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Voice Parts

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Here are some considerations in choosing a voice part in barbershop harmony:

Tenor – Tenor is the highest voice part.  A tenor should have a light, pure tone that will complement but not overpower the lead.

Lead – Lead is a mid-range voice part.  Since the lead usually sings the melody, a lead should sing with authority, clarity, and a consistent quality throughout her/his range.  Leads also sing with color and warmth since they are responsible for conveying the interpretation and emotion of a song.

Baritone – Baritones cover approximately the same range as lead, with the baritone harmony crossing above and below the lead notes.  Baritones are flexible and must be very accurate.

Bass – Bass is the foundation of barbershop harmony.   Bass singers should have a rich, resonant voice and be able to sing with as much authority as the lead.

For Young Women:

Tenor:       F above Middle C -> G above the staff

Lead:       Middle C -> E an octave above

Baritone:  B flat below Middle C -> C an octave above

Bass:         F below Middle C -> G above middle C

For Young Men:

Tenor:        Middle C -> D an octave above

Lead:        E below middle C -> G above middle C

Baritone:   D below middle C -> F above middle C

Bass:        A an octave and half below middle C -> D below middle C

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