KEY POINTS

  • Barbershop Quartet Day was first celebrated in Oklahoma on April 11, 1938
  • Barbershop quartet is sung by a group of four singers, either all-male or all-female
  • Barbershop music is deeply rooted in African-American history

National Barbershop Quartet Day is celebrated annually on April 11 to commemorate the birth of the organized barbershop movement started by the 'Barbershop Harmony Society.'

A barbershop quartet is a type of music sung in the barbershop genre by a group of four singers, either all-male or all-female. The music uses a four-part harmony and is characterized by a cappella singing.

Barbershop music is deeply rooted in African-American history. It was popularized back in the 1880s when Barbershops were places of social interaction and public discourse. People used to harmonize and sing together for entertainment while waiting for their turn to get a haircut.

National Barbershop Quartet Day was first officially celebrated in Oklahoma on April 11, 1938, with the intention of reviving the genre of music. The day was founded by 'Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing' which is now known as the 'Barbershop Harmony Society.'

Here are some quotes to celebrate barbershop music on this special day:

1. "I'll tell you what I would do in a shot if I could. I would sing in the barbershop quartet in The Music Man." - Ned Beatty

2. "There is no bad day that can’t be overcome by listening to a barbershop quartet. This is just truth, plain and simple." - Aldous Huxley

3. "There are no more barbershop quartets wearing boaters, even though I still like them. Life goes on." - Tina Weymouth

4. "Every small town has its dramatic group, its barber-shop quartet, every home has music in one form or another." - Kate Smith

5. "My grandfather was in a barbershop quartet and my grandmother was in a gospel quartet with her sisters." - Kevin Richardson

6. "My family was very encouraging, and both of my grandparents were both beautiful singers. My grandmother was a coloratura soprano, and my grandfather was an Irish tenor in a barbershop quartet." - Clare Bowen

7. "My mom was a folk singer and Celtic harpist. My dad was in a barbershop quartet and my great grandma was an opera singer. As I grew up, I discovered pop music and Top 40 radio, but it was in the '90s, so music was very different then - it was really lyrical." -  Skylar Grey

8. "When you think about choir music, that's a cappella. You have church choir that you would sing without any instrument. I think the popular form that we have now is barbershop in the 20th century, and the collegiate movement." - Kevin Olusola 

The UK Music umbrella group representing the industry said 3.9 million people attended festivals in Britain in 2016 The UK Music umbrella group representing the industry said 3.9 million people attended festivals in Britain in 2016 Photo: AFP / Oli SCARFF