The early days of barbershop The original barbershop quartet really was born in the barber's shop in the 16th century. Customers awaiting their turn took up playing simple instruments to pass the time. The barbers themselves followed suit between customers, quickly acquiring skills as performers. During the 'Gay Nineties' and the early 20th century, the barber shop became the place for dapper young chaps to be seen. They continued the tradition of singing, this time without instruments – and the long tradition of barbershop style singing began. In the late 1950s, one Harry Danser from Crawley, Sussex formed the Barbershop Four quartet which gained a great deal of public interest. In 1964 the Crawley Barbershop Harmony Club was born. Barbershop singing achieved such popularity during the next ten years that the British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS) was founded in 1974.
Ladies Barbershop Not to be outdone, the ladies formed their own organisation in 1976: the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS). It has grown into a thriving, fun-loving, educational association with around 2000+ members in 56 choruses who meet every year at convention to compete and have a grand old sing!
The Pitchpipers are proud to be members of LABBS and have a sister choruses in Sonsbeck, Germany (Barbershop Blend) and the Southern Comfort Barber Gals in Eindhoven, Holland.
Barbershop harmony is a style of unaccompanied vocal music characterised by harmonic four-part chords for every melody note. The melody is sung by the lead, with the tenor harmonising above the melody, the bass singing the lowest notes and the baritone completing the chord harmony. Slick choreography completes the barbershop style. The overall presentation ‘tells the story’ of a song, involving and entertaining the audience.