What is Barbershop?
Barbershop singing is four-part unaccompanied close harmony with three of the voices harmonising the melody. Its unique sound is created by using a predominance of specific chords in the arrangements, which are usually of popular songs from throughout the 20th century. The four parts are known as lead, bass, tenor and baritone, for both men’s and ladies’ barbershop. The classic performance unit is a quartet with one voice for each part, however you can also sing barbershop in a chorus (like ours!) with several singers to each voice part.
What makes a Barbershop chorus different from normal choirs?
The use of matching vowel sounds and careful balance of the volumes of the different voice parts reinforce the harmonic overtones to produce the characteristic ringing, “expanded” sound of barbershop. There is also an emphasis on vocal interpretation and visual delivery, with costume and supporting choreography adding to the dynamic performance style.
Can I do it?
If all this sounds very complicated, don’t worry! We have a very knowledgeable chorus director and a wealth of experience within the club to make sure that we not only understand what we are doing but get it right! We do take our singing seriously but have a great deal of fun at the same time.
“Barbershop singing is great fun, and if you can carry a tune you can sing it!” – Natasha Wosniak, Lead