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June 22, 2013

Thoroughbred Men's Chorus hitting its stride with help from Southern Indiana

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> SOUTHERN INDIANA — SO YOU KNOW

Interesting Barbershop terms and facts:

• A Capella: Singing without instrumental accompaniment.

• Barbershop music: Four-part a Capella music characterized by consonant four-part chords.

• The four parts: Lead which typically sings melody, tenor who harmonizes above lead, bass which harmonizes below lead and baritone, which fills in the chord, typically between the bass and the lead.

• The Ringing Chord: Also known as the “angels voice,” the “fifth voice,” “overtone” or the “barbershop seventh.” When performed correctly, certain chords result in this effect, which sounds like a fifth element to the four-part chord.

• Barbershop Harmony Society: Started in 1938 to sustain this form of a Capella singing which had begun to diminish in the age of “swing.” Now a growing membership of close to 30,000 people from all over the world. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.

• Tag: The dramatic close to a song which can be sung on its own.

• Pitch pipe: A small device used to provide a pitch reference to start the song.

• Sweet Adelines: The female counterpart to the Barbershop Harmony Society made up of females who sing barbershop music.

• Music groups who have utilized Barbershop in their music: Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel, Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, The Andrew Sisters, Beach Boys, the Hollies and the Everly Brothers

• Locking in: When all four parts “lock in” to a chord perfectly, in some cases creating the “ringing chord.”

• Why “barbershop” as a name? It’s thought that barbershop music began in the early 1900s, with men singing together at their neighborhood barbershop, which was a social gathering place of that era.

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