The Barbershop Singer: Inside the Social World of a Musical by Robert A. Stebbins

By Robert A. Stebbins

Barbership making a song is usually brushed aside via its critics as simply an relaxing pastime. notwithstanding lengthy well liked by either its public and individuals, it's been rather ignored within the box of tune reviews. Robert A. Stebbins demonstrates that barbershop making a song is an problematic and intricate type of severe relaxation that offers its individuals with designated life. The Barbershop Singer is a different case research of this crucial musical style, describing the social global of the barbershop singer and exploring its charm for either female and male singers. Robert Stebbins lines the historical past of barbershop making a song and compares and contrasts the worlds of jazz, classical track, and barbershop as severe hobbies. Stebbins additionally finds its charges and rewards, its complicated organizational buildings, the social marginality felt by way of its extra devoted contributors, and the most difficulties dealing with the artwork today.

Although barbershop making a song is obviously a circumscribed social global, figuring out the way it works expands present wisdom of the variation types of social participation on hand to electorate of the trendy global. The Barbershop Singer could be of curiosity to sociologists in addition to these all in favour of the realm of barbershop.

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It is possible that barbershop singing is the most formally organized hobby we know. 1 This research suggests that the local club is the true organizational nucleus of the social world of a particular hobby, whereas the umbrella groups are, sociologically speaking, more peripheral. For the most part people pursue their Organized Barbershop 35 hobbies locally, while a devoted set of volunteers, whether elected or not, may come together at the regional or national level to carry out such functions as public relations and the coordination of resources and activities.

It also conducts a range of charitable activities, the most notable of which is its annual contribution since 1964 of increasingly large sums of money to the Heartspring School (formerly the Institute of Logopedics). The money goes for research and treatment of chil- The Old Songs 27 dren with speech impairments, particularly where music can play a therapeutic role. It appears that the globalization of barbershop song is destined to continue. 'It is expected that by the year 2000 one of the annual SPEBSQSA conventions, or an International Music Festival, will be scheduled to meet in London, England.

The Sweet Adelines is organized in an analogous albeit somewhat more complex way. It operates with a Board of Directors, whose twelve members are elected at large, and a Council of Regents consisting of one representative, or 'regent,' from each of the twentysix regions. Harmony has a similar structure which, because of its smaller size, is the least complicated of the three. Although its Board of Directors also has some elected members-at-large, there is no council of regents. ' Thanks to the existence of the three international societies, barbershop singers can join established choruses, give public performances, enter efficiently run contests, and receive vocal and musical training, to mention just a few of the benefits.

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