What is barbershop?

Barbershop harmony is a style of unaccompanied vocal music characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture. The melody is consistently sung by the lead, with the tenor harmonizing above the melody, the bass singing the lowest harmonizing notes, and the baritone completing the chord.

 

Pitch Pipe Magazine

If you want to stay informed of the all the happenings of the female barbershop music scene, subscribe to Pitch Pipe, which is put out by Sweet Adelines International each quarter. It's full of news, reviews, and previews of coming events and competitions.

 

The melody is not sung by the tenor except for an infrequent note or two to avoid awkward voice leading, in tags and codas, or when some appropriate embellishing effect can be created. Occasional brief passages may be sung by fewer than four voice parts.


Barbershop music features songs with understandable lyrics and easily singable melodies whose tones clearly define a tonal center and imply major and minor chords and Barbershop (dominant and secondary dominant) seventh chords that resolve primarily around the circle of fifths, while making frequent use of other resolutions. Barbershop music also features a balanced and symmetrical form, and a standard meter.

 

The basic song and its harmonization are embellished by the arranger to provide support of the song's theme and to close the song effectively. Barbershop singers adjust pitches to achieve perfectly tuned chords in just intonation while remaining true to the established tonal center.

Artistic singing in the Barbershop style exhibits a fullness or expansion of sound, precise intonation, a high degree of vocal skill and a high level of unity and consistency within the ensemble. Ideally, these elements are natural, unmanufactured and free from apparent effort.

 

The presentation of Barbershop music uses appropriate musical and visual methods to convey the theme of the song and provide the audience with an emotionally satisfying and entertaining experience. The musical and visual delivery is from the heart, believable, and sensitive to the song and its arrangement throughout. The most stylistic presentation artistically melds together the musical and visual aspects to create and sustain the illusions suggested by the music.

 

History of Sweet Adelines International

After World War II, barbershop singing was growing increasingly popular for men. In 1945, a small group of women wanted to participate in the chord-ringing, fun-filled harmony that the men were singing. So these women organized "Sweet Adelines in America." From its humble beginnings in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sweet Adelines International, as it is now called, has grown to a membership of almost 30,000 women in countries all across the globe.

 

 
April 21, 2019

Meet the Chorus

Come to the About Us section to meet the director, and find out what we're all about!

 

March 2019 Sweet Adeline of the Month: Meredith Butler

The chorus as a whole has many reasons to be grateful to Meredith Butler, our business manager. She is very active in the financial well-being of the chorus, setting up thousands of dollars of singouts all over the capital district! On a more one-to-one basis, Meredith is kind and helpful to her riser mates, and also has been known to help smooth the way for newbies who can turn to Meredith for information on how our chorus works, how things are done, and preparing for competition. If all that isn't enough, she also schedules and periodically leads our participation in physical warm ups. Brava Meredith, you truly embody the essence of being a Sweet Adeline!

 

February 2019 Sweet Adeline of the Month: Sherri Strichman

Audie has passed along the coveted monthly medal to Sherri, because in the short time Sherri has been with Capitaland, her sunny disposition and musical talents have been a great asset to us. She steps right in when asked to assist with physical and vocal warmups, as well as the often not-so-easy task of blowing the pitch. Sherri always has a postive and caring nature; she is certainly a valuable member of Capitaland Chorus and we thank her for contributions! Way to go Sherri!

 

January 2019 Sweet Adeline of the Month: Audie Reilly

With 30 years of experience as a Sweet Adeline, Audie Reilly is always ready to share her wealth of information with other members of the chorus. She is especially supportive of new members, providing assistance with both music and choreography (she's a member of the choreo team). A dedicated tenor, Audie also volunteers to take the recyclable bottles and cans donated from chorus members and brings them to recycling centers in order to earn additional chorus money from the returns, where every little bit counts! We all appreciate Audie's ready smile and gracious attitude, so thanks for what you do!

 

Capitaland Chorus 2018 Woman of Note:

CAROL STEARNS

Carol has worn so many hats during her time in Capitaland Chorus that it's hard to know where to begin. She often works behind the scenes, for example, she served on the Board for many years, acted as Secretary, is an important part of the Membership Team where she acts as Membership Chair for part of the year. In addition, she is welcoming to all visitors, and most recently, arranged the installation ceremony for the 2018 Management Team. The list goes on, but we want Carol to know that she is much loved and appreciated, and congratulations on this honor!

 

Join Us!

Want to sing with a bunch of fabulous women? Want to learn amazing, classic songs? Come to the Join Us section to find out how you can get involved.

 

New Pix

Come to the photo gallery to check out our most recent pictures.

 

What is Barbershop?

Find out about this fabulous artform and the organization of women barbershoppers on our What is Barbershop page.

 

Support Your Chorus

Find out how you can help support great music in your community!

 

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