Barbershop vocal harmony is a style of a cappella characterized by four-part chords for each melody note. Each of the four parts has its own role:

1. Lead sings the melody
2. Tenor harmonizes above the melody
3. Bass sings the lowest harmonizing notes
4. Baritone completes the chord, below the lead

Why is this style of music called, “Barbershop”? In the late 19th century, barbershops often served as community centers – a place where men would gather. Barbershop quartets originated with African American men socializing in barbershops; they would harmonize while waiting their turn, vocalizing in spirituals, folk songs and popular songs.

Couldn’t resist posting a song called, “I Love A Piano” 🙂

What do you do to pass the time when you’re waiting for your turn at something?

At your next lesson, list the 4 parts of a barbershop quartet.

Tell me the names of the 4 Osmund brothers.
You may want to write their names down so you don’t forget!
Hint: Watch the first video at 55 seconds.


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