WHAT IS BARBERSHOP?
Song of the Pines Chorus is a member of Sweet Adelines International, a non-profit, worldwide organization of female singers who meet regularly to rehearse, perform, socialize and have fun. Most of our members come from the Prescott Quad-City area, but we also have members who drive from Phoenix and other adjacent cities.
The main purpose of Song of the Pines Chorus is to get out and sing for our community. We frequently present community concerts and perform at community events. We also deliver musical greetings for Val;entines Day, Mother's Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries or any occasion of your choice. If you are looking for unique musical entertainment for your event, please contact us to get more information.
In addition to sharing our music with others, we share a passion for learning more about the art of acapella singing. Vocal instruction is a regular part of chorus rehearsals, and a very important component of the chorus experience. Throughout the year, we receive coaching from experts in the art of barbershop harmony to help us hone our skills for annual competition. Regional competitions are a special time for choruses (and quartets) to come together to receive constructive feedback from a panel of judges. The winners of the regional competition move on to the international competition level, which is held in the Fall of each year.
Within choruses, members often form their own quartets. Song of the Pines Chorus strongly encourages quartet singing, and is proud to support them at Regional and International competitions.
Unlike traditional choral music where the melody is typically reserved for the soprano (or top voice), Barbershop is sung with the melody in the second voice. This is known as the "lead" part. The highest voice is referred to as the "tenor", and the two bottom voices are the baritone and bass parts.
This is the melody part which is sung in the range between A below middle C, and C above middle C. In barbershop style music, the melody is sung in the second voice, as opposed to the top voice as is typically found in traditional choral music.
A harmony part sung consistently above the lead. Although tenor is the highest voice in barbershop harmony, it should not be confused with soprano of conventional singing groups. The tenor should have a light, sweet, pure tone that will compliment but not overpower the lead voice.
Covers approximately the same range as lead. The baritone harmony notes cross the lead notes; sometimes sung below and sometimes above. Baritones must constantly adjust their balance to accommodate their position in the chord.
Bass singers should have a rich, mellow voice and be able to sing the E flat below middle C easily. Basses should not be confused with the alto of conventional groups. Many altos can sing the bass part, but others are much better suited to lead or baritone, depending on range and vocal quality.
It has four parts - no more, no less.
It has melodies that are easily remembered.
HARMONIC STRUCTURE IS CHARACTERIZED BY:
A strong bass line
Melody in an internal part
Complete chords without any non-chord tones
Mostly major triads, dominant 7th chords and dominant 9th chords with other chords used in passing as demanded by the implied harmony
Traditional harmonic movement and resolutions
It has rhythmic interest as an important and vital part of an uptune.
It has clear, recognizable form.
It has lyrics that are clear and understandable.
IT IS CHALLENGING BECAUSE:
It requires great vocal skill and is usually sung by amateur singers
All chords must be heard with clarity requiring singers to sing precise intervals
Properly tuned barbershop chords are congruent with the physics of sound.
Energy and physical involvement are required from the singer in a degree of intensity not usually found in other choral forms.
The artistic potential is unlimited since we are not bound by the printed page.
It is emotionally satisfying to both the listener and the performer.
You can't do it alone.