Preferred Name

Tyler Brinkerhoff

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of History


Andrew Witmer

Kevin Borg

Gabrielle M. Lanier


Though over the years documents about shape-note music from Joseph Funk and Sons and the Ruebush-Kieffer companies have been spread throughout many archives, they are now being brought back together online in one digital archive. Interpreting the information contained in these documents and the ledger book of subscribers for The Southern Musical Advocate and Singer’s Friend magazine through graphs and maps makes the information contained in them easier to access for researchers. The collaboration between a physical museum site, a website, and a Omeka site allow for multiple ways to learn about the history of shape-note music in the Shenandoah Valley and how the traditions surrounding them spread throughout the United States. Stories gleaned from the records tell about who sang the shape-note music and give a personal insight into the small communities which used shape-notes in their homes and families, and churches and schools. Although shape-note music theory did not win out over round notes on the large scale as some thought they would, they represent an aspect of history which shows the spread of a specific culture during the 19th century which is still thriving in small communities throughout the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and around the United States.



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