If you have ever been to a classic-looking barbershop, then you may find some barbershop quartets are playing for you while you’re getting a shave. As part of a tradition, barbershop quartets sing for people and practice a sound that’s unlike any other.
Barbershop quartets have been around for decades in the United States, so why not celebrate them? National Barbershop Quartet Day aims to show appreciation for the art of harmonized singing, their history and seeks to keep the long-standing tradition alive for generations to come.
Learn about National Barbershop Quartet Day
National Barbershop Quartet Day has been created so that the birth of the organized barbershop movement can be commemorated. This is when 26 men gathered together for a songfest by the invitation of O.C. Cash, “Third Assistant Temporary Vice Chairman” and Rupert Hall, the “Royal Keeper of the Minor Keys.” This gathering took place on the 11th of April in 1938, and it was then followed by subsequent gatherings. This resulted in what is known as the Barbershop Harmony Society today. At the time, though, it was known as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America.
They describe this form of music as:
“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.”
If you have ever experienced a Barbershop quarter before, you will know that they can have an amazing effect on us, transporting us back to a time in our lives that was simpler and easier! Not only are they incredibly talented, but their personalities shine through as well. For those who have never experienced this type of music before, a barbershop quartet is basically a type of unaccompanied vocal music or a cappella. The songs that they perform feature melodies that are easily singable and have lyrics that are easy-to-understand.
You don’t need to be a man to get involved in a barbershop quartet, though! There are many women across the country that take part in four-part harmonies. One of the most famous organizations is the Sweet Adelines, but there are several other. They bring women of all ages together. They sing fun tunes and deliver beautiful performances. Both male and female quartets also enter competitions, both locally and nationally, and so this is something you may want to research more about online to get a feel of what barbershop quartets are really like.
History of National Barbershop Quartet Day
Barbershop quartets have been around since the 1800s, forming from a mixture of both African American and Caucasian influences. African Americans during this time would harmonize recreationally. according to their long-standing traditions. These sounds would become part of what most people would consider the barbershop style.
Caucasian ministries would them mimic the sound and eventually brought it to the recording studio. Because of the popularity of the hybrid sound produced, these ministries were credited for the music at the time sealing in the stereotype. Although it has its roots in African American culture, the barbershop sound came to be known as a favorite genre of entertainment.
While their popularity began to fade during the 1920s, the Society of Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing founded National Barbershop Quartet Day to help preserve this art.
The barbershop revival movement began during the late 1930s. During this time the society helped bring popularity back through a song fest held at Rupert Hall. The first festival saw about 25 men gather together for a friendly competition of quartet singing.
Now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society, today thousands of groups now form and perform to people all over the world, keeping the tradition alive and well in the world.
How to Celebrate National Barbershop Quartet Day
Want to celebrate National Barbershop Quartet Day? Show off your appreciation by taking the time to listen to some old-time barbershop quartets. Learn about the past by researching into some of the original quartet groups of the time.
If you believe you can sing, then why not join a quartet. Take your group of friends and travel to some of the best tourist places in the United States and play your songs for people. You can also join a competition and see if your group can win first place. Share this history with your friends and family and let them know that today’s National Barbershop Quartet Day!
You should also do a little bit of digging online to see if there are any barbershop quartets in your local area. They may be some events that are going on as part of Barbershop Quarter Day, whether this is an individual performance or it is a competition. We would definitely recommend getting some of your buddies together and checking on of these events out. They are a lot of fun, even if this is not the sort of music you tend to listen to!
You can also spend some time researching more about barbershop music. You can watch performances on YouTube. You can also read up on some of the most famous quartets. For one of the most modern quartets, After Hours is a good place to start. Not only did they win the 2018 BHS International Quartet Championship, but they broke the record high score, which had been standing for 18 years. If you want to look into more traditional quartets, you have the 1950 International Quartet Champions: The Buffalo Bills.