British Barbershopper Liz Garnett writes about music from perspectives as both a barbershop singer/director/coach/judge, but also as an academic. She offers fascinating insights into the social dimension of barebrshop singing as expressed musically:
I noticed an interesting variant on this pattern during the quartet contests at the BABS Convention a few weeks ago: hyper-embellishment as male-dominance display. Contests are by their nature competitive environments, so it should not be surprising to see competitive forms of behaviour from the participants. But it was interesting to observe the interaction between arrangement choices and on-stage personas. The kind of complexifying stuff that contemporary barbershop gets packed full of in the name of being 'progressive' or 'edgy' were precisely the musical features that were used for strutting and preening and hey-look-at-me-ing.