[Gina Wong | Contributing Writer]
When people mention music, the first thing that comes to mind are mostly songs with music accompaniment, that are produced from the musical instruments or music effects. Well, there are many different types of songs that can be called “music”. One of the not-so-common is A Cappella which is now getting popular on YouTube and among younger audiences.
A Cappella (also spelled “acapella”) is a style of vocal performance without musical instruments. The word means “from the chapel” in Italian, as a cappella takes its roots in early religious music. For many centuries, A cappella singing has been used in Christian, Islamic, and Jewish religious music. References to Jewish A Cappella chanting, dates back to early as 20 BCE. Today, the term “a cappella” encompasses many different secular styles, including doo-wop, the barbershop quartet, and the pop version which is common on many college campuses today.
An example of a famous pop A Cappella group called ‘Pentatonix,’ consists of five members. They are one of the groups that hyped up the A Cappella style of singing. They even set up ‘A Cappella Academy,’ to teach those who are interested and will have to go through an audition. One of their most viewed YouTube videos is “Evolution of Music” with “Run To You” also one of their most popular songs, that is written and produced by them.
Another great example on A Cappella, is the movie
Pitch Perfect which shows that this genre of music is growing and reaching a wider audience.
The basics of A Cappella singing is to combine all four voices which are Soprano (higher pitch) and Alto (lower pitch) for female, Tenor (higher pitch) and Bass (lower pitch) for male. Once all of these four sounds are being combined and reached harmonisation, then A Cappella music is produced. Each and every sound must be in balance in A Cappella, and it is by far one of the toughest music sounds to create.
“With the A Cappella groups, every voice is like one string on a guitar, one note on the piano, or one cymbal, and you don’t have the luxury of falling back on anything” – Ben Folds – brainyquote.com