The largest online source
for music of the American Shakers
The Spirit is calling, tenderly calling,
O Zion unfold in deep prayer;
O pray for the fathers, the sisters and brothers,
O pray for the whole household,
O pray for the mothers, remember all others,
O pray for the whole, whole world.
This is the largest and most accurate online site about music of the United Society of Believers (better known as The Shakers), America's oldest religious communal society. The Shakers produced an amazing number of songs, hymns and anthems, estimated to be over 10,000 separate tunes and texts.
Musicians, researchers, teachers and students beware!
You should be careful when collecting research about Shaker music due to the amount of errors on some websites and in some books and articles focusing on Shaker history. Often the mention of Shaker music is misleading or incorrect. For example, classifying all Shaker music as "songs." There are actually three main types of Shaker music (songs, hymns, anthems) which are discussed at this link: Shaker Music - An Introduction.
Many writers and musicians and even online schools teaching music history have failed to give proper credit to the editors of Shaker music. Also, they have not looked much beyond the best known Shaker song, "Simple Gifts." The Shakers produced thousands of tunes and many of them would be suitable for performance, providing they have been edited properly. There's enough material available that online universities could spend a whole semester on Shaker music, or even do a multi-night performance without repeating any songs!
Without such editors as Joel Cohen, Mitzie Collins, Harold Cook, Christian Goodwillie, Mary Ann Haagen, Roger Lee Hall, Carol Medlicott, Daniel W. Patterson and others, these Shaker spirituals would remain buried in manuscript music books in a box or storage chest somewhere. Without these editors, the music would likely stay lost.
Often it is just the arranger who gets the credit, not the editor who first discovered it and made it available in a performing edition.
Contrary to what many writers have written, Shaker music is not all anonymous or "traditional." In fact, a large number of their songs, hymns and anthems are credited to Shaker poets and composers. Many Shaker spirituals were written by a Shaker sister or brother, who wrote the words and/or the music.