barbershop singing

Cultural Dictionary

barbershop singing definition

A style of singing in parts for small groups, usually four singers of the same sex (“barbershop quartets”). The notes sung by the voices are usually close to each other in pitch, resulting in “tight” chords, or “close” harmony.

Note: Barbershop singing flourished in the early twentieth century in the United States, and barbershop groups today often prefer the songs from that period, including “Sweet Adeline” and “The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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