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The History and Evolution of acapella music

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by Eve McClellan on 16 May 2013

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Transcript of The History and Evolution of acapella music

The History and Evolution of A Capella Music Modern A Capella As technology has changed, so has A Capella music. The use of new recording devices and of sound mixing programs has made it easy for anyone to sing in an A Capella group without other people present. Modern A Capella groups Choral Music As A Capella music has evolved, it has made its way
into choral pieces. This has let way for a new breed
of choirs - A Capella choir.
However, Acapella choral music has been around since
the times of Mozart, Chaikovski, and other classical
composers who chose to write
unaccompanied choral pieces. Barbershop Barbershop is a style of music that evolved from hymns, psalms, and folk songs from the African American immigrants coming to the new world. These close-harmony quartets remained, often as a "fourth act" combining music with ethnic comedy that would be considered scandalous and racist by modern standards. Gregorian Chant Gregorian Chant is the oldest recorded style of
A Capella music, originating from the first century,
reaching its peak in the IX, X, and XI centuries.
The name is an homage to Pope Gregory I
who did a collection of pieces, publishing them
in two books. The principal characteristics of Gregorian chant (plain song) are
melodies sung in unison, without other voices; no rhythm; sung acapella; and the lyrics are in Latin, taking the majority of their texts from biblical text, particularly the psalms. Chants were mostly sung by monks or laymen in the monasteries. Gregorian chant underwent some changes and evolved
starting in the 9th century when they started
music notation.
They put a red line on a page and would put
notes in varying degrees above
the line. As Gregorian chants popularity grew, so did the reforms being made to it. A major reform was a more specific notation method as well as more specific musical elements were incorporated into the music. Another reform that changed Gregorian chant was the change to
"Neo-Gallican" chant - a chant style that drifted away from the melodies of the Middle ages. Many of these changes were caused by various Catholic orders, two big ones being the Cistercians, who believed in performing the chants as they were originally performed, and the Dominicans, whose reforms were aimed to standardize the music. Gregorian chant was originally taught by rote, and was not
recorded on paper until Pope Gregory I published them in a book. This style was originally sung by men, but in modern times, it has been embraced by female quartets and by female and male choruses that still retain the characteristic four-parts. One of the major characteristics of this style of A Capella music is that the melody is not sung by the top voice, but by the lead, whose part is normally in the second tenor or second soprano range. This allows the harmony to be built around a full-voiced melody. Barbershop harmony uses most chords found in traditional harmonies, as well as the dominant seventh chord, ninths, minor sevenths, major and minor sixths, and half-diminished chords.

The Dominant Seventh Chord is used and associated with this style so much that it is known as the "Barbershop Seventh". Acapella music was originally created because the rabbis banned instrumental music from the synagogue services around 70 A.D in order to separate their services from those of the pagan Greek rituals, which also used instrumental music in their services. Acapella: (Latin) In the style of the Church Music sung without instrumental accompianment Religious Connections Muslim They have a style of accapella called "Nasheed" or "Tawasheeh" Eastern Orthodox Christianity LIturgies and Masses by famous composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Arkhangelsky, and Leontovych. Jewish After the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, use of musical instruments in the synagogue was forbidden on the sabbath. Christianity Began to develop in Europe around the 15th Century.
In the 16th century, acapella polyphony continued to influence
religious and church composers thoughout the time period and
even to this day. Peter Lutkin helped the popularity of A Capella music grow. In 1906, at the college where he was dean, he founded the Northwest A Capella Choir Collegiate A Capella groups compete at the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella. African American slaves, who remembered the songs from their native country, would join together in secret and would sing songs that spoke of the Gospel and how they could "Be saved by Jesus". These meetings were "Camp Meetings" or "Bush Meetings" (this is where the term "Camp Song" originated) They sang their music A Capella on account of the slave owners not allowing the slaves to have African drums and other instruments. As A Capella has evolved, choral groups shrunk to an average of 4-10 people in a group, with 2 to 3 people on each part. Some of these groups have contributed to the popularity that A Capella music has received over the past few years. Many Colleges have A Capella clubs that contain several groups that are run by students. Groups such as these include Vocal Point, The Dartmouth Aires, and other such groups. Both the television series "The Sing-Off" and the recent film release of "Pitch Perfect" have been major influences on bringing back the popularity and wide knowledge of Collegiate A Capella. Another interesting style of music that takes advantage of A Capella that is sometimes overlooked is the "Sacred Harp" style of music. These groups are non-denomitation groups singing about the Gospel. It's name is in reference to your voice - the sacred harp that you were given at birth.
In Sacred Harp, they don't rehearse. In these meetings, they grab a book and sing. The different tones and sounds that come from this style is what makes this style so special and unique. By Eve Spiekerman xD
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