We’re always happy to learn something new, and back in 2016, a musician called Bill introduced us to writing shape notes.
Bill asked us if it was possible to write this special type of notation using FORTE. And I can tell you, we were just as curious!
What are ‘shape notes’?
‘Shape notes,’ it turns out, are a shorthand for writing choir music. The different styles of the note heads help singers find the right pitch.
The method is said to make sight-reading, as well as four-part singing, much easier and more widely accessible. And its tradition is wildly alive in the churches of the American South.
Let me share this wonderful video about shape note singing with you, presented by the multi-talented Rhodyjane Meadows.
And finally, yes, writing shape notes is actually easy with FORTE! The different notehead styles are already a feature of FORTE Basic.
Can you see that this looks like Rhodyjane’s chart?
How to write shape notes with FORTE
If you would like to write shape notes…
- Select the value of the note in the input palette
- Click on Notehead Styles
- Select the suitable notehead. (Note, the symbols are already assigned to the solfège syllables!)
Special license offer for choirs
Interested in the fantastic FORTE special license that we offer for choirs? Find out more!
See also, FAQ: FORTE for Choirs and Ensembles