April 11 is Barbershop Quartet Day, a day that celebrates barbershop music, a style of harmony singing without any accompanying music.
The unofficial holiday commemorates the founding of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America in 1938.
As the name suggests, barbershop music originated in 19th century American barbershops, a place where men, usually African American, came to socialize. While waiting for their turn with the barber, these men sang, harmonized improvised songs and created a genre of music that is now known as barbershop music.
A barbershop quartet is a group of 4 men, each with their own unique voices – second tenor, first tenor, bass and baritone – singing songs in the barbershop style.
Barbershop quartets have a signature dressing style that includes bright striped jackets, straw hats and big moustaches.
How to Celebrate?
- Celebrate the day by getting acquainted with Barbershop music and its history.
- Attend a barbershop quartet show and enjoy their music.
Did You Know…
…that barbershop music is a type of a capella? A capella is a style of singing without any accompanying instrumental music. The word comes from the Italian word for according to the church.