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BBC Radio 3 features barbershop on "The Listening Service"

BBC Radio 3 features barbershop on "The Listening Service"

A program devoted to deep dives on musical topics tackles close harmony and barbershop.

Tom Service’s popular BBC 3 Radio show covers the entire musical spectrum — from “Beethoven Unleashed: Getting to grips with Beethoven” to “Why backing vocals matter” — and thankfully, he has turned his keen ears to barbershop:

The Listening Service
"Close Harmony" aired live March 29, 2020. Click to listen to the podcast.

“From Corsican polyphony to Jacob Collier, '50s rock and roll and global hit TV series Glee, close harmony runs through music traditions around the world: but nowhere is it more important than in barbershop, famous for its striped waistcoats, bow ties, and comedy parodies. But today over 70,000 singers of all ages and genders participate in barbershop societies around the world, coming together to compete and perform in quartets and larger choruses, enjoying its exuberant and expressive performance style, and revelling in its magical ‘overtones.’

“With Brian Lynch from the Barbershop Harmony Society in Nashville and members of the BBC Singers, Tom explores what makes it so unique, from its vocal setting to its use of ‘just intonation', and discovers the roots of its history, far from the exclusive Ivy League world it's represented in the past.”

Brian Lynch is Public Relations Manager for the Barbershop Harmony Society.