Why Should You Sing In A Barbershop Chorus?

Why Should You Sing In A Barbershop Chorus?
Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Lesley Harris
Status: Current
Date Posted: Thu, 31 Aug 2023

Our blog this month has a special guest writer!  More Harmony’s Musical Director, Lesley, is here to share her reasons why you should sing in a barbershop chorus.

There are lots of singing groups out there to choose from, with a variety of musical styles and approaches to what they do. Finding a place to sing should be easy right?  If you are looking for somewhere to unleash your inner diva, here are my top five reasons a barbershop chorus like More Harmony might be the perfect fit!

1. Who We Are

If you aren’t familiar with barbershop music the image that might come to mind is four men in boaters singing “Hello! Ma Baby”.  They are out there, and they sound fantastic, but that isn’t the full barbershop picture. There are barbershop quartets and choruses all over the world singing songs from different decades and genres. More Harmony are a small women’s chorus - but there are men’s choruses and mixed groups out there, ranging in size from 20 to 120! This diversity means you can find a place to sing barbershop even if you aren’t ready to be fitted for a bow tie just yet.

2. How We Sing

Barbershop is a style of a cappella singing - that means we sing unaccompanied. There are unique characteristics that set it apart from other styles.

  • We have four voice parts (bass, baritone, lead and tenor)
  • We don’t have soloists
  • We don't have beatboxing (sometimes we try and laugh too much to carry on).
  • There’s no need to have anyone to accompany us or use backing tracks, so we can sing anywhere.
  • However low or high your voice is, there is a place for you where you will sound your best.

3. How We Learn

If you’re thinking “that sounds lovely but the only part of sheet music I can read are the lyrics” then don’t worry! More Harmony, like other barbershop choruses, have members with a wide range of experience. You don’t need to be able to read music at all - you get recorded tracks to learn from. If you do want to expand your knowledge then you can learn from your chorus’ Music Team or go even further by attending events for barbershoppers held all over the world!

4. Why We Do It

The number one reason given by More Harmony members was - “I love singing!”  Singing is increasingly recognised for the benefits it provides to your physical and mental health. If you are want to improve your wellbeing and have fun then put singing at the top of your list. Barbershop also has room for growth. You can learn the basics quickly, but there is always something to learn or a new skill to master. If you are someone who thrives on a challenge it could be just what you need!

5. What It Gives Us

More Harmony pride ourselves on being a positive, inclusive group. We know what it’s like to feel nervous, self-conscious or just plain out of your depth! Our members are there to support and encourage each other.  Singing in a chorus is a team sport where every voice counts. We work hard to improve and be the best we can be for ourselves and for each other.

If you’re still not sure if barbershop is for you - the best way to decide is to come along and try it! If you’re a woman aged 16+ in North Cornwall, pop in to one of our rehearsals to say hello. We’re always happy to welcome someone new and answer questions!

More Harmony rehearses on Thursday evenings from 7.15-9.30pm at The Ambulance Hall, Fairpark Road, Wadebridge. If you’re interested in joining or booking us to perform, you can get more details from our website www.moreharmony.co.uk or by emailing us contact@moreharmony.co.uk