‘Amazing Grace/NEW BRITAIN’ shape-note setting (downloadable PDF)


A setting of 'Amazing Grace' based upon the earliest published version of the hymn (an American shape-note hymn entitled NEW BRITAIN). Includes a traditional harmony part. Please see the below description for more information and an audio sample.


‘Amazing Grace’, as it is most widely-known today, was first printed as an American shape-note hymn in William Walker’s Southern Harmony, with the title NEW BRITAIN. The setting offered here is an adaptation of the original shape-note hymn, and typeset in the pipe-friendly key of D-Major. This version includes chord symbols, the lyrics to the first verse, and a harmony part based upon the traditional shape-note harmony. (A version nearly identical to this also appears in ‘An Appalachian Collection’.)

[For a lively slip-jig arrangement of this melody, please see here.]

An audio sample, featuring Scottish smallpipes (D-chanter). The harmony part can be heard on the repeat, approximately halfway through the track:

A video of the original shape-note hymn being sung. This is the version that this pipe-setting is based upon: