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Barbershop Music By John Grant John Grant has bee" in\oh:ed in the 8arber;;hup l\Io\ement in En~lund since 1975. Ile is a past Chllirman of UrÎIÎsch Association of Rarbershop Singers, a past Chairman of the British Barbershop Guild of Judges. He is renowned buth in England and on the Continent as li \'ocal coach and a general edumlor in the lIarbershop st,·le. He has coached many choruses and quartets to be 1'iational Champions and is the Musicall)irector of the Sheffield based " Hallmark of Harmony" who are lin SO man Uarhershop Choir and are currenl National Champions of H.A.8.S. The,y have 31so been tinalists in the Sainsbury's 't'hoir of Ihe Vear' Competition. John adjudicates in 8arbershop and allied music Ihroughout Europe. .

Burber\;hop H anno ny is a type o f four pan hamlony thm becamc popular in the United Stme~ in Ihe laie 191h and enrl y 20th cemury. Barbcrshops in both Englund und the SA had been pop u lar p laces [ 0 ~oci alizc and la make music for some t"vo hUlldred yea r~ but no-one !..now!oo for ... ure whe n the dis tincti ve and unique "ocnl h;mno ny :-.ty le fir~t ci.lme in to being. Sangs of Ihi s cra <.;eclIlcd 10 lend th e lll sel ve~ 10 be hanllo ni zed intlliti vc ly nnd the abse ncc

oroiller forlll s of cllIc rtainme nt . s uch as radio

or c incm:.l. mC:lIli th;1l peop le had [0 devise Ihelr own ways la m:.tke Illll :-. ic and la enjoy tht!l1l\e lves. Si nging. Ihe refore beca me ve ry populararound Ihi 'i IÎmei.llld Ihe uprighl piano (OU Id be found in many front parlour~ and famil) a.nd group ~i ngil1 g abounded. Improv i...ed hannony al so becmnei.' feature of this age and "i mprom plu singing might brei.l!.. OUI wherever four men gmhered ". (1) O ne man wou ld .!<Ii ng a popularsongoflhe da) and before lo ng i.l bas ... wou Id add some depth 10 Ihe :-.ound <.; inging mostly rOOls and fïflh~ of


Inll'nlllM,)l1ulChor,JlUullclln - l"'ll

Ihe chords i.lnd a lenor wou Id !!I in g a lin e co n s i s ting mai ni) of 3rd ... and 71h ... abo"c the me lody line whih l a barilOne \\!oul d fi Il in Ih e mi 5.s ing note of lhechord c ither aocn e o r bclow Ih e melody linc. The result would be Ih e unaccomp.1nied harm o ny Ihal bec3me known as Barbers ho p HamlOny inlhe 1900's and had prcviou s ly been know as Lampost orCurbslo ne Harmony. \Vith Ihe advenl o f rad io and the dem ise of V"udev ille . the Barbers hop s ty le of si nging wenl into Ihedecline in Ihe 1920's. Thesongs being written.lI th ~lIlil11 c had a 'moderni slic' fee l about tht!1l1 and macle less lise of the predîctable and ea sily improvised c ircle of fïflh s to resolve the hanllonies. "The natio n movcd tow:lrds musical s pectalorship". (2) Crooni ng and jazz becarne in vogue and Ihe Barbef\Ohop Quan ci \Voulcl have faded away complclely had il Tax Lawyer fro m Tul ~a. Oklahoma nOi slaged a revival call1pa ign in 1939, Owe n C, Cas h IOge lh er wi th an invc s tm e nt broker fri e nd . Rupe rt Hall. founded a Sociely \V ich tl1ey. tongue in c heck. ca lled The Soc ielY for the Preservai io n and Encouragement o f Ba rbersc hop Quane ls Singing in Amcrica Inc . (or SPEBSqSA ) The movement gained cons iderable g ro und during and j ust afte r the wur yeaTS. Cha pl crs o f Me n wa ntin g 10 sing in hamlony sprang up ail over Ihe Ilt ed States. This o rgani sation sti Il ex ists loch!y and Ims some 38.<X>O members in 850 Cha pt ers. 11 is the largesl si nging society for men in Ihe ,""orld.

Pe rhaps Ihcstrnnge"llhing :.tbou l lheevolutio n i!) thal il wu~ rcstricled la Ihe Uniled SI~lIe ... Mu .. ici.\1 "Iyles. eve n in Iho~e d::lys. would find thc m<.;e lves gcnemlly being Iried :.II1d le:-. led Ihroug houi the world. HO\I.cvc r. cxcept fo r i.. o lmed ~lI1 d mo:-. lly undocuillenied C:lÎ'tC:-. B tlrbc r~ h op rcmai ned a IOlall y S pheno menon lIntillhe 111 id 1960's. By Ihi ~ time the Cha plc r!!l in the US nOI on ly .. ang in qUi.lne ls but Ihere w a~ 'I bo~ome 'gang' sing ing go ing o n. This obviously req ui rcd m ll ~ic 10 be amll1ged ralhc r tlwn improviscd and the Barbers h opChonl :-.cs~ta n ed 10 appenr Ihu ... ope ning up Ihe :-'Iy le to many peop le w ho may n OI have had the improvÎ"i310ry ., kills. Il \\ a!) !!Iuch a cho ru .. Ihal in .. pired Harry Dan:-.er. il bus i nc:-.~m:m from C rawley. Eng land to .. I ~trl up a s imilar gro up in Ihal low n. Barbcr!!lhop Music had made the transiti on from th e American contÎ ncnl lo Eu ro pe (wel1 almo!!lt ). A runher len year!!l pa~ ...cd before Harry di scove red Iha l o lhe r groups were singi ng in England. in Brighton. Read ing and Ncwcustle. COntacl WOlS made between the grou p~ and they de ided they wou Id bencfi t o fB ~lrbers hop Hannony

DEFINITION OF BARBERSHOP HARMONY Ibrbers hop Harmon y is a style of una cco mpani ed voca l mu s ic characterized by consonant four part chord s for ever y me lodv no t e. Occasional brief passages be su ng by fewcr Ihan four voiee parts.


The voicc paris are ea ll cd Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass. The melod y is consistently s ung by the Le..'ld, wilh the Tenor harmoni zing above the melody, the Basssinging th elowest harmonizing noies belowthe melody. and the Baritone compleling the ehord ei th er abo\'e or