In the late 1700s, learned New England musicians called “singing masters” appeared as a result of discontent about the chaotic state of church singing, and began teaching singing schools to improve music literacy. In these singing schools, the singing masters employed a system that used shaped note heads in teaching congregation members to read and sing music. The singing school traveled southward, and two men, B. F. White and E. J. King, compiled songs into a songbook they called The Sacred Harp to be used for social singing at all-day singings and multi-day conventions. Over time, the popularity of the singing school and the style of music used in The Sacred Harp faded in the cities, but the book and its traditions remained an important part of life in pockets of the rural South, particularly in regions of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Texas. In the middle of the twentieth century, Northerners began developing a renewed an interest in The Sacred Harp and other shape-note music. Many researched the tradition and began having singings in their homes. With the help of those who had preserved the tradition over the years, Northerners have begun to establish their own singing conventions and expand their regular singings.