Shop Member Center Document Center

Start a Quartet

Are you looking to start a quartet?

Quartetting provides a nearly infinite amount of opportunities to perform for local and international audiences, and through the Society, you'll instantly become a part of a huge community of singers.

Jump to section

The Parts of a Quartet

Becoming a BHS-Registered Quartet

Register Your New Quartet with BHS

BHS Quartet Classifications and Performance Opportunities

Entering a Quartet Competition

WATCH: 2018 International Champion Quartet, After Hours - Butter Outta Cream (from Catch Me If You Can)

The Parts of a Quartet

Barbershop harmony is a style of four-part, unaccompanied singing, utilizing close-harmony and intuitive voice leading characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note.

Tenor

The tenor is the highest part that harmonizes above the melody, utilizing a falsetto/light head voice approach.

Lead

The lead is the melody singer, and in barbershop typically sings melodies which lie within the vocal and skill range of the average singer.

Baritone

The baritone sings above and below the lead, completing and filling out the consonant four-part chords.

Bass

The bass sings the lowest harmonizing notes, serving as the foundation of the quartet.

Becoming a BHS-registered quartet

Contemporary, doo wop, country, jazz, gospel, broadway show tunes, children’s songs, even classical… if you can think of a genre, there’s most certainly a barbershop arrangement available for it. Sing uptunes, ballads, or try your hand at comedy...the possibilities are endless!

Mixed Double Quartet Close Up

All BHS-registered quartets receive:

  • Exclusive rights to quartet name within its category (men's, women's, or mixed harmony)
  • Exclusive access to apply for the Larry Ajer quartet scholarship at Harmony University
  • Inclusion in the BHS website and searchable quartet database in Member Center
  • Quartet ID cards
  • Discounts on exhibits, program book, and jumbotron advertising at conventions
  • 35% BHS discount with GigSalad.com
  • Free access to the Guidebook for Performing Quartets and the Subject Matter Expert (SME) database for performing quartets, including resources to assist and guide quartets in their use of technology and marketing, and access to coaches and contacts for performance, show development, and arranging.

Already a BHS member? Login to the Doc Center to view all of the resources available to registered quartets.

Register Your New Quartet

Join our community of singers and access all of these exclusive benefits today!

You must be a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society in order to register a new quartet.

Quartets may register as men's, women's, or mixed harmony.

Click on the button below to launch the Member Center page. You will need a member login in order to complete the registration process.

Questions?

Email customerservice@barbershop.org

Classifications & Performance Opportunities

There are three main classifications for quartets in the Barbershop Harmony Society:

1. Next Generation Quartets - 25 and Under

All singers in a Next Generation youth quartet must be 25 and under and are eligible to compete in our Next Generation Barbershop Quartet Contests that take place all across the Society and even abroad.

Next Generation Barbershop helps singers discover a sound that’s uniquely their own. Distinct programs for singers in grades 6-12 and post-high school offer ensemble options to fit your skills and interests: men’s, women’s, or mixed voice quartets and choruses.

Next Generation Barbershop Contests and Festivals offer easy video entry, exciting destination events, and funding for travel and lodging.

WATCH: Vintage Mix - When I See an Elephant Fly

2. Quartets - All Ages

Open to all ages, our “regular” quartets must all be members of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Quartets may register as men's, women's, or mixed harmony.

The 2019 contest cycle, including the Open contest at the International Convention, is currently limited to the men's category. Planning is underway to introduce Mixed Harmony and Women’s categories in the future.

WATCH: Clutch - The Frim Fram Sauce

3. Seniors Quartets - 55 and Up

The Seniors Quartet Contest holds regional-based contests where Seniors Quartets (each member at least 55 years old with an average age of 60 for all quartet members) vie for the chance to qualify to compete at the International Seniors Quartet Contest at the annual Midwinter Convention.

While the 2019 International-level and International preliminary contest cycle - including the Seniors contest at the Midwinter convention - is currently limited to the Men’s category, planning is underway to introduce Mixed Harmony and Women’s categories in the future.

WATCH: Party of Five - What'll I Do?

Entering a Quartet Competition

Quartets must be registered with the Society in order to enter an official BHS contest.

A BHS registered quartet may enter a contest in the category for which it is registered — Men’s, Mixed Harmony, or Women’s. Many districts are planning to offer contests for mixed ensembles in 2019.

While the 2019 International-level and International preliminary contest cycle (Seniors contest at the Midwinter convention and Open contest at the International convention) is currently limited to the Men’s category, planning is underway to introduce Mixed Harmony and Women’s categories in the future.

More information about entering contests is available here.