What is Barbershop?

When you hear the word barbershop, what do you think of? Alright, alright, besides a place to get your hair cut. In terms of a musical style, what do you think of? Is it:

  • 4 old guys standing on a street corner?
  • Handlebar mustaches and wide brim hats?
  • Lida Rose?
  • The Music Man?
  • A cappella Music?

These are all valid responses; however, barbershoping has come a long way over time. While the musical basis has remained constant, the hobby, has evolved greatly. How about 150 man choruses? Professional Choreography? 13,000 screeming fans in the New Orleans Superdome? This is the new era of barbershopping. It has grown to big business. It's more than street corner singing, and bad harmonizing. Today it is complex musical arrangements, tight harmony singing, world-wide marketing, CD's, and lot's more.

While all these changes have occurred to expand the scope of what barbershop singing was all about years ago to what it is today, the style has remained intact. You will still hear melody singing done from one of the middle parts. You'll still hear "Barbershop 7ths" (flat 7s) predominant throughout the music. And you'll still hear deep progressions through the circle of fifths.

If you haven't given barbershop a try because of old preconceived notions, it's time you put those aside and see what the new barbershop is all about.

For more information or to find a chapter near you visit www.spebsqsa.org. If you're in the central Ohio area visit www.singingbuckeyes.org and we'll get you started today!