Contest & Judging
Director of Contest & Judging – Harold Lathom
DEFINITION OF THE BARBERSHOP STYLE
Barbershop harmony is a style of unaccompanied vocal music characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture. The melody is consistently sung by the lead, with the tenor harmonizing above the melody, the bass singing the lowest harmonizing notes, and the baritone completing the chord. Occasional brief passages may be sung by fewer than four voice parts.
Barbershop music features songs with understandable lyrics and easily singable melodies, whose tones clearly define a tonal center and imply major and minor chords and barbershop (dominant and secondary dominant) seventh chords that often resolve around the circle of fifths, while also making use of other resolutions. Barbershop music also features a balanced and symmetrical form, and a standard meter. The basic song and its harmonization are embellished by the arranger to provide appropriate support of the song’s theme and to close the song effectively.
Barbershop singers adjust pitches to achieve perfectly tuned chords in just intonation while remaining true to the established tonal center. Artistic singing in the barbershop style exhibits a fullness or expansion of sound, precise intonation, a high degree of vocal skill, and a high level of unity and consistency within the ensemble. Ideally, these elements are natural, unmanufactured, and free from apparent effort.
The presentation of barbershop music uses appropriate musical and visual methods to convey the theme of the song and provide the audience with an emotionally satisfying and entertaining experience. The musical and visual delivery is from the heart, believable, and sensitive to the song and its arrangement throughout. The most stylistic presentation artistically melds together the musical and visual aspects to create and sustain the illusions suggested by the music.
BARBERSHOP HARMONY SOCIETY
Contest and Judging Handbook
These rules apply to all quartet and chorus contests at the division, district and international levels in the Society. In these rules, the definition of the district chorus contest is the contest at which the district chorus champion is selected. In matters not specifically covered by these rules, the districts may exercise reasonable latitude and prerogative provided that the established ethics and policies of the Society are closely observed.
ARTICLE I: ELIGIBILITY
1. Membership and Quartet Registration Requirements
a. Society and Chapter: Except for those quartets from affiliated organizations which have been invited to participate in the international quartet or in the international seniors quartet contest, all members of competing quartets must be members of one or more Society chapters, including Frank H. Thorne Chapter. A member of the Society is defined as one whose Society, district, and chapter dues are paid, whether or not such dues have been forwarded to the district or Society by the chapter, and who is not under suspension
by his chapter or the Society Board of Directors.
b. District: At least one member of the quartet must be a member of a chapter in the district in which the quartet elects to compete.
c. Affiliates: All members of a competing quartet from an affiliated organization must be members in good standing of the affiliated organization.
d. Quartet Registration: To be eligible for competition, a quartet must be registered with the Society Contest and Judging office or, in the case of quartets from affiliated organizations, with their affiliated organization, and such registration must include the same personnel that enter the contest.
2. Seniors Quartet
Each member of a quartet competing in the international seniors quartet contest must be age 55 or older and the sum of the accumulated ages of the quartet must equal or exceed 240 years. These requirements must be met on the basis of birthdays reached on or before the day of the international seniors contest held at the midwinter convention.
3. Selection of Home District
In the event that members of a quartet collectively hold memberships in chapters in more than one district, the quartet must notify the Society Contest and Judging office prior to March 1 of the current year of the district it chooses to represent and in which it will compete. Such selection will be binding for a full year, and the quartet may not compete in any contest in any other district during that year except as provided below.
4. Out of District Competition
a. Petition: Under normal circumstances, quartets are expected to compete in their home districts. In exceptional circumstances, however, a quartet may petition to compete in a district other than their home district.
b. Action: Such requests by quartets to compete in a district other than their home district must be unanimously approved by the requested district’s district representative for contest and judging and district president, and the home district’s district representative for contest and judging and district president.
c. Deadline: For international preliminary quartet contests and international preliminary seniors quartet contests, this request and approval must be granted by all parties (as indicated above) prior to the official registration deadline for the earliest international preliminary contest of the affected districts, regardless of the international preliminary contest in which they are actually competing.
5. Competing in Multiple Quartets
In international and international preliminary contests a member may compete with only one quartet, regardless of the number of quartets or districts to which he belongs. However, a member may compete in multiple quartets in any division or district contest in one or more districts.
6. Championship Quartets
a. Not Eligible to Compete: Except in division contests, championship quartets of other years will not be eligible to compete again for that championship.
b. Forming New Quartet: This rule will not be construed to prohibit the organization and entry of a new quartet of not more than two members of the same championship quartet, provided entry is made under a different name.
7. Convention Registration
Each competing quartet member shall hold a registration for the convention at which the contest is held.
1. Membership Requirements
a. Society: Except for those choruses from affiliated organizations that have been invited to participate in the international chorus contest, all members of competing choruses, except female directors, must be members of the Society and of each chapter they choose to represent in competition. A female director must be a Society Associate (as defined in Society rules and regulations). Chapters represented in Society chorus contests must be in good standing with the Society and their districts.
b. Affiliates: All members of competing choruses from affiliated organizations, except the director, must be members in good standing of that affiliated organization and of the chapter or club that they represent in competition.
2. One Chorus per Chapter
Chapters may not enter more than one chorus in any Society-sponsored contest.
3. Minimum Size
A competing chorus must be composed of 12 or more members on stage, with or without the director.
4. Competing in Multiple Choruses
A member may participate, either as director or singer, with more than one chorus in any contest.
5. Chorus Director
Nothing in Article I will be construed as to limit the rights of a chapter to appoint or replace its chorus director at any time.
6. Out of District Competition
a. Petition: Under normal circumstances, choruses are expected to compete in their home districts. In exceptional circumstances, however, a chorus may petition to compete in a district other than its home district.
b. Action: Such requests by choruses to compete in a district other than their home district shall be submitted to the home district’s district representative for contest and judging and must include explicit reasons for the request. Any request must be unanimously approved by the requested district’s district representative for contest and judging and its district president, and the home district’s district representative for contest and judging and its district president. If approved or denied by all parties, a report will be made to the Society Contest and Judging Committee, through its chairman, by the home district’s
district representative for contest and judging.
c. Review: If opinion is not unanimous among the parties, the request shall be forwarded by the home district’s district representative for contest and judging to the Society Contest and Judging Committee, through its chairman, for review and recommendation and the Society executive director who shall provide final resolution to ensure consistent and equitable application of this provision throughout the Society.
(1) For international preliminary chorus contests, this request must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the official entry deadline for the earlier international preliminary contest of the affected districts, regardless of the international preliminary contest in which they are actually competing.
(2) For division and district contests, this request must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the official entry deadline of the out of district contest for which entry is desired.
7. Layout After Championship
International champion choruses are not eligible to compete for the international championships to be awarded for the two years following the year in which the chorus won the international championship.
8. Convention Registration
Each and every member of a competing chorus, including the director, shall hold a registration for the convention at which the contest is held.