The Music of A Cappella Harmony

Is there an instrument that compares to vocal harmony?


The keyboard is an instrument that helps explain four part harmony. The keyboard can blend notes into a recognizable song creating harmonious “chords”. In our style of a cappella, we create chords too. One note for each of the four voice parts, sung together, creates the harmonic sound in a song that you recognize, such as In My Room or I Get Around by the Beach Boys. Multiply the four voice parts many times and a chorus evolves, like Sing Niagara.

master-keyThe a cappella singing style is highly respected among musicians and singers. The challenge of singing without accompaniment can worry even the most seasoned singer. The women of Sing Niagara are up to the task. In our 50+ years, the pitch pipe is still the only instrument we use. Under the musical direction of our experienced director, and with the training provided by our music team, the women of the chorus get up on the stage and cover arrangements of well-known songs written in four-part harmony.

What does it sound like? How is it different from other A Cappella Groups?

Close harmony and ringing chords distinguish the barbershop style from other a cappella singing styles, like that of the renowned vocal group Pentatonix, a mixed a cappella  group of men and women consisting of 5 vocalists who harmonize, but also use their voices to simulate instruments.

The art of unaccompanied four-part harmony singing represents one of the truest forms of vocal music. From its original amateur status, it has developed into an art form for both men and women, where the real joy of singing no longer needs the backing of musicians.

YouTube is a great place to hear examples of the barbershop chorus sound.

Check out the Harmony Inc. Videos of the medalists and performers at the 2016 International Convention and Contests in Providence, RI, November 2-6, 2016 #HI2016RI

Click Here To Go To Videos

Now you know a little bit about the singing style of the music, what vocal part would you sing? Have some fun and take the Quiz, find your voice part. Read  Musical Direction and how our music team helps you learn your Barbersmarts