A brief history
There are several views of how, where and when Barbershop singing began. The popular one appears to be that barbershop style originated in the USA during the late 1800’s and developed by the combining of four diverse voice parts. This starts with the lowest (BASS) progressing upwards to the BARITONE then the LEAD (the only part to invariably sing the melody or tune) and topped off with the highest part, the barbershop TENOR.
Whilst the views vary, it is reported that the growth of the tradition was certainly aided between the 1860s and 1920s by the types of songs popular at the time, songs characterised by sentimental lyrics and uncomplicated melodies that could be harmonised with a variety of four-part chords. The growth continued and it is reported that there are now approx 50,000 singers in the US and approx 5000 males and probably as many ladies in the UK.
The McCowans Cows in the Stenhousemuir Centre
Ian, our Life President of Sweet Harmony Barbershop Chorus,
flexing his ‘muscles’ It’s Barbershop we sing John, not swing
The leads – Ever reliable (well I’m writing it)
The Tenors – Only two of us tonight, any passers by want to join us? The Basses – The ever-happy threesome
Falkirk Tryst Festival
Pals by the Score – during ‘Down our Way’ Bill’s Solo – during ‘Down our Way’ and Ian – entertaining our Audience
A ‘Shady’ Lot – Preparing to perform ‘Beach Boys Medley’ Performing ‘Catch a Falling Star’
Harry as the intoxicated sailor – during ‘Shine on Me’
Sweet Harmony – Christmas 2013