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Barbershop is a style of unaccompanied singing for four voice parts. The arrangement of songs in the barbershop style demands a wide vocal range to give the distinctive and instantly recognizable sound.
Historically Barbershop music, is a unique American folk art. That took form between 1860 and 1920. In the early years, singers would improvise the harmonies. Barbershop singing groups can now be commonly found in many countries across the world.
There are nearly sixty recognised choruses and fifty quartets, spread across the UK.
Although there is no age restriction in barber shop, to achieve a voice balance, members tend to be of adult age.
Barbershop singing is normally sung in single voice – all men or all women. It is a natural form of harmony having its roots in a free singing arrangement by ear alone.
The four voices of Barbershop are made up of Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass, whether in men's or ladies barbershop. Barbershop is usually performed in two variations; Quartet with one voice for each part or Chorus with several voices making up each part. The careful matching of vowel sounds and the balance between all four parts reinforce the harmonic overtones to produce the characteristic sound of barbershop. Costume and choreography also add to the overall style.
The melody is consistently sung by the lead, with the tenor harmonising above the melody, the bass singing the lowest harmonising notes, and the baritone completing the chord. The melody is not sung by the tenor except for an infrequent note or two, to avoid awkward voice leading. Occasional brief passages may be sung by fewer than four voice parts.
The cost of belonging to a Barbershop group varies depending on the cost of practise venues, costumes, and the amount of travel and competition entry fees of the individual quartet or chorus. These costs are often minimised by the raising of funds from giving of public performances.
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
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