Article: “Barbershop singing: A true test of vocal prowess, with or without straw hats”

Today Minnesota Public Radio published my reflections on the rigors of barbershop singing:

“For musicians and non-musicians alike, “barbershop singing” recalls The Music Man‘s Ice Cream Quartet and the bright hum of a pitch pipe. Audiences won’t guess that participation in barbershop singing can entail three-hour rehearsals, vowel-matching, breath plans, lyric mapping, and international competition.

Barbershop is a cappella four-part harmony marked by elaborate slides, inverted chords, and attention to overtones. Its lighthearted performance often belies the musicianship needed to “ring the chords” — to sing with such accurate pitch and pronunciation that the chords create more notes than voices.”

Read the full article here.

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