Shaker music history
Recommended books
CD Reviews








Shaker Music Books and Articles

Two new books available exclusively on multimedia discs,
with music examples and extensive historical information

"May We Ever Be United" -
Music of the North Union, Ohio Shakers




"Simple Gifts" -
Great American Folk Song


Books and Music Collections


From PineTree Press and PineTree Music

These books and music collections are available as print editions or on multimedia computer discs (CDs or DVDs) with bonus music and video clips and all were written or edited by Shaker music scholar, Roger Lee Hall:nted out as desired.

+Blended Together: Discoveries Along The Shaker Music Trail
Illustrated pamphlet or multimedia CD-ROM disc, PTM 1022

+"Come Life, Shaker Life": The Life and Music of Elder Issachar Bates
Book with music supplement, 2004

+For the Love of Zion - 30 Shaker Spirituals for Solo Quartet or SATB Chorus

Arranged by Jack Bomer. Edited by Roger Hall, 2007.

+Gentle Words: Shaker Music in the 20th Century
Book and music on multimedia CD-ROM disc, PTM 1019, 2011

Reference book, 6th edition, 2006

+How Happy Are They: 12 Shaker Spirituals from Kentucky and Ohio
Music collection, 2007

+"May We Ever Be United" - Music of the North Union, Ohio Shakers,
Multimedia CD-ROM disc, PTM 1029, 2012

"Simple Gifts"- Great American Folk Song
Multimedia DVD or E-book, PTM 1035, 2014

+The Story of 'Simple Gifts': Joseph Brackett's Shaker Dance Song
Multimedia DVD disc with bonus audio and video features, 2006; 2nd ed, 2010

+ = these books and collections are available on the deluxe DVD disc, with audio and video bonus features and titled,

A Shaker Music Miscellany

See also --

Shaker music arrangements

From Other Publishers

The Gift to be Simple: Songs, Dances and Rituals of the American Shakers. 
by Edward Deming Andrews (hardcover, 1940/ paperback, 1967)

The Happy Journey: Thirty-Five Shaker Spirituals by Clara Endicott Sears
Edited by Roger L. Hall (music collection, 1982)

Issachar Bates: A Shaker's Journey
by Carol Medlicott (paperback, 2013)

Joy of Angels: Shaker Spirituals for Christmas and The New Year
(with accompanying CD) (spiral-bound, 1995)

Love is Little: A Sampling of Shaker Spirituals (with accompanying CD)
Compiled and Annotatted by Roger Hall (spiral-bound, 1996)

Millennial Praises: A Shaker Hymnal
Edited b
y Christian Goodwillie and Jane F. Crosthwaite (hardcover, 2009).

Partake a Little Morsel: Popular Shaker Hymns of the Nineteenth Century
Compiled by Carol Medlicott (music collection, 2011).

Shaker Music: A Manifestation of American Folk Culture
by Harold E. Cook (hardcover, 1973).

shaker songs: a celebration of peace, harmony, and simplicity
Compiled and edited by Christian Goodwillie, with contributions by Joel Cohen (hardcover, 2002).

The Shaker Spiritual
by Daniel W. Patterson (1st edition, Princeton University Press, 1979;
2nd edition, Dover Publications, 2000).

Books - Not Recommended

Selling Shaker - Stephen Bowe and Peter Richmond

Shaker Music - Frederick William Evans (reprint edition)

Simple Gifts - Great Hymns by Bill Henderson


Shaker Music Articles

Communal Societies

Journal of Church Music

The Shaker Messenger

The Shaker Quarterly

Shakers World

Sing Out! Magazine

Sonneck Society Bulletin For American Music

Newspaper Articles

Book Reviews

Come Life, Shaker Life: 50 Shaker Tunes Arranged For Appalachian Dulcimer

Heavenly Visions: Shaker Gifts Drawings and Gift Songs

Historical Dictionary of the Shakers

Issachar Bates: A Shaker's Journey

Millennial Praises: A Shaker Hymnal

shaker songs: a celebration of peace, harmony and simplicity

Other items of intereststrest

Related links

PineTree Press

Shaker Music on CDs and DVDs



To Order Books or Sheet Music

Order the books from PineTree Press listed below
or special orders for individual sheet music
by making a donation or payment
for the requested amount,
payable by credit card to PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal.

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After you have made your donation, please send an email
with the title you wish to receive and your mailing address to:

Shaker Music Books







Now Available on CD-ROM!

This pamphlet is available in two versions: pamphlet and CD-ROM.

Printed pamphlet

The 48 page printed pamphlet features a wealth of information about forty years of research by Roger Lee Hall, one of the most active Shaker music scholars, who has written over 700 pages about Shaker music in various books and music collections, as well as producing numerous CDs and multimedia DVDs or CDs.

Among the items in this pamphlet are: a timeline of his Shaker music research, a brief survey of Shaker music in the 20th century, and exclusive interviews with three past Shaker sisters: two from Canterbury, New Hampshire, and one from Sabbathday Lake, Maine.

Also, there is a Checklist of Printed Shaker Hymnals, an extensive Bibliography and selective list of Shaker music recordings.

In addition there are illustrations of original Shaker music in their own unusual "letteral" notation, including "Gentle Words," "Love is Little," and the best known Shaker song, "Simple Gifts.



Order your copy of Blended Together:
Discoveries Along The Shaker Music Trail

for just $9.95.

The pamphlet may be ordered by credit card
payable to PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal.
Shipping is included.

Click on this button:




After you have ordered your copy
send your mailing address to:

Blended Together Pamphlet




For the newly revised edition of the monograph (96 pages), playable on any computer,and especially useful for students or researchers in Shaker culture, there are these audio files:


To receive the multimedia CD-ROM with
both the illustrated pamphlet,
and field recordings of interviews with the Shakers,
the cost is only $19.95,
payable to PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal.
Shipping is included.

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to insure proper delivery,
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Blended Together CD-ROM



The book (120 pages) is included on a m
ultimedia compter disc with bonus picture gallery, audio and video features.

The book discusses the beginnings of Shaker music from its origin in England and several distinct music types (gift songs and dance songs) in America. Also, there is a biographical profile of Elder Joseph Brackett and background about two of his best known songs: "Simple Gifts" and "The True Vine." His dance song "Simple Gifts" is traced from its origin in 1848 to its re-discovery in the 20th century and new song based on the Shaker tune, "Lord of the Dance." Also, how it has influenced many people in our time and become a very popular American folk spiritual, including being performed at three U.S. Presidential Inaugurations. The book is available in pdf and the music examples are mp3.

Read how to order this book,

Click here




"Come Life, Shaker Life": The Life and Music of Elder Issachar Bates
by Roger L. Hall (2004)

The printed book is now SOLD OUT, but it is available without the Music Supplement on the DVD, A Shaker Music Miscellany




I. Early Years
II. Fifer in the American Revolution
III. Baptist Song Leader
IV. Shaker Missionary Travels
V. Shaker Tunesmith
VI. Final Years


Music Supplement:

Hymn: "Rights of Conscience"
Hymn: "The Gospel Sound"
Anthem: "Mount Zion"
Dance Song: "Step Tune"
Hymn: "Ode to Contentment"
Dance Song: "Come Life, Shaker Life"
Song: "Lovely Gospel Kindred"
Funeral Hymn: "Almighty Savior"




For the Love of Zion:
Thirty Shaker Spirituals
(PineTree Music, 2007)

The printed book is now SOLD OUT,
but it is available on a multimedia DVD-ROM
with the music collection and album of 30 Shaker spirituals


This music collection available only on DVD-ROM has Shaker songs and hymns not available anywhere else. The 30 spirituals have been sensitively arranged for SATB by Jack Bomer. The collection was edited by Roger Hall. Also included on the DVD, playable on your computer, is a folder with all 30 Shaker spirituals performed by a vocal quartet from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, known as -- "Simplicity."


Here are two examples on Real Audio...

Click links to hear music:

"I'm On My Way To Zion"

"A New Zion"







Titles o the music album:

1.  We Have Found the Promised Savior (Lebanon, NY)
2.  Sweet Love (Eastern Shaker song)
3.  Good Brethren From the Holy Mount (Elsa Parson, Enfield, Connecticut)
4.  Here Take This Lovely Flower (Elmira Adams, Harvard, MA, 1847)
5.  O What Pretty Souls (Joshua Bennett, Enfield, Connecticut, 1837)
6.  The Humble Heart (Eunice Wyeth/Thomas Hammond, Harvard, MA)
7.  O Brethren Ain't You Happy (Clarissa Jacobs, Lebanon, about 1847)
8.  Christ's Suffering (Canterbury, New Hampshire, date unknown)
9.  My Love is My Mother (South Union, Kentucky, 1821)
10. The Rolling Deep (Polly Lawrence, Sodus, New York, 1826)
11. I Never Did Believe (Betsy Bates, Lebanon, New York, 1829)
12. Lay Me Low (Addah Z. Potter, Lebanon, New York, 1838)
13. I Will Bow and Be Simple (Mary Hazard, Lebanon, New York, 1840s)
14. The Hallelujah Hymn (Polly M. Rupe, Pleasant Hill, Kentucky)
15. I Have a Soul to be Saved or Lost (Enfield, New Hampshire, 1865)
16. Mother's Love is Like an Ocean (Assanath Wilhite, South Union,KY)
17. Mother's Mantle (Lebanon, New York, 1821)
18. More Love (Canterbury, New Hampshire, about 1870)
19. Slow Song (Eastern Shaker song)
20. Pretty Love and Union (John Whitbey, Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, 1824)
21. Living Souls Let's Be Marching (Tyringham, Massachusetts)

22. I'm On My Way to Zion (unknown community)
23. Love is Little (South Union, Kentucky, 1834)
24. A New Zion (Alfred, Maine, 1837)
25. Virgins Cloth'd in a Clean White Garment (Sabbathday Lake, 1830s)
26. Low Within the Vale (Paulina Bryant, Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, 1850)
27. My Sweet Home in Zion (Otis Sawyer, Sabbathday Lake, Maine)
28. Brilliant Gem (Anna White , Lebanon, 1859)
29. Simple Gifts (Joseph Brackett Jr., Alfred, Maine, 1848)
30. Earnest Petition (unknown community)



To receive the multimedia DVD-ROM
with sheet music of the Shaker arrangements by Jack Bomer,
and the music album with all the Shaker spirituals
the price is only $19.95 including shipping,
payable to PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal.
Shipping is included.

Click on this button to




After you have made payment,
to insure proper delivery,
please send your mailing address to:

For the Love of Zion DVD-ROM



Gentle Words:
Shaker Music in the 20th Century

(PineTree Press, 2nd edition, 2012)


Excerpt from the title song lyrics:

Gentle words, kindly spoken,
Often soothe the troubled mind.
While links of love are broken,
By words that are unkind.

This beautifully illustrated collection by Shaker scholar Roger Lee Hall contains informative historical material about Shaker music during the 20th century, with lyrics of 25 representative Shaker spirituals, including such favorites as: "Come Life, Shaker Life" and "Simple Gifts."

The book is dedicated "In Loving Memory of Sister R. Mildred Barker."

Among its treasures are many of the discoveries made by Roger over the past thirty-five years in his travels along the Shaker music trail.

Part One of the booklet 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 timeline of important events during the 20th century, including little known facts and unique illustrations, such as the Canterbury Shaker Orchestra and a concert program from 1932.

Part Two contains the words and commentary for the 25 Shaker songs, hymns, and anthems all sung during the 20th century and available on the accompanying music files. One of them is a pacifist hymn from the Civil War era, shown here in Shaker letteral music notation:

"A Prayer For The Captive"


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

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

To order Gentle Words: Shaker Music in the 20th Century
including the music album with all 28 Shaker spirituals
and bonus documents on a CD-ROM,
readable on your computer,
the cost is $19.95, including Shipping.

Click this button to




After you have made your order,
lease send your mailing address to:

Gentle Words


Read more about "Gentle Words"at

A Shaker Song Discovery

The Gentle Words title is included in the

Multimedia Americana Music Series



A Guide to Shaker Music --
With Music Supplement

(PineTree Press, 6th edition, 2006)



This popular guide was first published in 1996. It has remained the most extensive reference guide for Shaker music. Now in its 6th edition, it contains the following information:

  • Chronology: Evolution of Shaker music
  • Shaker tunes and tunesmiths including list of Top Twelve recorded Shaker tunes
  • Where to find original Shaker music
  • Selected music for voice and instruments
  • Shaker tunes vs. folk tunes
  • Descriptions of Shaker music and dance
  • Where to look for further information
  • What music has been recorded on LP and CD


Also included in the Guide is a Music Supplement with 15 Shaker songs and hymns for solo voice and keyboard; or SAB and SATB chorus; composed and arranged by Roger Hall.



The printed book, A Guide to Shaker Music (6th edition),
is now SOLD OUT.

The complete text of the book, without the music supplement,
is included on the multi-media DVD,

A Shaker Music Miscellany


How Happy Are They:
Twelve Shaker Spirituals
from Kentucky and Ohio
(PineTree Music, 2007)


2007 marked the bicentennial of the Shaker community at South Union, Kentucky. To commemorate that bicentennial anniversary, Roger L. Hall has compiled this collection which includes arrangements of two South Union Shaker hymns:"The Morning Sun" and "The Millennium." They are included in this songbook:

1. "A Welcome Song" -- Polly M. Rupe, Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, 1869

2. Hymn: "Typical Dancing" --
text: Richard McNemar/ tune: Polly M. Rupe, Pleasant Hill, 1809

3. Hymn: "Farewell Vain World" -- Samuel Hooser, Pleasant Hill, 1833

4. Song: "I Want to be Living & Free" -- South Union, Kentucky

5. Hymn: "The Morning Sun" -- South Union, 1847 (arr. Roger Hall)

6. Hymn: "The Millennium" -- South Union, 1847 (arr. Roger Hall)

7. Hymn: "How Happy Are They" -- Richard McNemar,
Watervliet, Ohio, 1833

8. Hymn: "Invitation to Souls" -- Matilda A. Butler, Whitewater (or White Water), Ohio, 1846

9. Hymn: "On The Birthday of Mother Ann" --
James S. Prescott, North Union, Ohio, 1850

10. Song: "A Dream" -- Harvey L. Eades, Union Village, Ohio

11. Hymn: "Doxology" -- Oliver C. Hampton, Union Village, 1856

12. Song: "My Dear Companions Let's Move On" -- Union Village, 1850s

Some of these songs and hymns are available on these CDs:

Blended Together: Shaker Hymns and Songs

Gentle Words: A Shaker Music Sampler

Love is Little: A Sampling of Shaker Spirituals


To order How Happy Are They:
12 Shaker Spirituals from Kentucky and Ohio

(single copies only),
go to the





"May We Ever Be United"
Music of the North Union, Ohio Shakers


This music collection, compiled and edited by Shaker music scholar, Roger Lee Hall, includes a representative sampling of 15 tunes from the Shaker community at North Union. The material was compiled from many years of research and includes source identifications and the most complete information about composers and music from this northern Ohio Shaker community (today known as Shaker Heights).

Also featured are an extensive timeline of North Union Shaker history (1822-1889), a checklist of all known Shaker tunes from North Union, illustrations of original Shaker tunes, a description of Alma McGill's manuscript music book, plus a bibliography and a list of recordings.

North Union Shaker Spirituals included in this collection:

1. Song: May We Ever Be United - Philander Curtis Cramer, 1835

2. Song: Little Children Be Awake - Samuel Russell, 1845

3. Song: The Bending Work - James Mott, 1847

4. Anthem: My Faithful Lovely Children - John Root, Rachel Russell,
Jeremiah Ingalls, Jr., Permelia Torrey, 1847

5. Anthem: Praise to the Lord - words: Jeremiah Ingalls Jr./
music: Sewel G. Thayer, 1847

6. Hymn: Home in Zion - Sophia Hoffmann, 1849

7. Song: Join Together Heart and Hand, 1853

8. Song: With My Arm of Love and Blessing - Rhoda Watson, 1855

9. Song: My Well Beloved Children - James Sullivan Prescott, 1856

10. Funeral Hymn: Dear Friends Gather Near - Melinda Torrey, 1858
(For Elder Jeremiah Ingalls Jr.)

11. Marching Song: O May the Gospel Trumpet, 1860

12. Spring Song: There's Life in Every Lovely Flower -
Watson Andrews,1860

13. Round Dance Song: More Fire - George Washington Ingalls, 1862

14. March Song: O Ye Children of Zion, 1862

15. Christmas Hymn: Behold Our Saviour Has Come -
Elmina Phillips, ca. 1869



"May We Ever Be United" -
Music of the North Union, Ohio Shakers
(PineTree Press, PTM 1029, 2012)


The complete collection
is available on a CD-ROM playable on any computer
for $20, and includes sheet music, music examples,
and an image gallery. Free shipping is included.

Make your payment by credit card
payable to PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal.

Click on this button:



After you have placed your order,
please send your mailing address to this link:

Music of the North Union Shakers








Available separately is an attractive broadside
with the words and music of the Shaker dance song
on heavy cover stock (8 1/2 X 11)
for display or gift-giving:

To order this colorful music broadside of "Simple Gifts"
and other broadsides too,
go to the





A Major Collection!


This massive multi-media collection on DVD is ideal for anyone doing Shaker research or for performance. It was compiled by ethnomusicologist and singer, Roger Lee Hall

It contains a massive amount of information, including over 500 files and 200 music examples, plus sheet music and image galleries, and additional background material.

The following titles are available on the DVD with documents in Microsoft Word or pdf:


  • "BLENDED TOGETHER" - Discoveries Along The Shaker Music Trail
  • "COME LIFE, SHAKER LIFE" - Life and Music of Elder Issachar Bates
  • "GENTLE WORDS" - Shaker Music in the 20th Century
  • "GOSPEL TRUTH" - Music of the North Union Shakers
  • "HOW HAPPY ARE THEY" - Twelve Spirituals from Kentucky and Ohio
  • "INVITATION TO ZION" - A Guide to Shaker Music
  • "A NEW ZION" - Shaker arrangements by Jack Bomer
  • "PRAYER UNIVERSAL" - Shaker Music in Our Time
  • "RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE" - A Sampling of Shaker Hymnody
  • "SIMPLE GIFTS": Elder Joseph Brackett's Shaker Dance Song


Bonus Features:

Audio: THE HUMBLE HEART - 30 Shaker Spirituals
Video: Two television programs (1966 and 1986)

Special Discount Price!

This deluxe multi-media DVD (playable on computer)
with sheet music, image galleries,
over 200 music examples, plus two television programs,
would normally cost $99.95
But for a limited time it is available for only $49.95
payable to PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal and including shipping.

Click on this button:





After you have made your payment,
to insure proper delivery,
send your mailing address to:

A Shaker Music Miscellany DVD





Not Recommended Books

Selling Shaker: The Commodification of Shaker Design in the Twentieth Century

by Stephen Bowe and Peter Richmond

This large and weighty volume discusses the "value--art--politics" of Shaker design, yet gives no more than a passing reference to Shaker music in the Twentieth Century. The authors neglect to discuss the "value" of this important aspect of Shaker culture. And what the authors list in the Bibliography is wrong as well.

Under "Television, Video, Music and Radio Material" their listing for the CD collection, Let Zion Move: Music of the Shakers, gives credit to:

"Hall, H., Thompson, D & Phelps, L."

The correct first name should be "Hall, R." [Roger Hall], who edited and wrote the notes for this CD collection. Most of the Shaker recordings were compiled by William Randle, who is not listed at all. "Thompson, D." [Darryl Thompson] only wrote the Preface. "Phelps, L." [Lillian Phelps] was one of the Shakers who narrated on the recordings but the other Shaker sister who was also a narrator, R. Mildred Barker, is not listed. Why not include all these people? Or if limited to a few names, then it should be Roger Hall and William Randle, who were both responsible for this CD collection.

The other important recording by the Sabbathday Lake Shakers, Early Shaker Spirituals, is not even listed in the Bibliography of the book.

While music is not the main focus of this book, the incorrect information or lack of it about these two essential recordings by 20th century Shakers and the lack of discussion of this important aspect of Shaker culture demonstrates the research was lacking in this area of Selling Shaker.

The importance of music in Shaker life remains under appreciated, especially by collectors and writers.

To read more about two recordings with Shaker singing, see Early Shaker Spirituals and the Let Zion Move 2 CD set at

CD Releases




Shaker Music - Frederick William Evans


This Nabu Public Domain Reprint Press copy is sold by

The generic cover with ballet shoes is totally out of context with Shaker music. This reprint is actually of the Shaker hymnal originally published by Weed, Parsons and Company in Albany, New York in 1875.

But the Nabu reprint has been printed in the wrong format!

Instead of printing it oblong like the original it is printed like a regular vertical hymnbook, so every page and every piece of music is cut off at the left or right side of the page and thus is incomplete.

Here is one of the incomplete pages with music cut off on the left side:


Here is how that same page should look, as reprinted correctly by AMS Press:

There is also no Title Page in the Nabu reprint.

It was printed correctly by AMS Press as shown here:


Didn't anyone look at this hymnal copy before it was reprinted by Nabu? It should be obvious that it was printed incorrectly, even if you can't read the music.

If you can still find it, the AMS Press reprint from 1974 is the one to buy.

The Nabu copy is a worthless reprint.

Buyer Beware!





Simple Gifts: One Man's Search for Grace

Simple Gifts - Great Hymns: One Man's Search for Grace

by Bill Henderson

At first glance, this seems like a worthwhile collection of thoughts about some of the best known hymns. Mr. Henderson is certainly entitled to his "search for grace" and that is an admirable pursuit.  But why at the expense of his uninformed writing about some of the hymns he has chosen?  

Read the complete review at this link:

Book and CD Reviews





Order Shaker music collections
at the





Articles About Shaker Music

This section has a list of articles focusing on Shaker music.

Some of these articles are available through this
web site
for a small charge for copying.

Write with specific requests

Shaker music articles



American Communal Societies Quarterly

Volume 1, No. 3 (July 2007) -

"The Shaker Leaf Song: Solving a Perplexing Puzzle"
by Roger L. Hall


Common-Place (American Antiquarian Society)

Volume 13, No. 2 (Winter, 2013) -

"Let's mingle our feelings" - Gender and Collectivity in the Music of the Shaker West
by Carol Medlicott. online article

Communal Societies

Volume Two (Autumn 1982): "Shaker Music." Daniel W. Patterson

Volume Three (1983): "The Shaker Spiritual" by Daniel W. Patterson, book review by Roger L. Hall

Journal of Church Music

Volume 17, Number 8 (October 1975)/ article reprinted in The Hymn (January 1976): "Shaker Hymnody: An American Communal Tradition" by Roger L. Hall

Volume 24, Number 2 (February 1982): "An Interview with Aaron Copland" by Roger L. Hall

The Shaker Journal ( no longer available online)

Vicki Bell: "Music of the Angels"

Randy Folger: "The Pleasant Hill Singers Record a New CD"

Roger Hall: "Religion in Song - The Craftsmanship of Shaker Music"

The Shaker Messenger

A magazine produced by The World of Shaker in Holland, Michigan, from the 1970s to the 1990s, and no longer published.

In each issue there was a Shaker song or hymn compiled and edited by Roger Hall in the "Shaker Song Series."

This was the longest-running series since the Shakers published music in their own publication, The Manifesto in the late 19th century.

Between 1981 and 1996, there were 56 Shaker tunes in the series.

The Shaker Quarterly

A journal published by the Sabbathday Lake Shakers beginning in 1961 but no longer published today. These are the articles mentioning Shaker music:

Volume I, Number 1 (Spring 1961: "The Shakers' Sundry Strange Tunes," by Daniel W. Patterson.

Volume II, Number 2 (Summer 1962): "A Ballad by Elder Issachar Bates," by Daniel W. Patterson.

Volume IV, Number 4 (Winter 1964): "Mother Has Come With Her Beautiful Song," by Sister R. Mildred Barker.

Volume V, Number 1 (Spring 1965): "The Rolling Deep," by Sister R. Mildred Barker.

Volume V, Number 2 (Summer 1965): "My Sweet Home in Zion," by Brother Theodore E. Johnson.

Volume VI, Number 3 (Fall 1966): "The Influence of Inspiration and Discipline upon the Development of the Shaker Spiritual," by Daniel W. Patterson.

Volume VII, Number 2 (Summer 1967): "History of Union Branch, Gorham, Maine." Sister R. Mildred Barker. Biographical information about Elder Joseph Brackett and his song, "Simple Gifts."

Volume VII, Number 2 (Fall 1967): "O Thou God of My Salvation," by Brother Theodore E. Johnson.

Volume X, Number 4 (Winter 1970): "Eldress Mary Ann Gillespie's 'Beautiful Are They Who Stand Upon Zion," by Brother Theodore E. Johnson.

Volume XIV, Number 4 (Winter 1974): "The Shaker Dove,"
by Daniel W. Patterson.

Volume XVI, Number 3 (Fall 1988): "The 'Simple Gifts' of Elder Joseph Brackett Jr," by Wendell Hess.

Volume XVII, Number 4 (Winter 1989): "Implications of Late 19th Century Shaker Music," by Daniel W. Patterson.

Volume XVIII, Number 3 (Fall 1990): "Millennial Praises - Tune Location and Authorial Attributions of the First Shaker Hymnal," by Daniel W. Patterson.

Shakers World

Quarterly magazine no longer published. These are the titles from Roger Hall's music column in each issue:

Volume 1, Number 1 (May 1996): "To Edit or Not to Edit?"

Volume 1, Number 2 (August 1996): "What's Your Favorite Shaker Song?"

Volume 1, Number 3 (December 1996):
"Singing at Shaker Village Work Camp"

Volume 1, Number 4 (February 19977): "Collecting Shaker Spirituals"

Volume 2, Number 1 (June/July 1997):
"The Simple Gifts of Elder Joseph and Sister Mildred"

Sing Out! Magazine

In the Summer 1998 issue (Vol. 43/ No. 1) is an article titled:

"The Simple Gifts of Shaker Music" by Roger Hall

This lengthy article includes a history of Shaker music, and also included are the words and music for two Shaker spirituals: 

"Let Zion Move" -- Mary Ann Gillespie
"Ode to Contentment" --Tune: Issachar Bates/ Text: Richard Pelham

Along with the article are many illustrations and a list of sources, including CDs.


Sonneck Society Bulletin for American Music

Volume XVI, Number 3 (Fall 1990):
"Aaron Copland's 'Simple Gifts'" by Roger L. Hall

Volume XXIII, Number 3 (Fall 1997):
"Joseph Brackett's 'Simple Gifts." by Roger L. Hall


Newspaper Articles

Maine: Gray-New Gloucester Independent , February 15, 2008:

"Joseph Brackett's Simple Gifts" by Roger Hall

Background about the dance song and the Shaker leader who composed it.

Michigan: Detroit Free Press , November 11, 1998: 

"150 Years of 'Simple Gifts'" by David Crumm

This article was about the uses of the Shaker song from its original melody in 1848 to an arrangement in a TV commercial for the Oldsmobile Aurora car.

Lectures and Workshops

Are you interested in scheduling an informative music program
by Roger Hall, for your school, college, church, museum
or other organization?

For more information, click on this link for

Music Lectures and Workshops

Related Links


American Music Recordings Archive -- CDs with interviews and recordings.

Book and CD Reviews -- titles relating to Shaker music.

CD and DVD Releases -- original and arranged Shaker tunes.

Communal Studies Association -- information about annual meetings and more.

Joseph Brackett's 'Simple Gifts' -- about the best known Shaker song.

Sabbathday Lake, Maine -- the last remaining active Shaker community.

Shaker Music History -- highlights from over two centuries.

Simplicity of Shaker Music -- about Shaker music notation and more.

South Union Shaker Museum -- Shakers in Kentucky and related sites.




Please remember to credit this web site

When using any of the original information found here
for research papers, books, magazines, CDs,
or media programs, please give credit to

American Music

For any questions, write to:

Shaker Music Query


Help support the preservation mission of this web site.

Order music books, music broadsides, CDs or DVDs from the





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More Information:

CD and DVD Releases

Shaker Lectures and Workshops

Shaker Music Archive

Memorial Tributes:

Sister Mildred Barker

Sister Marie Burgess

Eldress Bertha Lindsay



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