Barbershop groups have become more popular thanks to a rise in interest in singing among young men, the Independent has reported.
Traditionally associated with the ‘older generation’, the British Association of Barbershop Singers (Babs) has seen its youth membership double within the last six months – which it attributes to young men begging to regard singing as fashionable once again.
The overall membership of Babs is up 20 per cent over the last 15 months and now stands at over 2,200, while its national Learn to Sing barbershop courses were heavily oversubscribed, with some choruses having waiting lists of 100.
“One thing driving the increase in young people attending is the availability of barbershop videos. We get lots of people who have seen clips and want to get involved,” Alan Goldsmith, chairman of Babs, told the news provider. “A lot of people think that young people only like pop songs, but that is not true.”
Barbershop harmonies can be described as a style of unaccompanied vocal music which use musical and visual methods to convey the theme of a song and provide the audience with an emotionally satisfying and entertaining experience. According to Babs, the best barbershop groups are able to mould together the musical and visual aspects to create and sustain the illusions suggested by music.
An increase in government funding in recent years to schemes which are designed to encourage young people to sing have also had a positive effect on the genre. The nationwide Sing Up initiative, which takes place in schools, is helping to increase confidence and spread the idea of better communication being achieved through song.