What is barbershop?

Singing barbershop songs in the a cappella 4-part harmony style is simple.  Nothing but a pitch pipe and four people are necessary.  Anyone can jump right in and sing a part; but it can take a life time to learn to sing barbershop in the fullest expression of the art form.  Singers of barbershop are constantly striving to achieve a high degree of vocal skill, and unity and consistency within the ensemble.  While acknowledging the science and physics involved in creating the good vibrations that lead to those ringing chords, the presentation is, at the same time, to be delivered in a natural, non technical and effortless manner.

 

Barbershop music uses not just musical, but visual methods to convey the theme of a song and provide the audience with an emotionally satisfying and entertaining experience. Dellivery must be from the heart, believable, and sensitive to the song’s lyrics and mood.  The most stylistic presentation artistically melds musical and visual aspects to create and sustain the story and emotion for the audience.  Any song can be adapted to the barbershop style, with a practiced arranger converting the melody into the format of the eleven established barbershop chords that typifies barbershop harmony.

 

Show tunes, pop, jazz, spirituals, love songs, comedy tunes, patriotic anthems, country western, even rock and roll songs have been challenging barbershop singers and delighting audiences all over the world for almost a century.