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A cappella

A cappella

Overview
A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing
Singing
Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm. One who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music known as songs that can be sung either with or without accompaniment by musical instruments...

 without instrumental
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It is the opposite of cantata
Cantata
A cantata is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir....

, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance
Renaissance music
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning of the musical era is difficult, given that its defining characteristics were adopted only gradually; musicologists have placed its beginnings from as early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.Literally meaning...

 polyphony
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 and Baroque concertato
Concertato
Concertato is a term in early Baroque music referring to either a genre or a style of music in which groups of instruments or voices share a melody, usually in alternation, and almost always over a basso continuo...

 style. In the 19th century a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music.
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Encyclopedia
A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing
Singing
Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm. One who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music known as songs that can be sung either with or without accompaniment by musical instruments...

 without instrumental
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It is the opposite of cantata
Cantata
A cantata is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir....

, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance
Renaissance music
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning of the musical era is difficult, given that its defining characteristics were adopted only gradually; musicologists have placed its beginnings from as early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.Literally meaning...

 polyphony
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 and Baroque concertato
Concertato
Concertato is a term in early Baroque music referring to either a genre or a style of music in which groups of instruments or voices share a melody, usually in alternation, and almost always over a basso continuo...

 style. In the 19th century a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music. In modern usage, a cappella often refers to an all-vocal group performance of any style, including barbershop
Barbershop music
Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era , is a style of a cappella, or unaccompanied vocal music characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture...

, doo wop, and modern pop/rock. Today, a cappella also includes sample/loop "vocal only" productions by producers like Jimmy Spice Curry
Jimmy Spice Curry
Jimmy Curry is an entertainment producer, human rights activist and writer with credits in various ventures. Jimmy Spice Curry has worked with Grammy Award winning Rock artist Lenny Kravitz , H...

, Teddy Riley, Björk
Björk
Björk Guðmundsdóttir , known as Björk , is an Icelandic singer-songwriter. Her eclectic musical style has achieved popular acknowledgement and popularity within many musical genres, such as rock, jazz, electronic dance music, classical and folk...

, Imogen Heap
Imogen Heap
Imogen Jennifer Jane Heap is a Grammy Award-winning English singer, composer and songwriter from Havering, Essex. She is known for her work as part of the musical duo Frou Frou and her solo albums, which she writes, produces, and mixes...

, Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean is a Haitian musician, record producer, and politician. At age nine, Jean moved to the United States with his family and has spent much of his life in the country...

 and others.

Religious traditions


A cappella music originally was, and still often is, used in religious music, especially church music
Church music
Church music may be defined as music written for performance in church, or any musical setting of ecclestiacal liturgy, or music set to words expressing propositions of a sacred nature, such as a hymn. This article covers music in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. For sacred music outside this...

 as well as anasheed
Anasheed
Anasheed , is Islamic vocal music that is either sung a cappella or accompanied by percussion instruments such as the daff...

 and zemirot
Zemirot
Zemirot or Z'mirot are Jewish hymns, usually sung in the Hebrew or Aramaic languages, but sometimes also in Yiddish or Ladino. The best known zemirot are those sung around the table during Shabbat and Jewish holidays...

. Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity that accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services...

 is an example of a cappella singing, as is the majority of secular vocal music from the Renaissance
Renaissance music
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning of the musical era is difficult, given that its defining characteristics were adopted only gradually; musicologists have placed its beginnings from as early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.Literally meaning...

. The madrigal
Madrigal (music)
A madrigal is a secular vocal music composition, usually a partsong, of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Traditionally, polyphonic madrigals are unaccompanied; the number of voices varies from two to eight, and most frequently from three to six....

, up until its development in the early Baroque
Baroque music
Baroque music describes a style of Western Classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1760. This era follows the Renaissance and was followed in turn by the Classical era...

 into an instrumentally-accompanied form, is also usually in a cappella form. Jewish and Christian music were originally a cappella, and this tradition has existed continuously in both of these religions as well as in Islam.

Christian



The polyphony
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 of Christian a cappella music began to develop in Europe around the late 15th century. The early a cappella polyphonies may have had an accompanying instrument, although this instrument would merely double the singers' parts and was not independent. By the 16th century, a cappella polyphony
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 had further developed, but gradually, the cantata
Cantata
A cantata is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir....

 began to take the place of a cappella forms. 16th century a cappella polyphony, nonetheless, continued to influence church composers throughout this period and to the present day. Such is seen in the life of Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition...

 becoming a major influence on Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

, most notably in the aforementioned Mass in B Minor.

Eastern Orthodox Christianity


In Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, the music performed in the Eastern Orthodox cathedrals and monasteries is exclusively sung without music. Bishop Kallistos Ware says, "The service is sung, even though there may be no choir... In the Orthodox Church today, as in the early Church, singing is unaccompanied and instrumental music is not found." Liturgies and masses composed by famous composers such as Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music...

, Alexander Arkhangelsky, and Mykola Leontovych
Mykola Leontovych
Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych was a Ukrainian composer, choral conductor, priest, and teacher of international renown. His music was inspired by Mykola Lysenko and the Ukrainian nationalist music school, along with Kyrylo Stetsenko, Alexander Koshetz, and Yakiv Stepovy...

 are fine examples of this,

Opposition to instruments in worship


Present-day Christian religious bodies known for conducting their worship services without musical accompaniment include some Presbyterian churches devoted to the regulative principle of worship
Regulative principle of worship
The regulative principle of worship is a teaching shared by some Calvinists and Anabaptists on how the Bible orders public worship. The substance of the doctrine regarding worship is that God institutes in the Scriptures everything he requires for worship in the Church and that everything else is...

, Old Regular Baptist
Old Regular Baptist
The Old Regular Baptists are an American Christian denomination based primarily in the Appalachian region of the United States.-History:Most Regular Baptists merged with the Separate Baptists near the beginning of 19th century. The party names were dropped in favor of United Baptists...

s, Primitive Baptist
Primitive Baptist
Primitive Baptists, also known as Hard Shell Baptists or Anti-Mission Baptists, are conservative, Calvinist Baptists adhering to beliefs that formed out of the controversy among Baptists in the early 1800’s over the appropriateness of mission boards, bible tract societies, and temperance...

s, Plymouth Brethren
Plymouth Brethren
The Plymouth Brethren is a conservative, Evangelical Christian movement, whose history can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s. Although the group is notable for not taking any official "church name" to itself, and not having an official clergy or liturgy, the title "The Brethren," is...

, Churches of Christ, the Old German Baptist Brethren
Old German Baptist Brethren
Old German Baptist Brethren descend from a pietist movement in Schwarzenau, Germany, in 1708, when Alexander Mack founded a fellowship with seven other believers. They are one of several Brethren groups that trace themselves to that original founding body...

, the Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 Christian Church and the Amish
Amish
The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

 and Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

. Certain high church
High church
The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality, and resistance to "modernization." Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term has traditionally been principally associated with the...

 services and other musical events in liturgical churches (such as the Roman Catholic Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

 and the Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 Divine Service) may be a cappella, a practice remaining from apostolic times. Many Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

s also conduct some or all of their services without instruments. Sacred Harp
Sacred Harp
Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of sacred choral music that took root in the Southern region of the United States. It is part of the larger tradition of shape note music.- The music and its notation :...

, a type of religious folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

, is an a cappella style of religious singing, but is more often sung at singing conventions than at church services.

Opponents of musical instruments in the Christian worship
Worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

 believe that such opposition is supported by the New Testament and Church history. The New Testament verses typically referenced are Matthew 26:30; Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 2:12, 13:15; James 5:13, which reveal a command for all Christians to sing.

There is no reference to instrumental music in the worship of the New Testament or the worship of churches for the first six centuries. That being said, the reason for such absence is highly debated, though several reasons have been put forth throughout church history.The absence of instrumental music is rooted in various hermeneutic principles restricting the appropriateness of worship. Such views are the regulative principle of worship
Regulative principle of worship
The regulative principle of worship is a teaching shared by some Calvinists and Anabaptists on how the Bible orders public worship. The substance of the doctrine regarding worship is that God institutes in the Scriptures everything he requires for worship in the Church and that everything else is...

, Sola scriptura
Sola scriptura
Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. Consequently, sola scriptura demands that only those doctrines are to be admitted or confessed that are found directly within or indirectly by using valid logical deduction or valid...

, the history of hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

 in "Christianity". The Hebrew writer spent a great deal of time contrasting Old Testament and New Testament worship, which brings forth a theological understanding. In short, all of the Old Testament and its practices have been replaced by New Testament and teachings of Jesus.
The absence of instrumental music in New Testament worship is significant given the abundance of Old Testament references and commands. After several hundred years of Tabernacle worship without instrumental music, King David introduced musical instruments into Temple worship based upon a commandment from God. God commanded who was to sing, who was to play, and what instruments were to be used, as seen in 2 Chronicles 29:25–29.

Unlike the Israelite worship assembly, which was only able to look on during Temple worship as the Levitical Priest sang, played, and offered animal sacrifices, in the New Testament, all Christians are commanded to sing praises to God. This leaves those opposed to instrumental music in worship with the understanding that if God wanted instrumental music in New Testament worship, he would have commanded not just singing, but singing and playing like he did in the Old Testament. Though God commanded instruments to be used in Temple worship, and the daily life of Israel, the first recorded example of a musical instrument in Roman Catholic worship was an organ
Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass...

 introduced by Pope Vitalian
Pope Vitalian
Pope Saint Vitalianus was Pope of the Catholic Church from July 30, 657, until January 27, 672.He was born in Segni, Lazio, the son of Anastasius.-Reign:...

 into a cathedral in Rome around 670.McKinnon maintained that the organ was the first instrument to be introduced into worship service and the next was the trumpet. He noted accounts of an organ being sent from Byzantium to Pippin in 757, and another to Charlemagne in 812. See McKinnon (1965), The Church Fathers and Musical Instruments (Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University) p265 Thus, over time, the expression "a cappella" (Italian for "in the manner of the chapel") came to mean exclusively vocal music in contradistinction to the spreading use of the organ in cathedrals.

Instruments have divided Christendom since their introduction into worship. They were considered a Catholic innovation, not widely practiced until the 18th century, and were opposed vigorously in worship by a number of Protestant Reformers
Protestant Reformers
Protestant Reformers were those theologians, churchmen, and statesmen whose careers, works, and actions brought about the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century...

, including Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 (1483–1546), John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 (1509–1564) and John Wesley
John Wesley
John Wesley was a Church of England cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield...

 (1703–1791). The fact that Christendom has periodically grafted instrumental music into the worship service probably obscures, for contemporary adherents, the long, general and conscientious teaching of a cappella. In Sir Walter Scott's The Heart of Midlothian
The Heart of Midlothian
The Heart of Midlothian is the seventh of Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley Novels. It was originally published in four volumes on 25 July 1818, under the title of Tales of My Landlord, 2nd series, and the author was given as "Jedediah Cleishbotham, Schoolmaster and Parish-clerk of Gandercleugh"...

, for example, the heroine, Jeanie Deans, a Scottish Presbyterian, writes to her father about the church situation she has found in England (bold added):
The folk here are civil, and, like the barbarians unto the holy apostle, have shown me much kindness; and there are a sort of chosen people in the land, for they have some kirk
Kirk
Kirk can mean "church" in general or the Church of Scotland in particular. Many place names and personal names are also derived from it.-Basic meaning and etymology:...

s without organs that are like ours
, and are called meeting-houses, where the minister preaches without a gown.

Acceptance of instruments in worship


An alternate viewpoint is that limiting praise to the unaccompanied chant of the early church is not commanded in scripture, and that the churches in any age are free to offer their songs with or without musical instruments.

Since the New Testament never counters this instrumental language with any negative judgment on instruments, opposition to instruments instead comes from an interpretation of history. It is striking that there is no written opposition to musical instruments in any setting in the 1st century and a half of the churches (including scripture). Toward the end of the 2nd century, however, Christians began condemning the actual instruments themselves. Those who oppose instruments today believe that emerging opposition of these Church Fathers demonstrates a better understanding of God's desire, but there are significant differences between the teachings of the Church Fathers and Christian opposition to instruments today.
  • Modern Christians typically believe it is acceptable to play instruments or to attend weddings, funerals, banquets, etc., where instruments are heard. The Church Fathers made no exceptions. Since the New Testament never condemns instruments themselves, much less in any of these settings, it is conceded that “the church Fathers go beyond the New Testament in pronouncing a negative judgment on musical instruments.”
  • Written opposition to instruments in worship began near the turn of the 5th century. Modern opponents of instruments do not make the same assessment of instruments as these writers, who argued that God had allowed David the “evil” of using musical instruments in praise. Contrary to their teaching, the Old Testament scripture shows that God specifically asked for instruments rather than merely tolerating an evil.


Since “a cappella” singing brought a new polyphony with instrumental accompaniment, it is not surprising that Protestant reformers who opposed the instruments (such as Calvin and Zwingli) also opposed the polyphony. While Zwingli was burning organs in Switzerland – Luther called him a fanatic – the Church of England was burning books of polyphony.

Jewish


While services in the Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

 included musical instruments (2 Chronicles 29:25–27), traditional Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 religious services in the Synagogue, both before and after the destruction of the Temple, did not include musical instruments given the practice of scriptural cantillation
Cantillation
Cantillation is the ritual chanting of readings from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue services. The chants are written and notated in accordance with the special signs or marks printed in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible to complement the letters and vowel points...

. The use of musical instruments is traditionally forbidden on the Sabbath out of concern that players would be tempted to repair their instruments, which is forbidden on those days. (This prohibition has been relaxed in many Reform and some Conservative congregations.) Similarly, when Jewish families and larger groups sing traditional Sabbath songs known as zemirot
Zemirot
Zemirot or Z'mirot are Jewish hymns, usually sung in the Hebrew or Aramaic languages, but sometimes also in Yiddish or Ladino. The best known zemirot are those sung around the table during Shabbat and Jewish holidays...

 outside the context of formal religious services, they usually do so a cappella, and Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations on the Sabbath sometimes feature entertainment by a cappella ensembles. During the Three Weeks
The Three Weeks
The Three Weeks or Bein ha-Metzarim is a period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples...

 use of musical instruments is traditionally prohibited. Many Jews consider a portion of the 49-day period of the counting of the omer
Counting of the Omer
Counting of the Omer is a verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot...

 between Passover and Shavuot to be a time of semi-mourning and instrumental music is not allowed during that time. This has led to a tradition of a cappella singing sometimes known as sefirah music.

The popularization of the Jewish chant may be found in the writings of the Jewish philosopher Philo
Philo
Philo , known also as Philo of Alexandria , Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria....

, born 20 BCE. Weaving together Jewish and Greek thought, Philo promoted praise without instruments, and taught that "silent singing" (without even vocal chords) was better still. So strong was his influence that the Jewish sect of the Pharisees even came to oppose the temple instruments. This view parted with the Jewish scriptures, where Israel offered praise with instruments by God's own command (e.g.: 2 Chronicles 29:25). The shofar
Shofar
A shofar is a horn, traditionally that of a ram, used for Jewish religious purposes. Shofar-blowing is incorporated in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.Shofar come in a variety of sizes.- Bible and rabbinic literature :...

 or keren (horn) is the only temple instrument still being used today in the synagogue, and it is only used from Rosh Chodesh
Rosh Chodesh
Rosh Chodesh or Rosh ḥodesh is the name for the first day of every month in the Hebrew calendar, marked by the appearance of the new moon. The new moon is marked by the day and hour that the new crescent is observed...

 Elul
Elul
Elul is the twelfth month of the Jewish civil year and the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a summer month of 29 days...

 through the end of Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur , also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue...

. The shofar is used by itself, without any vocal accompaniment, and is limited to a very strictly defined set of sounds and specific places in the synagogue service.

Muslim


Many Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 musicians also perform a form of a cappella music called nasheed or Tawasheeh. Some well known composers in the western world include Kamal Uddin, Labbayk, Abdullah Rolle, Naseeha amongst others.

In the United States


Peter Christian Lutkin, dean of the Northwestern University School of Music, helped popularize a cappella music in the United States by founding the Northwestern A Cappella Choir in 1906. The A Cappella Choir was "the first permanent organization of its kind in America."

A strong and prominent a cappella tradition was begun in the midwest part of the United States in 1911 by F. Melius Christiansen, a music faculty member at St. Olaf College
St. Olaf College
St. Olaf College is a coeducational, residential, four-year, private liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, United States. It was founded in 1874 by a group of Norwegian-American immigrant pastors and farmers, led by Pastor Bernt Julius Muus. The college is named after Olaf II of Norway,...

 in Northfield, Minnesota. The St. Olaf College Choir was established as an outgrowth of the local St. John's Lutheran Church, where Christiansen was organist and the choir was composed at least partially of students from the nearby St. Olaf campus. The success of the ensemble was emulated by other regional conductors, and a rich tradition of a cappella choral music was born in the region at colleges like Concordia College
Concordia College, Moorhead
Concordia College is a private liberal arts school located in Moorhead, Minnesota, United States. It is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and offers bachelors' degrees in the arts and music, as well as a master's degree in education. The college was founded by Norwegian...

 (Moorhead, Minnesota), Augustana College
Augustana College (Illinois)
Augustana College is a private liberal arts college located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Covering of hilly, wooded land, Augustana is adjacent to the Mississippi River...

 (Rock Island, Illinois), Wartburg College
Wartburg College
Wartburg College is a selective four-year liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located in Waverly, Iowa. Wartburg West is in Denver, Colorado....

 (Waverly, Iowa), Luther College
Luther College (Iowa)
Luther College is a four-year, residential liberal arts institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, located in Decorah, Iowa, USA...

 (Decorah, Iowa), Gustavus Adolphus College
Gustavus Adolphus College
Gustavus Adolphus College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located in St. Peter, Minnesota, United States. A coeducational, four-year, residential institution, it was founded in 1862 by Swedish Americans. To this day the school is firmly...

 (St. Peter, Minnesota), Augustana College
Augustana College (South Dakota)
Augustana College is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States. The campus makes the school the largest private university in South Dakota...

 (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), and Augsburg College
Augsburg College
Augsburg College is a selective liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Augsburg was named for the Augsburg Confession, the document of Lutheran belief. The school was founded in 1869 in Marshall, Wisconsin as Augsburg Seminary and moved...

 (Minneapolis, Minnesota). The choirs typically range from 40 to 80 singers and are recognized for their efforts to perfect blend, intonation, phrasing and pitch in a large choral setting.

Major movements in modern a cappella over the past century include Barbershop
Barbershop music
Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era , is a style of a cappella, or unaccompanied vocal music characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture...

 and doo wop. The Barbershop Harmony Society
Barbershop Harmony Society
The Barbershop Harmony Society, legally and historically named the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. , is the first of several organizations to promote and preserve barbershop music as an art form. Founded by Owen C...

, Sweet Adelines International
Sweet Adelines International
Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performances. This independent, nonprofit music education association is one of the world's largest singing organizations for women...

, and Harmony Inc. host educational events including Harmony University, Directors University, and the International Educational Symposium, and international contests and conventions, recognizing international champion choruses and quartets.

In the 1950s several recording groups, notably The Hi-Los and the Four Freshmen, introduced complex jazz harmonies to a cappella performances. The King's Singers
King's Singers
The King's Singers is a British a cappella vocal ensemble who celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2008. Their name recalls King's College in Cambridge, England, where the group was formed by six choral scholars in 1968. In the United Kingdom, their popularity peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s...

 are credited with promoting interest in small-group a cappella performances in the 1960s. In 1983 an a cappella group known as The Flying Pickets
The Flying Pickets
The Flying Pickets are a British a cappella vocal group, who had a Christmas number one hit in 1983 in the UK Singles Chart with their cover of Yazoo's track "Only You".-History:...

 had a Christmas 'number one' in the UK with a cover of Yazoo
Yazoo (band)
Yazoo are a British synthpop duo from Basildon, Essex. They had a number of Top 10 hits in the UK charts in the early 1980s...

's (known in the US as Yaz
Yazoo (band)
Yazoo are a British synthpop duo from Basildon, Essex. They had a number of Top 10 hits in the UK charts in the early 1980s...

) "Only You
Only You (Yazoo song)
-Track listing:7": Mute/7 MUTE 20 # "Only You" - 3:10# "Situation" - 3:447": Sire/9 2-98447 # "Only You" - 3:10# "Winter Kills" - 4:0112": Mute/12 MUTE 20 # "Only You" - 3:10# "Situation" - 5:20CD: Mute/CD MUTE 20...

". A cappella music attained renewed prominence from the late 1980s onward, spurred by the success of Top 40 recordings by artists such as The Manhattan Transfer
The Manhattan Transfer
The Manhattan Transfer is an American vocal music group. There have been two manifestations of the group, with Tim Hauser being the only person to be part of both...

, Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin
Robert "Bobby" McFerrin, Jr. is an American vocalist and conductor. He is best known for his 1988 hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". He is a ten-time Grammy Award winner.-Life:...

, Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis and the News is an American rock band based in San Francisco, California. They had a run of hit singles during the 1980s and early 1990s, eventually scoring a total of 19 top-ten singles across the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Rock charts...

, All-4-One
All-4-One
All-4-One is a male R&B/pop group best known for their cover hit single "I Swear" from their self-titled 1994 debut album. The group comprises Jamie Jones, Delious Kennedy, Alfred Nevarez, and Tony Borowiak, all from the Antelope Valley and Mojave, California areas, but are based in the Los Angeles...

, The Nylons
The Nylons
The Nylons are an a cappella group founded in 1978 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Best known for their covers of The Turtles' "Happy Together", Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", and The Tokens' version of the traditional "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"....

, Backstreet Boys
Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Boys are an American vocal group, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The band originally consisted of A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson. They rose to fame with their debut international album, Backstreet Boys...

 and Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men is an American R&B vocal group best known for emotional ballads and a cappella harmonies. They are the most successful R&B group of all time, having sold more than albums worldwide. In the 1990s, Boyz II Men found fame on Motown Records as a quartet, but original member Michael McCary...

.

Recording artists


Contemporary a cappella includes many vocal groups and bands who add vocal percussion
Vocal percussion
Vocal percussion is the art of creating sounds with one's mouth that approximate, imitate, or otherwise serve the same purpose as a percussion instrument, whether in a group of singers, an instrumental ensemble, or solo.-In Western music:...

 or beatboxing
Beatboxing
Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and voice. It may also involve singing, vocal imitation of turntablism, and the simulation of horns, strings, and other musical instruments...

 to create a pop/rock sound, in some cases very similar to bands with instruments. One such group is Rockapella
Rockapella
Rockapella is an American a cappella musical group formed in 1986 in New York City. Their name is derived from the words "rock" and "a cappella". They sing original vocal music and a cappella covers of pop and rock songs; over time, their sound has evolved from high-energy pop and world music...

. There also remains a strong a cappella presence within Christian music, as some denominations purposefully do not use instruments during worship. Examples of such groups are Take 6
Take 6
Take 6 is an American a cappella gospel music sextet formed in 1980 on the campus of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. The group sings in a contemporary style, integrating R&B and jazz influences into their devotional songs and has 10 Grammy wins, 10 Dove Awards, one Soul Train Award and two...

, Glad
Glad (band)
GLAD is one of the pioneers of Christian pop/rock and a cappella music, having formed as a progressive rock group in 1972 and discovered a large audience for their a cappella music in 1988. Today, with over 1.5 million albums sold, they continue to perform concerts and release occasional recordings...

 and Acappella
Acappella (group)
Acappella is an all-male Contemporary Christian vocal group founded in 1982 by Keith Lancaster, who has variously played the role of singer, songwriter and producer throughout the group's history...

. Arrangements of popular music for small a cappella ensembles typically include one voice singing the lead melody, one singing a rhythmic bass line, and the remaining voices contributing chordal or polyphonic
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 accompaniment.

A cappella can also describe the practice of using just the vocal track(s) from a multitrack
Multitrack recording
Multitrack recording is a method of sound recording that allows for the separate recording of multiple sound sources to create a cohesive whole...

, instrumental recording to be remix
Remix
A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. This term is also used for any alterations of media other than song ....

ed or put onto vinyl records for DJs. Artists sometimes release the vocal tracks of their popular songs so that fans can remix them. One such example is the a cappella release of Jay-Z
Jay-Z
Shawn Corey Carter , better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having a net worth of over $450 million as of 2010...

's Black Album
The Black Album (Jay-Z album)
The Black Album is the eighth studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released November 14, 2003, on Roc-A-Fella Records. It was promoted as his final studio album, which serves as a recurring theme, although Jay-Z returned to solo recording with Kingdom Come in 2006.The album debuted at number one...

, which Danger Mouse mixed with The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

' White Album to create The Grey Album
The Grey Album
The Grey Album is a mashup album by Danger Mouse, released in 2004. It uses an a cappella version of rapper Jay-Z's The Black Album and couples it with instrumentals created from a multitude of unauthorized samples from The Beatles' LP The Beatles...

.

A cappella's growth is not limited to live performance, with hundreds of recorded a cappella albums produced over the past decade. As of December 2006, the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) had reviewed over 660 a cappella albums since 1994, and its popular discussion forum had over 900 users and 19,000 articles.

A cappella exists in Japan, with groups such as the Gospellers performing. In USA in July 1943, as a result of the American Federation of Musicians
American Federation of Musicians
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada is a labor union of professional musicians in the United States and Canada...

 boycott of US recording studios, the a cappella vocal group The Song Spinners had a best-seller with "Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer". A South-Korean group named Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK) or Tong Vfang Xien Qi (TVXQ) was formed in 2003, and currently holds the world record for the biggest fanclub.

Recording artist Brandy Norwood
Brandy Norwood
Brandy Rayana Norwood , known professionally as Brandy, is an American singer-songwriter, producer, actress, and dancer. In 2009, she introduced her rap alter-ego Bran'Nu....

 included a song on her 2008 album Human titled "A Capella (Something's Missing)". Brandy uses her voice for background music in this song, showing her capabilities of using her voice as an instrument. No instruments are used, except for maybe an electric guitar, though fans are claiming it to be her synthesized voice.

In 2010, American dance recording artist Kelis
Kelis
Kelis Rogers Kelis Rogers Kelis Rogers (born August 21, 1971 is an American musical artist. She is a BRIT Award, Q Award and NME Award winner and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards. She has had nine top 10 singles on the UK Singles Chart...

 released a song called "Acapella"
Acapella (song)
"Acapella" is a song performed by American alternative artist Kelis, taken from her fifth studio album Flesh Tone. The song is a departure from her past singles in that it is a dance/electronica track rather than hip hop/R&B influenced...

 as the first single from her album Flesh Tone
Flesh Tone
Flesh Tone is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Kelis, first released on May 14, 2010. Recorded while the singer was an unsigned artist and while pregnant with her first child, the record is an ode to motherhood and is a distinct departure from the urban sound of her previous...

. The song is not actually performed a cappella, but rather, explains that before her son was born, her life was without music.

In Australia, there is a growing trend bringing people back to singing thanks to TV shows like Glee. As a result, a cappella singing is once again growing, with a handful of internationally acclaimed groups (The Idea Of North, Suade, Coco's Lunch, Akasa), and a growing local scene. In 2010, the Australian a cappella Quartet The Idea of North
The Idea of North
The Idea of North are an Australian a cappella vocal ensemble, founded in Canberra in 1993. The group's name is taken from radio broadcasts of pianist Glenn Gould....

 was nominated for an ARIA
ARIA Music Awards
The Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards is an annual series of awards nights celebrating the Australian music industry, put on by the Australian Recording Industry Association...

 for their seventh studio album, "Feels Like Spring", bringing a cappella music back into pop culture. Like the USA, Australia has an a cappella association (Vocal Australia) who organizes events, education and resources for the vocal music community.

Musical theater


A cappella has been used as the sole orchestration for original works of Musical Theater that have had commercial runs Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway theater is a term for a professional venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, and for a specific production of a play, musical or revue that appears in such a venue, and which adheres to related trade union and other contracts...

 (theaters in New York City with 99 to 500 seats) only three times. The first was Avenue X which opened on January 28, 1994 and ran for 77 performances. It was produced by Playwrights Horizons
Playwrights Horizons
Playwrights Horizons is a not-for-profit Off-Broadway theater located in New York City dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers, and lyricists, and to the production of their new work....

 with book by John Jiler, music and lyrics by Ray Leslee. The musical style of the show's score was primarily Doo-Wop
Doo-wop
The name Doo-wop is given to a style of vocal-based rhythm and blues music that developed in African American communities in the 1940s and achieved mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. It emerged from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and...

 as the plot revolved around Doo-Wop group singers of the 1960s.

In 2001, The Kinsey Sicks
The Kinsey Sicks
The Kinsey Sicks bill themselves as "America's Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet."They perform both original music and lyrics as well as parodies of well-known songs in a cappella. Their work, while extremely comedic, is often highly politically charged...

, produced and starred in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway
Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway theater is a term for a professional venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, and for a specific production of a play, musical or revue that appears in such a venue, and which adheres to related trade union and other contracts...

 hit, "DRAGAPELLA! Starring the Kinsey Sicks" at New York's legendary Studio 54
Studio 54
Studio 54 was a highly popular discotheque from 1977 until 1991, located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York, USA. It was originally the Gallo Opera House, opening in 1927, after which it changed names several times, eventually becoming a CBS radio and television studio. In 1977 it...

. That production received a nomination for a Lucille Lortel
Lucille Lortel
Lucille Lortel was an American actress and theater producer who is remembered as the namesake of an off-Broadway playhouse and theatrical award....

 award as Best Musical and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Lyrics. It was directed by Glenn Casale with original music and lyrics by Ben Schatz.

The third a cappella musical to appear Off-Broadway, In Transit, premiered October 5, 2010 and was produced by Primary Stages with book, music, and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan, and Sara Wordsworth. Set primarily in the New York City subway system its score features an eclectic mix of musical genres (including jazz, hip hop, Latin, rock, and country). In Transit incorporates vocal beat boxing into its contemporary a cappella arrangements through the use of a subway beat boxer character. Beat boxer and actor Chesney Snow performed this role for the 2010 Primary Stages production. According to the show's website, it is scheduled to reopen for an open-ended commercial run in the Fall of 2011. In 2011 the production received four Lucille Lortel Award nominations including Outstanding Musical, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League nominations, as well as five Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Musical and won for Outstanding Ensemble Performance.

No show with a cappella orchestrations has ever run on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

.

Barbershop style



Barbershop music
Barbershop music
Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era , is a style of a cappella, or unaccompanied vocal music characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture...

 is one of the few uniquely American art forms. The earliest reports of this style of a cappella music involved African Americans. The earliest documented quartets all began in barbershops. In 1938, the first formal men's barbershop organization was formed, known as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A), and in 2004 rebranded itself and officially changed its public name to the Barbershop Harmony Society
Barbershop Harmony Society
The Barbershop Harmony Society, legally and historically named the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. , is the first of several organizations to promote and preserve barbershop music as an art form. Founded by Owen C...

 (BHS). Today the BHS has over 30,000 members in 800 chapters across the United States, and the barbershop style has spread around the world with organizations in many other countries. The Barbershop Harmony Society provides a highly organized competition structure for a cappella quartets and choruses singing in the barbershop style.

In 1945, the first formal women's barbershop organization, Sweet Adelines, was formed. In 1953 Sweet Adelines became an international organization, although it didn't change its name to Sweet Adelines International
Sweet Adelines International
Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performances. This independent, nonprofit music education association is one of the world's largest singing organizations for women...

 until 1991. The membership of nearly 25,000 women, all singing in English, includes choruses in most of the fifty United States as well as in Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden, Wales and the Netherlands. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the organization encompasses more than 1,200 registered quartets and 600 choruses.

In 1959, a second women's barbershop organization started as a break off from Sweet Adelines due to ideological differences. Based on democratic principles which continue to this day, Harmony, Inc. is smaller than its counterpart, but has an atmosphere of friendship and competition. With about 2,500 members in the United States and Canada, Harmony, Inc. uses the same rules in contest that the Barbershop Harmony Society uses. Harmony, Inc. is registered in Providence, Rhode Island.

In Europe


A list of European a cappella groups:
  • The Flying Pickets
    The Flying Pickets
    The Flying Pickets are a British a cappella vocal group, who had a Christmas number one hit in 1983 in the UK Singles Chart with their cover of Yazoo's track "Only You".-History:...

     (Great Britain
    Great Britain
    Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

    )
  • Bjelleklang
    Bjelleklang
    Bjelleklang is a Norwegian a cappella vocal group, formed in 1986, who have released several albums. The band performs both song with only a cappella and songs with guitar or other unconventional music instruments like stir pans or pots...

     (Norway
    Norway
    Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

    )
  • Canal'do (Belgium
    Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

    )
  • Klapa Fa Lindjo
    Klapa Fa Lindjo
    Klapa Fa Lindjo is an a cappella female group from Dubrovnik, Croatia. The group was founded in 2000 as a part of The Folklore Ensemble Lindjo. In 2002 they won the Golden Token Award at the Verona Festival of Choral Singing in Italy...

     (Croatia
    Croatia
    Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

    )
  • Klapa Šufit
    Klapa Šufit
    Klapa Šufit is a cultural - artistic association from Split, Croatia.It is a group of male singers who perform klapa music, a cappella multi-part singing, in a special traditional way, typical for Dalmatia, Croatia.- About Klapa Sufit :...

     (Croatia
    Croatia
    Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

    )
  • Rajaton
    Rajaton
    Rajaton is a Finnish a cappella ensemble, founded in Helsinki in 1997. The Finnish word rajaton means "boundless", to indicate the breadth of their repertoire, from sacred classical to near Europop...

     (Finland
    Finland
    Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

    )
  • Bolyki Brothers (Hungary
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

    )
  • Fool Moon
    Fool Moon (band)
    The Hungarian vocal band was formed in the city of Szeged in September 2001 by five young men – each with a strong background in classical and light music....

     (Hungary
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

    )
  • The Real Group
    The Real Group
    The Real Group is a professional a cappella group from Sweden, consisting of five members: Emma Nilsdotter, Katarina Henryson, Anders Edenroth, Morten Vinther Sørensen, and Anders Jalkéus....

     (Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

    )
  • SONO
    SONO
    SONO is a vocal group from Aarhus, Denmark singing rhythmic a cappella music. The group consists of 23 singers ranging in age from 20-35.-History:Founded in 1990 Jim Daus Hjernøe as Can't Help It, the name was changed to SONO in 2007...

     (Denmark
    Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

    )
  • Van Canto
    Van Canto
    Van Canto is an a cappella metal band from Germany, founded in 2006 and composed of five singers and a drummer. Although the group is often classified as an a cappella ensemble, they use real drums in their music, instead of vocal percussion or beatboxing....

     (Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    )
  • Wise Guys
    Wise Guys (band)
    The Wise Guys are a band that began in early 1990 in Cologne, Germany. They are an a cappella group.-History of the Group:Apart from Ferenc Husta and Nils Olfert, the members all attended the Hildegard-von-Bingen-Gymnasium in Cologne from 1981 to 1990. With their schoolmates Clemens Tewinkel and...

     (Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    )
  • Viva Voce (Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    )
  • Maybebop (Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    )
  • Basta (Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    )
  • Rock4 (Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

    )
  • The Polyphonics
    The Polyphonics
    The Polyphonics Barbershop Chorus is a male, a cappella choir specialising in the barbershop style of choral singing. The choir is based in Carrigaline, a satellite town for Cork City and attracts members from Cork City and County....

      (Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    )
  • Close Harmony Friends (Slovakia
    Slovakia
    The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

    )
  • The King's Singers (England)
  • Voces8
    Voces8
    VOCES8 is an international award winning a cappella octet from the United Kingdom. Formed in 2005, Voces8 has a diverse repertoire ranging from early English and European Renaissance choral works, by e.g...

     (England)
  • The Swingle Singers
    The Swingle Singers
    The Swingle Singers are a mostly a cappella vocal group formed in 1962 in Paris, France by Ward Swingle with Anne Germain, Jeanette Baucomont, Jean Cussac and others. Christiane Legrand, the sister of composer Michel Legrand, was the group's lead soprano through 1972. Until 2011 the group...

     (England)
  • Fragile (Slovakia
    Slovakia
    The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

    )
  • Pikkardiyska Tertsiya (Ukraine
    Ukraine
    Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

    )
  • Cosmos (Latvia
    Latvia
    Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

    )
  • Latvian Voices (Latvia
    Latvia
    Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

    )
  • Pow woW (France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    )
  • Montezuma's Revenge (Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

    )
  • Witloof Bay
    Witloof Bay
    - Biography :In 2005 six friends who all shared a love of jazz, pop, a capella and beatbox decided to perform as a group. They took their inspiration from The Real Group, Take 6, The Swingle Singers and The Singers Unlimited. The band sing both in English and French...

     (Belgium
    Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

    )
  • Vozes da Rádio (Portugal
    Portugal
    Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

    )
  • Neri per Caso (Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    )

Collegiate types



It is not clear exactly where collegiate a cappella began. The Rensselyrics of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Stephen Van Rensselaer established the Rensselaer School on November 5, 1824 with a letter to the Rev. Dr. Samuel Blatchford, in which van Rensselaer asked Blatchford to serve as the first president. Within the letter he set down several orders of business. He appointed Amos Eaton as the school's...

 (formerly known as the RPI Glee Club), established in 1873 is perhaps the oldest known collegiate a cappella group. However the longest continuously-singing group is probably The Whiffenpoofs
The Whiffenpoofs
The Yale Whiffenpoofs are the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the United States, established in 1909. Best known for "The Whiffenpoof Song", based on a tune written by Tod Galloway and adapted with lyrics by Meade Minnigerode & George S Pomeroy , the group comprises college...

 of Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, which was formed in 1909 and once included Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Albert Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre...

 as a member. Collegiate a cappella groups grew throughout the 20th century. Some notable historical groups formed along the way include Colgate University
Colgate University
Colgate University is a private liberal arts college in Hamilton, New York, USA. The school was founded in 1819 as a Baptist seminary and later became non-denominational. It is named for the Colgate family who greatly contributed to the university's endowment in the 19th century.Colgate has 52...

's The Colgate 13 (1942), Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

's Aires (1946), Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

's Cayuga's Waiters (1949) and The Hangovers (1968), the Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 Kingsmen (1949), the Jabberwocks of Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

 (1949), and the University of Rochester
University of Rochester
The University of Rochester is a private, nonsectarian, research university in Rochester, New York, United States. The university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral and professional degrees. The university has six schools and various interdisciplinary programs.The...

 YellowJackets (1956). All-women a cappella groups followed shortly, frequently as a parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

 of the men's groups: the Smiffenpoofs
Smiffenpoofs
Formed in 1936 at Smith College, the Smiffenpoofs are the oldest all-female collegiate a cappella group in the nation. The group's founding came shortly after a group of Smithies attended a picnic with students from their brother school, Yale University, in Northampton, MA, where the Yale...

 of Smith College
Smith College
Smith College is a private, independent women's liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters...

 (1936), The Shwiffs of Connecticut College (The She-Whiffenpoofs, 1944), and The Chattertocks of Brown University
The Chattertocks of Brown University
Founded over fifty years ago, The Chattertocks of Brown University, together with the Smiffenpoofs of Smith College, the V8s of Mt. Holyoke College and the Mischords of Middlebury College, is one of the oldest women's college a cappella singing groups in the United States.-History:Nancy Tobin,...

 (1951). A cappella groups exploded in popularity beginning in the 1990s, fueled in part by a change in style popularized by the Tufts University Beelzebubs
Beelzebubs
The Beelzebubs, frequently referred to as "The Bubs", are an all-male a cappella group from Tufts University that performs a mix of pop, rock, R&B, and other types of music while spreading their motto of "Fun through Song." They have toured in Europe, Asia, and North America, and they competed in...

 and the Boston University Dear Abbeys. The new style used voices to emulate modern rock instruments, including vocal percussion
Vocal percussion
Vocal percussion is the art of creating sounds with one's mouth that approximate, imitate, or otherwise serve the same purpose as a percussion instrument, whether in a group of singers, an instrumental ensemble, or solo.-In Western music:...

/"beatboxing
Beatboxing
Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and voice. It may also involve singing, vocal imitation of turntablism, and the simulation of horns, strings, and other musical instruments...

". Some larger universities now have multiple groups. Groups often join one another in on-campus concerts, such as the Georgetown Chimes
The Georgetown Chimes
Founded in 1946, The Georgetown Chimes are Georgetown University's oldest a cappella singing group. They are all male.- History :The Georgetown Chimes are an accident of Yale's and GU's athletic policies from the time of World War II. Yale senior and back-up quarterback Francis E...

' Cherry Tree Massacre, a 3-weekend a cappella festival held each February since 1975, where over a hundred collegiate groups have appeared, as well as International Quartet Champions The Boston Common
Boston Common (quartet)
Boston Common is the Barbershop quartet that won the 1980 SPEBSQSA international competition at Salt Lake City, Utah.Formed in 1971, they took their name from Boston Common, a well known park. Competing throughout the seventies, they were more popular with audiences than judges. After they...

 and the contemporary commercial a cappella group Rockapella
Rockapella
Rockapella is an American a cappella musical group formed in 1986 in New York City. Their name is derived from the words "rock" and "a cappella". They sing original vocal music and a cappella covers of pop and rock songs; over time, their sound has evolved from high-energy pop and world music...

. Co-ed groups have produced many up-and-coming and major artists, including John Legend
John Legend
John Roger Stephens , better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American singer, musician, and actor. He is the recipient of nine Grammy Awards, and in 2007, he received the special Starlight award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.Prior to the release of his debut album, Stephens' career...

, an alumnus of the Counterparts at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

, and Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles
Sara Beth Bareilles is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the hit single "Love Song", which brought her into the number one spot on the Billboard Pop 100 chart. She has sold over 1 million records in the United States alone and has been...

, an alumna of Awaken A Cappella at University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

. Mira Sorvino
Mira Sorvino
Mira Katherine Sorvino is an American actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Mighty Aphrodite and is also known for her role as Romy White in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.- Early life :Sorvino was born in Tenafly, New Jersey...

 is an alumna of the Veritones of Harvard College
Harvard College
Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of two schools within Harvard University granting undergraduate degrees...

 where she had the solo on Only You
Only You (Yazoo song)
-Track listing:7": Mute/7 MUTE 20 # "Only You" - 3:10# "Situation" - 3:447": Sire/9 2-98447 # "Only You" - 3:10# "Winter Kills" - 4:0112": Mute/12 MUTE 20 # "Only You" - 3:10# "Situation" - 5:20CD: Mute/CD MUTE 20...

 by Yaz
Yazoo (band)
Yazoo are a British synthpop duo from Basildon, Essex. They had a number of Top 10 hits in the UK charts in the early 1980s...

.
A cappella is gaining popularity among South Asians with the emergence of primarily Hindi-English College groups. The first South Asian a cappella group was Penn Masala
Penn Masala
Penn Masala is the world's first and premier Hindi a cappella group, formed in 1996 by students at the University of Pennsylvania. Penn Masala’s music has been influenced by the Eastern and Western cultures that represent the group’s membership...

, founded in 1996 at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

. Other groups include: Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

's Brown Sugar
Brown sugar
Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white...

, Chai-Town
Chai-Town
Chai-Town is an all male South Asian a cappella group based in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Chai-Town specializes in mixing Indian and American songs and they are especially famous for their Antics on stage.- History :...

 from the University of Illinois, Raagapella from Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, and Andaaz from University of California, Irvine
University of California, Irvine
The University of California, Irvine , founded in 1965, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, located in Irvine, California, USA...

. Co-ed South Asian a cappella groups are also gaining popularity like Dil Se
Berkeley Dil Se
Dil Se is a coed South Asian a cappella group based in the University of California, Berkeley. It ranks as one of the top South Asian a cappella group in the nation after placing first at Anahat 2008 and Gathe Raho 2009...

 from UC Berkeley, which hosts the "Anahat" competition at the University of California, Berkeley annually, and also UW Awaaz from the University of Washington
University of Washington
University of Washington is a public research university, founded in 1861 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The UW is the largest university in the Northwest and the oldest public university on the West Coast. The university has three campuses, with its largest campus in the University...

.

Jewish-interest groups such as the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

's Shircago and Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

's Magevet are also gaining popularity across the U.S.
Increased interest in modern a cappella (particularly collegiate a cappella) can be seen in the growth of awards such as the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (overseen by the Contemporary A Cappella Society
Contemporary A Cappella Society
The Contemporary A Cappella Society , or CASA, is a 501 charitable organization dedicated to fostering and promoting a cappella music of all styles around the world. CASA was cofounded in 1991 by Deke Sharon by incorporating the first a cappella directory, The List, founded in 1988 & distributed...

) and competitions such as the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella
International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella
The International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, originally the National Championship of Collegiate A Cappella , is an international competition that attracts hundreds of college a cappella groups each year...

 for college groups and the Harmony Sweepstakes for all groups. In December 2009, a new television competition series called The Sing-Off
The Sing-Off
The Sing-Off is an American television singing competition featuring a cappella groups. It premiered on NBC on December 14, 2009, and is produced by Sony Pictures Television....

aired on NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

. The show featured eight a cappella groups from the United States and Puerto Rico vying for the prize of $100,000 and a recording contract with Epic Records
Epic Records
Epic Records is an American record label, owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Though it was originally conceived as a jazz imprint, it has since expanded to represent various genres. L.A...

/Sony Music. The show was judged by Ben Folds
Ben Folds
Benjamin Scott "Ben" Folds is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and television personality. From 1995-2000, Folds was the frontman and pianist of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five. Since the group disbanded, Folds has performed as a solo artist and has toured all over the world...

, Shawn Stockman
Shawn Stockman
Shawn Patrick Stockman is an American R&B singer, best known as a member of the vocal group Boyz II Men. He is also a judge on the television show The Sing-Off, alongside Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds....

, and Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente Scherzinger is an American singer-songwriter, dancer, record producer, model, and actress. Scherzinger is perhaps best known for being the lead vocalist of the Pussycat Dolls....

 and was won by an all-male group from Puerto Rico called Nota
Nota (group)
Nota is an a cappella group of six male vocalists from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The group met in 1994 and started singing together occasionally. The group won the first season of the musical competition The Sing-Off.-Biography:...

.

Another successful a cappella group is Straight No Chaser (SNC), which is actually two separate but related groups, one of which is an cappella, collegiate group from Indiana University in the USA. The other SNC group consists of 10 former members of the IU's SNC who reunited 10 years after their college years.

Emulating instruments


In addition to singing words, some a cappella singers also emulate instrumentation by reproducing the melody with their vocal cords. One of the earliest 20th century practitioners of this method was The Mills Brothers whose early recordings of the 1930s clearly stated on the label that all instrumentation was done vocally. More recently, "Twilight Zone" by 2 Unlimited
2 Unlimited
2 Unlimited is a Dutch Eurodance/Hi-NRG act formed in 1991. The project was the brainchild of Belgian producers Jean-Paul DeCoster and Phil Wilde, and was fronted by a Dutch duo, rapper Ray Slijngaard and singer Anita Doth. During five years of enormous worldwide popularity, the act scored 16 chart...

 was sung a cappella to the instrumentation on the comedy television series Tompkins Square. Another famous example of emulating instrumentation instead of singing the words is the theme song for The New Addams Family
The New Addams Family
The New Addams Family is an American/Canadian sitcom that aired from October 1998 to August 1999 and aired on YTV in Canada and Fox Family in the United States. It was produced by Shavick Entertainment and Saban Entertainment as a new version of the 1960s series The Addams Family.-Synopsis:The new...

series on Fox Family Channel (now ABC Family
ABC Family
ABC Family, stylized as abc family, is an American television network, owned by ABC Family Worldwide Inc., a subsidiary of the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company...

). Groups such as Vocal Sampling
Vocal Sampling
Vocal Sampling is an all-male a cappella musical group from Cuba. They are distinctive for their rich a cappella adaptations of traditional Cuban salsa music, son, and Rumba, such as their renditions of "El Cuarto de Tula" and "La Negra Tomasa", vocally imitating the piano, cowbell, conga, bass,...

 and Undivided emulate Latin rhythms a cappella. In the 1960s, the Swingle Singers used their voices to emulate musical instruments to Baroque and Classical music. Vocal artist Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin
Robert "Bobby" McFerrin, Jr. is an American vocalist and conductor. He is best known for his 1988 hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". He is a ten-time Grammy Award winner.-Life:...

 is famous for his instrumental emulation.

The Swingle Singers used nonsense words to sound like instruments, but have been known to produce non-verbal versions of musical instruments. Like the other groups, examples of their music can be found on YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

. Beatboxing
Beatboxing
Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and voice. It may also involve singing, vocal imitation of turntablism, and the simulation of horns, strings, and other musical instruments...

 is a form of a cappella music popular in the hip-hop community, where rap
Rapping
Rapping refers to "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics". The art form can be broken down into different components, as in the book How to Rap where it is separated into “content”, “flow” , and “delivery”...

 is often performed a cappella also. Petra Haden
Petra Haden
Petra Haden is an American violinist and singer. She is or has been a member of several bands, including That Dog, Tito & Tarantula, and The Decemberists; has contributed to recordings by The Twilight Singers, Beck, Mike Watt, Luscious Jackson, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Queens of the Stone Age,...

 used a four-track recorder to produce an a cappella version of The Who Sell Out
The Who Sell Out
-Track listing:All songs written by Pete Townshend except where noted. The between song jingles apparently have no official titles and are not listed anywhere on the original album packaging, though they are listed in the inner booklet of the 1995 remaster.Side one...

including the instruments and fake advertisements on her album Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out
Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out
Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out is an album by Petra Haden, an entirely a cappella interpretation of The Who's classic album The Who Sell Out. Haden supplies all of the vocals. Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out was released in 2005 on Bar None Records...

in 2005. Haden has also released a cappella versions of Journey
Journey (band)
Journey is an American rock band formed in 1973 in San Francisco by former members of Santana. The band has gone through several phases; its strongest commercial success occurred between the 1978 and 1987, after which it temporarily disbanded...

's "Don't Stop Believin'
Don't Stop Believin'
"Don't Stop Believin is a popular song by the American rock band Journey, originally released as a single from their 1981 album Escape, which became a #9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 on its original release. It re-entered the UK Singles Chart in 2009 as a result of increased prominence of digital...

", The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962...

' "God Only Knows
God Only Knows
"God Only Knows" is a song by American rock band The Beach Boys. It is the eighth track on the group's 11th studio album, Pet Sounds , and one of their most widely recognized songs. "God Only Knows" was composed and produced by Brian Wilson with lyrics by Tony Asher and lead vocal by Carl...

" and Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

's "Thriller
Thriller (song)
"Thriller" is a song recorded by American recording artist Michael Jackson, composed by Rod Temperton, and produced by Quincy Jones. It is the seventh and final single from his sixth studio album Thriller. It was released on January 23, 1984 by Epic Records...

". In 2009, Toyota commissioned Haden to perform three songs for television commercials for the third-generation Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is a full hybrid electric mid-size hatchback, formerly a compact sedan developed and manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corporation...

, including an a cappella version of the Bellamy Brothers
Bellamy Brothers
The Bellamy Brothers are an American pop and country music duo brothers David Milton Bellamy and Homer Howard Bellamy , from Darby, Florida, United States...

 1970s song "Let Your Love Flow
Let Your Love Flow
"Let Your Love Flow" is the title of a pop song written by Larry E. Williams, a former roadie for Neil Diamond, and made popular by the American country music duo The Bellamy Brothers. It was offered to Neil Diamond first, but he turned it down...

".

Christian rock group Relient K
Relient K
Relient K is an American rock band formed in 1998 in Canton, Ohio by Matt Thiessen, Brian Pittman, and Matt Hoopes during the band's junior year in high school and their time at Malone University...

 recorded the song "Plead the Fifth" a cappella on its album Five Score and Seven Years Ago
Five Score and Seven Years Ago
Five Score and Seven Years Ago is the fifth full-length album by the Christian rock band Relient K. It was released on March 6, 2007, and is the first full-length album by the band to feature bassist John Warne and guitarist Jon Schneck. It is also the first Relient K album released without...

. The group recorded lead singer Matt Thiessen
Matt Thiessen
Matthew Arnold Thiessen is a Canadian-American musician, known for being co-founder, lead singer, guitarist, pianist, and primary songwriter for the Christian rock band Relient K. With Relient K, he has released six full-length albums, including three that were certified Gold, and three that...

 making drum noises and played them with electronic drums to make the song.

The German metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 band van Canto
Van Canto
Van Canto is an a cappella metal band from Germany, founded in 2006 and composed of five singers and a drummer. Although the group is often classified as an a cappella ensemble, they use real drums in their music, instead of vocal percussion or beatboxing....

 uses vocal noises to imitate guitars on covers of well-known rock and metal songs (such as "Master of Puppets
Master of Puppets (song)
"Master of Puppets" is a song by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It is the title track and was released as the first single from their album of the same name....

" by Metallica
Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...

) as well as original compositions. Although they are generally classified as a cappella metal, the band also includes a drummer, and use amplifiers on some songs to distort the voice to sound more like a real guitar.

See also

  • Barbershop music
    Barbershop music
    Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era , is a style of a cappella, or unaccompanied vocal music characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture...

     – four-part a cappella (in close harmony)
  • Collegiate a cappella
    Collegiate a cappella
    Collegiate a cappella ensembles are student-run and -directed singing groups that perform entirely without instruments. Such groups can be found at many colleges and universities in the United States, and increasingly worldwide....

  • List of collegiate a cappella groups
  • List of collegiate a cappella groups in the UK
  • List of professional a cappella groups
  • Sweet Adelines International
    Sweet Adelines International
    Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performances. This independent, nonprofit music education association is one of the world's largest singing organizations for women...


External links