The phrase “barbershop quartet” usually brings to mind four men wearing matching outfits, singing close harmony in four-part a cappella harmony. But what happens when you add more members to a barbershop quartet? Is it still the same style of music, or does it become something else entirely? The answer is that a barbershop quartet can, in fact, have 16 legs – but only when it includes four additional singers.
What Is a Barbershop Quartet?
A barbershop quartet is a vocal group composed of four singers who create four-part harmony without any instrumental accompaniment. The style of music is characterized by the use of close harmonies, with each part sung in a different range. This style of music originated in the United States in the late 19th century and is still popular today. Barbershop quartets usually include a lead singer, a tenor, a baritone, and a bass, sometimes referred to as the “four-part harmony”.
Adding More Voices to a Barbershop Quartet
The addition of four more singers to a barbershop quartet is known as “octavizing” – that is, adding four additional parts to the four-part harmony. This creates an eight-part harmony, or an “octave”. The octave includes the traditional four-part harmony, plus four additional parts in higher and lower ranges. The octave is usually composed of two lead singers, two tenors, two baritones, and two basses.
What Does an Octave Add to a Barbershop Quartet?
The octave adds a richness and complexity to a barbershop quartet’s sound. The four additional voices create a fuller, more layered sound and allow for more intricate harmonies. The octave also creates a wider range of sound, which can be used to produce more dynamic and interesting pieces of music. In addition, the octave allows for more intricate rhythms and counter-melodies, which can add a unique flavor to the music.
A barbershop quartet can have 16 legs when it includes four additional singers, creating an octave of eight-part harmony. The octave adds a richness and complexity to the sound, allowing for more intricate harmonies and a wider range of sound. While the style of music may be different from traditional four-part harmony, the addition of more voices can create a unique and interesting sound.