Tenor Lead Baritone Bass. Full Mix. Sing songs you may already know or learn a few new pieces as you explore the barbershop style! Some music includes an audio track.
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Barbershop harmony is a style of a cappella, or unaccompanied, four-part vocal music characterized by the melody and two or more harmony parts moving in a common rhythm, producing chords that are pleasing to the ear. In Barbershop music, the lead part sings the melody line, tenor sings the harmony line above the melody and bass sings the harmony line below the melody, while the baritone sings both above or below the melody line to fill-in the notes needed to complete each chord. In the last half of the 19th century, African American barbershops in the United States often served double duty as community centers for their clientele. Barbershop quartets originated with men harmonizing the singing of spirituals, folk songs and popular songs while waiting their turn. This generated a new musical style, consisting of unaccompanied, four-part, close-harmony singing. Later, minstrel singers adopted the style, and in the early days of the recording industry, their performances were recorded and sold. Barbershop music was very popular between and but gradually faded into obscurity in the s. It experienced a revival in the 's and is still a popular genre of a cappella music sung around the world today. Barbershop harmony is characterized by consonant four-part chords for each melody note in a homophonic structure. Consonant chords are a combination of notes that sound pleasing to the ear when played together, while homophonic structure refers to two or more parts moving together in harmony, the relationship between them creating chords.
Classic Barbershop Tunes
Barbershop quartet singing , barbershop also spelled barber shop , typically all-male or all-female popular choral form characterized by a capella singing , with three voices harmonizing to the melody of a fourth voice. The emphasis is on close, carefully arranged harmony, synchronization of word sounds, and the use of such devices as variation of tempo, volume level, diction , colour, and phrasing. Phrases are often repeated for echo effect, and musical arrangements usually employ syncopated ragtime and other nostalgic song styles. In all-male groups the voice parts are tenor here equivalent to a countertenor , lead second tenor, baritone , and bass, with the lead normally singing the melody and the tenor harmonizing above. In all-female groups the voice parts are called by the same names, with tenor being roughly equivalent to a lyric soprano, lead being second soprano, baritone alto, and bass contralto.
Barbershop vocal harmony , as codified during the barbershop revival era s—present , is a style of a cappella close harmony , or unaccompanied vocal music , characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture. Each of the four parts has its own role: generally, the lead sings the melody, the tenor harmonizes above the melody, the bass sings the lowest harmonizing notes, and the baritone completes the chord, usually below the lead. The melody is not usually sung by the tenor or baritone, except for an infrequent note or two to avoid awkward voice leading , in tags or codas , or 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.