The Scarborough Harmony Chorus sings four part unaccompanied harmony in the barbershop style. While the term barbershop may bring to mind an old fashioned image, in reality the style lends itself nicely to a wide range of music. Our chorus sings a mix of romantic ballads, stirring anthems, Broadway hits, jazz, pop, swing, contemporary, folk and more. Variety is the spice of life, and we try to have a little something for everyone.
Scarborough Harmony Chorus Performs Angels We Have Heard On High
More singing clips can be found on our Performances Page.
What is Barbershop?
In basic terms, barbershop is unaccompanied vocal harmony produced by four parts: lead, tenor, baritone and bass. It is different from any other kind of choral or group singing. For more information about the barbershop style, a complete definition is available through Harmony, Inc.
Understanding the Voice Parts
Lead is the melody and is sung in the range between A below middle C, and C above middle C.
Tenor is a harmony part sung consistently above the lead. Although tenor is the highest voice in barbershop harmony, it should not be confused with soprano of conventional singing groups. The tenor should have a light, sweet, pure tone that will complement but not overpower the lead voice.
Baritone covers approximately the same range as lead. The baritone harmony notes cross the lead notes; sometimes sung below and sometimes above. Baritones must constantly adjust their balance to accommodate their position in the chord.
Bass singers should have a rich, mellow voice and be able to sing the E flat below middle C easily. Basses should not be confused with the alto of conventional groups. Many altos can sing the bass part, but others are much better suited to lead or baritone, depending on range and vocal quality.