Barbershopping: Musical and Social Harmony

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Max Kaplan
Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1993 - Music - 149 pages
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This is the first comprehensive examination of the remarkable singing groups in the U.S.A., Canada, and Europe known as "barbershoppers." In both male and female a capella quartets and choruses, the barbershop singers concentrate on a song literature that was popular in the period 1860-1930. Their purpose is spelled out in the title of a male group founded a half century ago in Oklahoma: the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA). Today, the SPEBSQSA consists of approximately 40,000 men in the United States and Canada, with affiliated chapters in thirty other nations. Two women's groups who share the ideology of the SPEBSQSA are Sweet Adelines International and Harmony, Inc. The entertainment provided by these groups - in both concert performances and international competitions - is enjoyed by a wide public.
In 1988 a special committee began to reexamine SPEBSQSA's basic purposes and organization - vis a vis social and aesthetic changes. The committee members decided to create for this reexamination a task force of distinguished scholars with expertise in sociology, ethnomusicology, and music education. Each scholar was invited to research barbershopping as it related to a specific discipline. The historian emeritus of the SPEBSQSA was asked to provide a broad history of the movement. Their work is presented in the current volume - a book that will be of interest to many people: educators, musicians, counselors, social scientists, historians, recreationists, health workers, gerontologists, and - of course - the 75,000 men and women who call themselves barbershoppers.
 

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Contents

From the InsideA Descriptive View of SPEBSQSA
13
The Respectable Art of Woodshedding in World Music
33
Becoming a Barbershop Singer
55
The Leisure Framework
73
ElitistPopulist Dualisms and the American Music Preservation Problem
95
Barbershoppers as Vestige of the Past and Promise for the Future
108
Tradition and Innovation
126
List of Contributors
145
Bibliography
148
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Page 13 - Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc., there has been developed at most installations in the past year many soldier quartet and choral groups.
Page 15 - I N NO country in the world has the principle of association been more successfully used or applied to a greater multitude of objects than in America.

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