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Thomas J. West Music

Live webcam private music lessons, music education articles, compositions, clinician services, reviews

You've Got A Friend In Me; MaxQ


I love a cappella singing of all kinds. I caught the close harmony bug as a kid because my dad was actively involved in SPEBSQSA, the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America. When my dad was active in my youth, barbershop was all about ringing major chords and dominant 7ths in a distinctly identifiable style. Many songs from outside the traditional folk songs and pop tunes of the turn-of-the-century were "made shoppable", but quartets stuck closely to what defined barbershop as an original American art form.


 

 

In today's highly competitive Barbershop Harmony Society, the top quartets and choruses sing at a professional level and the members of those groups must be high aptitude singers who are able to devote hours of practice a week. They continue to perform music that fits the criteria for "barbershop," but that criteria has loosened a bit because the modern quartets are capable of so much more technical wizardry than their predecessors. As it is with all things, the art form has evolved.


 

 

This is a video of 2007 quartet champions MaxQ at the Gold Medal hour, an informal sing for past champions, at the 2008 Barbershop Harmony Society Convention.

 

 

 


This video demonstrates the vocal skill and range of all four men, their ability to seamlessly switch in a blink from a support role to the lead, their ability to ring tight jazz chords with added tensions that would never be heard of a barbershop competition stage, and their ability even in a casual perofrmance such as this to be entertaining and very aware of their presentation. And who doesn't like a good Randy Newman song? Makes ya smile! :-)

Posted by ★ Owner on October 17, 2010 at 7:52 AM 2552 Views

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