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Four Parts, No Waiting
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Four Parts, No Waiting: A Social History of American Barbershop Harmony

Gage Averill


This book investigates the role that vernacular, barbershop-style close harmony has played in American musical history, in American life, and in the American imagination. Starting with a discussion of the first craze for Austrian four-part close harmony in the 1830s, it traces the popularity of this musical form in minstrel shows, black recreational singing, vaudeville, early recordings, and in the barbershop revival of the 1930s. In his exploration of barbershop, the author uncovers a rich musical tradition — a hybrid of black and white cultural forms, practiced by amateurs, and part of a myt ... More

Keywords: close harmony, barbershop revival, vernacular, American musical history, minstrel shows, black recreational singing, vaudeville, racial myths

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780195116724
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195116724.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gage Averill, author
New York University