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barbershop music


A style of unaccompanied vocal music in homophonic texture that employs a four-part close harmony for every melodic note. This style is typically characterized by the melody sung by the second tenor voice (usually a tenor or baritone voice type) known as the lead, the high tenor voice is given a harmony above the , the bass voice sings the lowest notes, and the baritone voice fills in the remaining harmonies below the lead. The Barbershop Harmony Society is the main organization that supports barbershop singing and defines barbershop music as:
"… 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 fifths, while making frequent use of other resolutions.”
The roots barbershop music date back to the 19th century in America, when the close harmony style of singing became popular with the African American community in the south. Informal groups would meet in bars and barbershops and put close harmonies to familiar songs. This included spirituals, folk songs, and popular songs of the day.
It became popular across the country through the early 20th century and lost its popularity as jazz began to develop in the early 1920's. Although barbershop music is most closely associated with male or female quartets, the barbershop chorus has continued to be quite popular into the 21st century with conventions regularly held worldwide for passionate barbershop singers.

See Also

[Abbreviation] SPEBSQSA
[Abbreviation] SAI
[English] barbershop quartet
[English] ringing chord
[English] barbershop seventh chord
[English] Sweet Adelines International
[English] Harmony, Inc.
[English] Barbershop Harmony Society
[English] Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-05-14 01:33:26