Party after a chapter meeting or show.
Barberpole Cat songs
The 12 songs every barbershopper should know. Allow barbershoppers from around the world to sing together. See the Barberpole Cat songbook in your new member kit.
Barbershop Quartet
group of four singers,  comprised of one of each of the four singing parts – Lead, Tenor, Baritone, and Bass.
Barbershop Seventh
The cornerstone chord of the barbershop style, consisting of the root, the Major third above, the perfect fifth above, and the minor seventh above, as in a chord consisting of F, A, C, E-flat; or C, E, G, B-flat.
Bell chord
A musical arranging device in which a chord is sung as a succession of notes by each voice in turn.
C & J
Contest & Judging program, which trains judges for singing competitions.
One of the 17 geographic and administrative regions of the Society.
District Convention
two events, Spring and Fall each year to give barbershop choruses and quartets a chance to compete against each other and themselves. For quartets – one contest is to qualify for international competition, the other for the District title. Choruses compete in the same way, but on opposite conventions. This gives choruses longer time to prepare for the international competition.
Analysis and recommendation session – the post-competition performance review provided by the judges.
Joining in without invitation when a quartet is singing; a breach of manners. Wait for the quartet to finish, then ask if you can sing along.
Frank H. Thorne Chapter-at-Large
An “international” chapter for men who are not a member in a Society chapter.
Gang singing
informal group singing, everyone invited!
Harmony University
Week-long summer educational program for barbershoppers, held in Nashville, TN, around the beginning of July.
Harmony Hall
Society headquarters, located in Nashville, TN.
Harmony Foundation
A separate, but related organization to the Society which raises funds for Society programs, seeks grants and sponsorships for worthwhile barbershop projects, and maintains an endowment fund for the Society.
Key Change
key of the song changes from one to another, usually a half-step, and usually up (key lift).
Tones of higher pitch that are present in every musical sound and whose presence determines the quality, richness and fullness of the musical sound. Chords locked in tune and proper volume relationship ‘ring’ with overtones, or harmonics.
Pow Wow
a weekend event in the Seneca Land District that is held annually at Hobart College, NY. It includes barbershop courses taught by Society and District experts; usually the HX Camp is scheduled on the same dates; and concludes with a show of YIH and regular district and guest quartets.
Registered quarte
A quartet whose name and personnel have been catalogued at Harmony Hall. Registration gives the quartet exclusive use of its name. Only registered quartets may sing in competition.
A progression of two or more chords sung on a single word or syllable; hallmark of the barbershop style.
A coda; the ending of a song, often repeating the final words and designed to make a complete and satisfying arrangement. Many tags have no song attached!
pronounced ‘tamber’. The character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity. Even with the same pitch and volume, different timbres will not ring or lock.
As a noun, the melody of a song; as a verb, to blend and make a more accurate or pleasing sound.
Impromptu quartet singing without arrangements; singing by ear; filling in the other three parts of the chord to a melody sung by the lead. Has a few basic guidelines or rules which make it easier to do. With practice, woodshedding can be addicting and very satisfying.
Bright Singing
Singing using a light, airy sound which comes from the resonators in your head. Singing ‘up in the head’ will give your singing a very bright sound which helps give your quartet or chorus a good smooth blend. This has nothing to do with the pitch being sung.
Naming Piano Keys
(C1, D3, F6, A4, etc.) – There are 88 keys on the piano. Every one has a name. The lowest C on the keyboard is C1, and each octave higher becomes C2, C3, C4, and so on. Middle C is C4. The white keys at the bottom start out at A0, B0, C1, D1, E1, F1, G1, A1, B1, C2, etc. Of course there are the black keys also, D#1, B-flat6, etc.
is singing with a deep full solo quality voice. This type of sound is produced using mainly the larynx (deep in the throat behind the Adam’s apple), and the chest or diaphragm area. Using mainly these two resonators with a minimum of the head resonators will give your voice a very dark sound. This dark sound only blends well if all four of the quartet or all four parts of the chorus use them. If only one of the parts uses a dark quality the sound will be unbalanced and will not ring consistently. This also has nothing to do with the pitch being sung.
Ring or Locking
expanded sound. A chord is said to ring when a fifth, and sometimes sixth voice or note is clearly heard above the four notes being actually sung by the quartet or chorus. These extra voices are the “harmonics” or “overtones” present in all notes. There are several important factors that reinforce these harmonics so that they can be clearly heard. Among these factors are consonant harmony (a hallmark of the barbershop style), exact tuning, identical vowel sounds by all four parts, proper timbre (bright or dark), and proper relationship in volume by all four parts (balance). Everyone singing with the head resonance makes it easier to lock and ring. Many tuning issues go away when everyone is singing with head resonance.
One of four parts of a Barbershop song, usually the melody. Lead voices should be able to sing F4 as the highest note without strain and as low as D3.
One of four parts of a Barbershop song, usually (but not always) the lowest note and often the first and fifth of a chord. Bass voices should be able to sing F2 as the lowest note without strain and as high as C4.
One of four parts of a Barbershop song, usually (but not always) the highest note and often the third of a chord. Tenors often sing in their “falsetto” voice register. Tenor voices should be able to sing C5 as the highest note without strain and as low as G3.
Short for Baritone and one of four parts of a Barbershop song. The Bari notes are normally (but not always) below the lead note and fills in the chord. Bari voices should be able to sing E4 (perhaps in “falsetto” voice) as the highest note without strain and as low as C3.
The root of a chord is the letter name of the chord, e.g., C9th, A7th, etc. It is also the first note of that key’s scale. In a chord, it doesn’t have to be the lowest note. It could be in a higher octave, above the other notes. Typically, when a “key” is set by blowing a note on the pitch pipe, the note blown is the “root” of the “key”.
– The third of a chord is two whole notes up from the root. In barbershop the third is sung slightly higher in pitch than we know or hear it on a piano or keyboard.
– The fifth of a chord is the note three full steps and one half step up from the root. In barbershop the fifth is sung exactly in pitch in order for the chord to ring.
The dominant or diminished seventh of a chord is the note one full step down from the root. This is barbershop’s favorite chord in many songs! It is also the leading tone for the next chord in the cycle of fifths. In barbershop the seventh is sung somewhat lower in pitch than we know or hear it on a piano or keyboard.
In barbershop, harmony is that state of singing where only four separate notes are being sung (that means, in a chorus, no individual is singing the wrong note) and those notes are forming a perfect chord. When a chord is “just right” it will “ring” (vibrate with overtones) and one can hear notes (overtones) created by the resonance of several of the notes being sung.
A combination of three or more notes sounded together in harmony.
A sharp symbol (#) in music tells the singer to sing a note ? step higher. – However, singing a note “sharp” or higher unintentionally causes the harmony to be lost!
A flat symbol (b) in music tells the singer to sing a note ? step lower. – However, singing a note flat or lower unintentionally causes the harmony to be lost!
Pitch is the frequency of a note being sung. The phrase “stay on pitch” tells the singer to raise or lower the pitch until the correct note is being sung.
– The tonal center of the song. The song usually begins on the tonal center of the key, and usually ends on the tonal center of the key. The tonal center or key can change when an arrangement uses modulation, or key change, or lift to sing in a new key. When this is done the song will always end in the tonal center of the new key.
– Barbershop Harmony Society
Barbershopper of the Year/Month/Week award presented by many chapters and districts recognizing outstanding efforts.
-Chorus Director Development
Chorus Directors Workshop Intensive
Chapter Operations Training Seminar – a weekend administrative training session.
Chapter Support and Leadership Training.
District President.
Executive Vice-President. Next in line to replace the District President.
Harmony Explosion Camps for high school and college singers.
A Society subsidiary organization of Public Relations Officers and Bulletin Editors.
Seneca Land District. Binghamton Southerntiersmen are located within this district.
Standing Ovation Program. A review of choruses and quartets by member reviewers to critique and offer suggestions to improve a given performance.
-Very Large Quartet. Group of between 6 and 13 singers (as originally defined by BHS), usually with all four parts covered. Generally performs without a director. District contests around the Society still define VLQ as 6-13 members. Many groups are larger.
Youth In Harmony
– Young Men In Harmony
Our director
Mike Lurenz
Terry Purtell’s wife’
Dale Ball’s wife’s name