These are the set of 12 standards that every barbershop singer knows, meaning that whenever four singers meet they can sing something. My Wild Irish Rose (Barbershop Polecat) – Trudbol A Cappella ▻ I SELL LEARNING TRACKS. The Barbershop Classic Tags book now posted on Dropbox. The Society published 12 additional songs to the “Polecat” repertoire (version 2) – songs that .
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Barbershop vocal harmonyas codified during the barbershop revival era s—presentis a style of a cappella close harmonyor unaccompanied vocal musiccharacterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture.
Each of the four parts has its own role: The melody is not usually sung by the tenor or baritone, except for an infrequent note or two to avoid awkward voice leadingin tags or codasor when some appropriate embellishment can be created.
One characteristic feature of barbershop harmony is the use of what is known as “snakes” and “swipes”. This is when a chord is altered by a change in one or more non-melodic voices. Barbershop music is generally performed by either a barbershop quarteta group of four singers with one on each vocal part, or a barbershop choruswhich closely resembles a choir with the notable exception of the genre of music.
According to the Barbershop Harmony Society BHS”Barbershop music features songs with understandable lyrics and easily singable melodies, whose tones clearly define a tonal center and imply major and minor chords and barbershop dominant and secondary dominant seventh chords that resolve primarily around the circle of fifthswhile making frequent use of other resolutions.
Except for the bassthe voice parts in barbershop singing do not correspond closely to their classical music counterparts; the tenor range and tessitura are similar to those of the classical countertenorthe baritone resembles the Heldentenor or lyric baritone in range and a tenor in tessitura, and the lead generally corresponds to the tenor of classical repertoire, with some singers possessing a tessitura more similar to that of a high baritone.
Barbershop singing is performed both by men’s and women’s groups; the elements of the barbershop style and the names of the voice parts are the same for both.
The defining characteristic of the barbershop style is the ringing chord, one in which certain overtones of the four voices reinforce each other, sometimes so strongly that the overtone is perceived by the listener as a distinct tone, even though none of the voices are perceived as singing that tone. This effect occurs when the chord, as voiced, contains intervals which have strongly reinforcing overtones fifths and octaves, for example that fall in the audible range; and when the chord is sung in perfect just tuning without excessive vibrato.
Both of these characteristics are important in many styles of singing, but in Barbershop there is an extreme emphasis on them that tends to override other musical values. For example, favored chords in the jazz style are characterized by intervals which don’t audibly ring, such as diminished or augmented fifths. For another example, Barbershop music is always a cappella, because the presence of fixed-pitch instruments tuned to equal-temperament rather than just temperamentwhich is so highly prized in other choral styles, makes perfect just tuning of chords impossible.
The physics and psychophysics of the effect are fairly well understood; it occurs when the upper harmonics in the individual voice notes, and the sum and difference frequencies resulting from nonlinear combinations within the ear, reinforce each other at a particular frequency, strengthening it so that it stands out separately above the blended sound.
The effect is audible only on certain kinds of chords, and only when all voices are equally rich in harmonics and justly tuned and balanced. It is not heard in chords sounded on modern keyboard instruments, due to the slight tuning imperfection of the equal-tempered scale.
Gage Averill writes that “Barbershoppers have become partisans of this acoustic phenomenon” and that “the more experienced singers of the barbershop revival at least after have self-consciously tuned their dominant seventh and tonic chords in just intonation to maximize the overlap of common overtones.
What is prized is not so much the “overtone” itself, but a unique sound whose achievement is most easily recognized by the presence of the “overtone”. The precise synchrony of the waveforms of the four voices simultaneously creates the perception of a “fifth voice” while at the same time melding the four voices into a unified sound.
The ringing chord is qualitatively different in sound from an ordinary musical chord e. Most elements of the “revivalist” style are related to the desire to produce these ringing chords.
Performance is a cappella to prevent the distracting introduction of equal-tempered intonation, and because listening to anything but the other three voices interferes with a performer’s ability to tune with the precision required.
Barbershop arrangements stress chords and chord progressions that favor “ringing”, at the expense of suspended and diminished chords and other harmonic vocabulary of the ragtime and jazz forms. The dominant seventh-type chord is so important to barbershop harmony that it is called the “barbershop seventh”. BHS arrangers believe that a song should contain dominant seventh chords anywhere from 35 to 60 percent of the time measured as a percentage of the duration of the song rather than a percentage of the chords present to sound “barbershop”.
Historically barbershoppers may have used the word “minor chord” in a way that is confusing to those with musical training. Averill suggests that it was “a shorthand for chord types other than major triads”, and says that the use of the word for “dominant seventh-type chords and diminished chords” was common in the late nineteenth century.
A song called “Play That Barber Shop Chord”  often cited as an early example of “barbershop” in reference to music contains the lines:. Averill notes the hints of rapture”quasi-religion” and erotic passion in the language used by barbershoppers to describe the emotional effect. He quotes Jim Ewin as reporting “a tingling of the spine, the raising of the hairs on the back of the neck, the spontaneous arrival of goose flesh on the forearm It’s the consummation devoutly wished by those of us who love Barbershop harmony.
If you ask us to explain why we love it so, we are hard put to answer; that’s where our faith takes over.
He notes too that “barbershoppers almost never speak of ‘singing’ a chord, but almost always draw on a discourse of physical work and exertion; thus, they ‘hit’, ‘chop’, ‘ring’, ‘crack’, ‘swipe’, and ‘bust. Barbershoppers never lose sight or sound of its physicality. While the modern era of barbershop music is accepted to have barbershpo with a s revival, opinions as to the genre’s bargershop vary with respect to race, gender, region and context.
Polecats | Barbershop Harmony Society
Historical memoirs and journalism indicate a strong tradition of quartet singing among young African American men, gathering informally to “crack up a chord”. English “barber’s music” was described in the 17th century by Samuel Pepys as amateur instrumental music.
Barbershop music was very popular between andand some of the most popular quartets were the Barbetshop Quartetthe American Quartetand the Peerless Quartet.
Modern barbershop quartets often costume themselves in gaudy versions of the vaudeville dress of this time, with boaters and vertically striped vests. Other researchers argue that today’s barbershop music is an invented tradition related to several musical features popular aroundincluding quartet singing  and the use of the barbershop chord,   but effectively created during the s in the ranks of the Barbershop Harmony Society whilst creating a system of singing contests and its contest rules.
The revival of a cappella singing took place around when a tax lawyer named Owen C. Cash sought to save the art form from a threat by radio.
Both came from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Cash had struck a chord, albeit unwittingly, and soon, across North America, men responded in their thousands and later in the same year the “Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America” was set up, known by the abbreviation S. The group adopted the alternate name “Barbershop Harmony Society” early in its history. While its legal name has never changed, it changed its official brand name to “Barbershop Harmony Society” in Sharp Harmonya Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post magazine issue dated September 26, ; it depicts a barber and three clients enjoying a cappella song.
Sweet Adelines International and Harmony, Inc. A barbershop quartet is an ensemble of four people who sing a cappella in the exacting barbershop music genre. In North America most male barbershop quartet singers belong to the Barbershop Harmony Society, [ citation needed ] while most female barbershop quartet singers are in either Sweet Adelines International or Harmony, Inc.
Most barbershop quartet singers also choose to sing in a chorus. A barbershop chorus sings a cappella music in the barbershop style. In the Barbershop Harmony Society, a chorus is the main performing poleact of each chapter. Choruses may have as few as 12 or as many as members singing.
Choruses normally sing with a director, as distinct from quartets. It is not uncommon for a new quartet to form within a chorus, or for an established quartet affiliated with a given chorus to lose a member to death, retirement, or relocation and recruit a replacement from the ranks of the chorus.
Choruses can also provide “spare parts” to temporarily replace a quartet member who is ill or temporarily out of town. Unlike a quartet, a chorus need not have equal numbers singing each voice part. Filling the gap between the chorus and the quartet is what is known as a VLQ or Very Large Quartet, in which more than four singers perform together, with two or more voices on some or all of the four parts.
A VLQ possesses greater flexibility than a standard quartet, since they can perform even with one or more singers missing, as long as all four parts are covered. Like a normal quartet, a VLQ usually performs without a director. There are 32 chartered women’s barbershop choruses all around Australia. The following choruses have won the Regional Championship:.
Barbershop Harmony Society ‘s Barberpole Cat Songs “Polecats”—12 songs which all Barbershop Harmony Society members are encouraged to learn as bwrbershop shared canonic repertoire—all famous, traditional examples of the barbershop genre:.
The Barbershop Harmony Society announced on May 28,that the “Polecat” program would be expanded to include the following songs:. While these traditional barberxhop still play a part in barbershop today, barbershop music also includes more current titles. Most music can be arranged in the barbershop style, and there are many arrangers within the aforementioned societies with the skills to include the barbershop chord structure in their arrangements.
Today’s barbershop quartets and choruses sing a variety of music from all barberehop tunes, pop, and even rock music has been arranged for choruses and quartets, making them more attractive to younger singers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Barbershop music Typical instruments A cappella vocals pitch pipe finger poleczt foot tapping. Music of the United States vocal harmony.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this barbedshop message. A harmonic seventh chord, or “barbershop” chord, as it might be tuned on a piano. The same chord with just intonation, as tuned by singers to “ring”. This list of “famous” or “notable” persons has no clear inclusion or exclusion criteria.
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Retrieved January 9, Archived from the original on June 7, Retrieved June 6, Four Parts, No Waiting: Play That Barber Shop Chord. From Harmonic Barbdrshop to Genre. American Music 32, no. Still, the debate about the origins of this genre seems to be widely unsettled.
The current models that chart the birth of barbershop harmony are diverse and often contradictory with regard to categories such as race, gender, regional context, social environment, amateur or professional, impromptu or composed-arranged, and highbrow or lowbrow. University of Illinois Press.
Retrieved February 7, Retrieved February 5, The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved July 23, The Origins of Barbershop Harmony: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, — Four Parts, No Waiting. A Study in Socio-musical Values.