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"The Lingo"

Like most groups, Sweet Adelines have a language all their own.  As someone new to our hobby these terms can be confusing when you hear them at a rehearsal.  To help you we have listed some of the common ones below.



a cappella: Vocal music performed without instrumental accompaniment.


Baritone: The harmony part sung both above and below the lead line but rarely below the bass or above the tenor.  Bari notes are found in the bass clef, above the bass line, sung an octave higher than written.


Bass: In terms of range, the lowest singing voice part. Bass notes are written in the bass clef, lower than the baritones, and sung an octave higher than written.


Bridge: The main body of a song, after the intro and before the tag.


Competition: Competition is not an unfamiliar term, but it helps to know we compete at two levels - both the regional level (once a year, in the spring) and the International level (every other year, in the fall). 


Cone: Harmonic balance in barbershop is stacked in a cone shape, not a cylindrical shape, as with traditional choral music. 


Crescendo: A gradual increase in volume.


Decrescendo: A gradual decrease in volume.


Diphthong: Get acquainted with this term as soon as possible. It's vital! Dipthongs are vowel sounds with two distinct parts: the primary vowel and secondary vowel. It's as if the word has two syllables. For example, boy = bo-ee, my = mah-ee, eyes = ah-eez, etc.


Dual member: A member who belongs to two or more Sweet Adeline choruses, generally but not limited to the same region. 


Dynamics: A combination of contrasting volumes, choreography, and facial characteristics used to deliver the emotional content of the story to the audience.


Lead: The singer of the melody line, almost one hundred percent of the time.


Overtone: An audible note that is higher than, and different from, the four pitches being sung by a chorus or quartet.  Its amazing!


PVI: An acronym for Personal Vocal Instruction.  A personal lesson that help reinforce vocal skills as well as review music and work through any rough spots a member may be experiencing with a particular song in the repertoire.


Region: Pride is part of Region 17.  Region 17 is Northern ohio, Parts of Pennsyvania , Indiana and Michigan.


Ring: The brilliant, bright "forward" sound in the voice that must be present to generate an overtone.


Risers: The metal, stair-like structure that the chorus rehearses and performs upon.


Sectionals: A mini-rehearsal for a specific voice part organized by the section lead outside of weekly rehearsals.


Section Leader: Section leaders are members of the music team that oversee the education and training of each voice part. There are two to five experienced members leading each section.


SERT Team: A team of musical leaders that evaluate and "sertify" singers.


Sweet Adelines: A worldwide organization of singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance.


Tag: The climax or ending of a barbershop arrangement. Tag is also used as a verb to describe learning a short phrase of a song with all other voice parts present.


Tenor: The highest part in barbershop singing, not to be confused with a soprano of SATB music. See our barbershop page for more information.

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