When a few people can carry the same tune in perfect harmony, it is a special talent that gets people listening. That is probably why barbershop music has been so popular around the world for such a long time, and especially when sung by the standard group of 4 singers, the barbershop quartet. But what exactly is it, where did it come from, and why should you have one of these groups at your next party?
The custom of socializing in a barber shop is an old tradition across the United States. Some believe that the practice of having quartets singing in the “barbershop” style dates back to groups of men singing as they waited their turn to get a haircut. As barbershops slowly became more important community centers, people from the neighborhoods would gather to watch the men sing unaccompanied by music.
Others argue that the origins are a fabrication from the middle of the 20th century. They argue that it was created as a representation of several musical traditions of the time, and made into a tradition by people trying to save acapella music. No matter how it was founded, we are very glad it was.
The beauty of harmony
What sets this kind of music apart from others is the beautiful harmony that the singers produce. The four different members of the group each have their own part in the final product. One is the lead, another the bass and the remaining two are the tenor and the baritone. They can be either male or female, but groups tend to not mix, as the vocal ranges of each are usually vastly different. The resulting product is a perfect harmony of different notes of in a chord that is exceptionally pleasing to the ears.
These days, most groups make their living from competitions, singing for events, and playing concerts. Several major competitions still exist, and the Barbershop Harmony Society holds a championship each year to declare a winner of the best group award. One thing is for sure, people still love listening to them sing.
When people can come together to make great music in this way, it makes for a show that can keep crowds engaged the whole night. The beauty and harmony of a barbershop quartet would make a great addition to the next party or corporate event that you hold. So learn more about them on our website, and see why so many people are singing praise for these great talents.