The Scarèd Harp

Choral Settings of Filk Songs

The Scarèd Harp (which should be pronounced with a total of four syllables) is, essentially, a filk of The Sacred Harp. It is a collection of filk songs set in easy four-part arrangements which are intended for group singing rather than concert performance.

What is "filk"?

Filk is a sub-genre of folk music which is indigenous to science fiction conventions. The name was, according to legend, originally a misspelling of "folk"; thus "folk music" became "filk music". If this brings to mind geeks wearing Spock ears who need to get a life, singing badly written Star Trek parodies of pop songs in tone-deaf voices accompanied by out-of-tune guitars played badly, then you're only partly correct. Filk is also typified not only by excellently written parodies to rival those of Wierd Al Yankovic, but by serious songs with beautifully crafted melodies and lyrics, not to mention a surprising number of truly fine performers, some of them professional or semi-professional folk musicians. For more information about filk, see:

Filk music? What's that?
Filk music? (from Sing Out!)
Filk FAQ


What is The Sacred Harp?

The Sacred Harp is the most famous of a number of hymn books typified by a particular style of four-part harmony, intended for group participation rather than concert performance. The singers sit in a hollow square, arranged by sections, facing inward. They are singing for themselves and each other, not for an audience. The music is written using "shape notes", a variation on normal music notation which was designed to be easier for beginners to learn, while immediately readable by experienced music readers. This Christian music is some of the most emotionally powerful music in the world. For more information about The Sacred Harp, see:

Sacred Harp Singing: History & Tradition
Sacred Harp Publishing Company
Sacred Harp Singing

FAQ (Frequently
Asked Questions)
How to hold a
Scarèd Harp sing.
History of
The Scarèd Harp


You can download The Scarèd Harp as a PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file by using the following link:

TheScaredHarp.pdf   (2.4 Mb)

MIDI Files

Please note that MIDI files do not contain any lyrics. Each of the four parts is in a separate track by itself, so that you can easily solo one part, or make it louder, as a learning tool.

Acts of Creation
After the Gold Rush
Babylon Is Fallen
Cur Ursus Clamat
Dies Ille, Dies Lunae
Falling Down on New Jersey
The Galaxy's Wide
The Green Hills of Earth
The HereticHeart (Forest Green)
The Heretic Heart (Jordan)
Hope Eyrie
How Can I Keep from Filking?
How Can I Keep from Singing?
HymnToHubble (original tune)
Hymn to Hubble (Northfield)
The Last Frontier
Let Insects Specialize
A Pilgrims Way
Psalm of Life
A Short Treatise on the History of Filk
Vampire's Lullabye
The View from the Iron Road
Web of Love
Who Sings For the Engineer?
Winter Is Icumen In
The Word of God

All MIDI files in one convenient zip file: (21 Kb)

MIDI Software

Programs such as the Windows Media Player and RealPlayer don't allow you to adjust the volume of individual MIDI tracks. Here are links to some shareware or freeware programs that should provide this capability. (I haven't used any of them; I use Cakewalk, which is expensive.)

MidiRunner -
Anvil Studio -

Last updated 22 July 2003