Barbershop Ferrets

Hendon, Alison A.Hendon at BrooklynPublicLibrary.org
Mon Oct 4 11:00:06 EDT 2004


Paul wrote:

> > Is it difficult, doing barbershop arrangements? I have a song
> > running around in my head that seems made for a barbershop
> > arrangement ("...with our glasses raised on high (raaaaaised on
> > hiiiiigh)..."), but I don't know the rules.

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I used to sing in a women's barbershop group (the Sweet Adelines) and there
are some rules for arrangement.  First and foremost - there are four parts -
low to high they are bass, baritone, lead, and tenor (yes the women's groups
keep these names.)  The melody must primarily be sung by the lead - the
tenor sings high harmony, the bari and bass low.  You can put the melody in
other parts but only for a certain number of notes/measures.  There are also
rules about consecutive intervals (only x number of thirds before you change
the chording/voicing.)  It's tricky.  It's very tempting to have the tenor
sing a third above the lead all the time but don't do it!

Alison
formerly tenor...
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