The Barbershop Uptune: 50+ Years

I had the opportunity recently to engage in a comprehensive study of a particular type of song: the barbershop contest uptune. Most people in America are aware of barbershop quartets and have a passing familiarity with the barbershop style of four-part, a cappella singing. What many of these folks are not aware of  is the barbershop contest. Every year dozens of these contests happen all over world. Barbershop quartets and chorus compete against each other at a variety of levels. At these contests you will generally hear two types of songs: the barbershop ballad, which emphasizes sustained harmonies and a liberal use of rubato; and the uptune, which features more rhythmic elements and is sung at a faster tempo.
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