nineteen songs and dances.

Also included is an insert booklet with the complete source information
for each of the songs and dances.

This is the list of songs:

1. Come Let Us Flock
2. I Am Filled With Heavenly Treasures
3. I Love to See a Living Soul
4. I Love to Sing and Worship God
5. In Love and Peace
6. Let Me Have Mother's Gospel
7. Of Mother's Love I Want a Crumb
8. O Ho The Pretty Chain
9. O The Simple Gifts of God
10. O Will You Sing Another Song
11. Our Support We'll Gather In
12. To A Fullness
13. Turn to the Right
14. We Will Go Forth
15. Where My Hand Has Spread Around
16. With A New Tongue
17. With Every Simple Gift
18. With the Lamb of Mt. Zion
19. Yielding and Simple

The songs and dances are well performed by The Enfield Shaker Singers in Shaker dress, under Mary Ann Haagen's authoritative direction. She has collected the song and dance research and is also one of the performers. The production was edited by David Millstone.

This filmed demonstration consists of re-creations based on dance sources by 19th century Shakers.

There are also several songs with motioning from the singing of two 20th century Shakers: Sister R. Mildred Barker and Eldress Marguerite Frost.

The Shakers no longer do the dancing and marching, having ceased doing them in the early 20th century. Yet there continues to be considerable interest in this aspect of Shaker culture.

For those who are interested in how Shakers danced, marched and gestured, this is a most informative and essential resource.

Highly recommended.

--Roger Lee Hall


For information how to order, click on this web site link:





Ken Burns and Shaker Music


Filmmaker Ken Burns is known for the very popular series on PBS television, such as"The Civil War"; "Baseball"; and "Jazz." His latest is "The Dust Bowl."

One of his first documentary films was premiered on PBS in 1985 and titled: "The Shakers"

It was beautifully photographed, and sensitively narrated by historian, David McCullough.

Unfortunately, there was not enough mention of the 20th century Shakers. Too much time was spent on the rise and fall of Shaker communities during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Several Shaker sisters were interviewed but not given enough attention in this documentary. Some viewers have assumed that there are no longer any Shakers living, while the Shakers still have a community in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.

Also, very little of the music was sung by the Shakers themselves on the soundtrack. Most of the music was arranged by Jesse Carr and a CD soundtrack was never released.

First issued on videotape, it is now available on DVD as...

Ken Burns' America: The Shakers

Ken Burns' America: The Shakers


In 1999, Ken Burns produced another documentary shown on PBS which included some Shaker music, but it was not identified correctly.

Not for Ourselves Alone - The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony

CD: Not for Ourselves Alone:
The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony


The DVD has the same title...

Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony

 Not for Ourselves Alone:
The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
& Susan B. Anthony

Included in this documentary film by Ken Burns and Paul Barnes are several Shaker tunes. The soundtrack CD for Not for Ourselves Alone lists only one Shaker song:

"Good Evening My Friends" (track 8 of the CD).

Actually there are TWO Shaker songs included on this track:

       "Good Evening, My Friends" (New Lebanon, New York, 1837)
       "Mount Lebanon March" (New Lebanon, New York, 1822)

No credit was given for the original source music. Both songs were published in the collection titled, The Happy Journey: Thirty-Five Shaker Spirituals. This collection was compiled and edited by Shaker music scholar, Roger L. Hall, and published by The Fruitlands Museums in Harvard, Massachusetts in 1982. He transcribed these tunes from the original Shaker "letteral" notation and prepared performing editions of them. Yet the Happy Journey collection is not mentioned on the soundtrack CD. This is a common omission with Shaker music editions which are seldom credited properly by authors and record producers. Shaker music is not in public domain when it has been edited in a new performing edition and published in a music collection.



The two Shaker song arrangements used in Not for Ourselves Alone were made by William Coulter and Barry Phillips. This CD is one of the best  recordings of Shaker instrumental arrangements available today.  If you love simple and tasteful instrumental arrangements, then you should enjoy this CD.

Music On The Mountain











Original Shaker Music Recordings


These two CD releases on Rounder Records, with 40 Shaker spirituals each, are the most extensive ones featuring the Shakers singing and speaking about their music...


Early Shaker Spirituals


A CD collection of 40 Shaker spirituals sung by The United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Maine. Many of the spirituals are sung by Sister R. Mildred Barker, the foremost Shaker singer of her time. The spirituals include laboring songs, gift songs, prayer songs, a hymn and anthem and several interviews with Sister Mildred Barker. Extensive notes and texts for all the music are provided by Daniel W. Patterson.



You can order from here:

Early Shaker Spirituals




Let Zion Move - Music of the Shakers

This 2 CD set includes 40 Shaker spirituals sung by the Shakers from Canterbury, New Hampshire and Sabbathday Lake, Maine. It includes a history of Shaker music narrated by Sister R. Mildred Barker and Sister Lillian Phelps. There are also interviews with Sister R. Mildred Barker, Eldress Bertha Lindsay, and Sister Lillian Phelps.

The interviews were done in 1960 by William (Bill) Randle, and in 1972 and 1980 by Roger Hall, who has compiled and written the notes for this unique historical collection.

This is the largest collection of music sung and narrated by the Shakers.

The set also has an attractive 72 page illustrated booklet with examples of Shaker music and the words to all 40 Shaker spirituals plus a bibliography and discography.


You can order from at this link:

Let Zion Move: Music of the Shakers


Related Links


Aaron Copland Meets The Shakers

Joseph Brackett's Simple Gifts

Shaker music books and articles

Shaker music news

Shaker music scholar

Shaker music series

Shaker music in our time

Shaker and Non-Shaker tunes




Help support the educational mission of

American Music

Use this handy Search to order your merchandise...


  Enter keywords...



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