Well, Tom, I am an audience member when I listen to a quartet or chorus
sing. I am pleased by performances of simple and complex arrangements,
which means that at least one person in the world fits into all three
groups (since I fall under the third group, by default I'm in the first two
groups). I personally know at least 15 people that I can think of right
now who also fit into all three groups. If pressed, I know that I could
think of at least that many more.
On top of my own personal group of acquaintances, I have read the posts on
the Harmonet, including the archives all the way back to 1997, and I have
seen that there is an even greater number of people who fit into all three
groups on this forum. Although I admit that I am making a generalization
here, I think it's safe to assume that there are others who feel the same
Having attended a number of international conventions (1996-1997,
2000-2002, and 2004), I have witnessed a number of performances of both
simple and complex arrangements. In 1996, I remember seeing Nightlife
perform Beautiful Dreamer and Basin Street Blues in the same set. Although
both arrangements present challenges, no one can argue that David Wright's
arrangement of Beautiful Dreamer is complex. On the other hand, Basin
Street Blues is very complex. The audience (and the judges) received both
songs well. I know this because I experienced the reaction of the
audience, and I saw the judges' scores.
In 2002 I competed in the quarterfinals in Portland. My quartet did not
sing very well (we ended up in 39th place), and our performance of two
middle of the road arrangements (not totally simple, but not overly
complex) were received with only mild applause. We got what we earned.
Had we performed better, I am confident that the audience would have
reacted more favorably. Later in the week, Four Voices sang Lazy Bones (a
song and arrangement that generated a lot of buzz during and after the
convention). This was, perhaps, the most complex arrangement I had ever
heard at contest. And yet, a large portion of the audience reacted with
great enthusiasm. Some did not, and even went on to voice their
displeasure with the song on this forum.
On the other hand, I've met and exchanged emails with a number of people
who feel like the best barbershop music is simple, without all of the
"bells and whistles" of fancy ("engineered") arrangements. I've also seen
a number of posts on the Harmonet sharing these same kind of sentiments.
Tom, I hope that I have provided enough evidence to support my claims. If
not, feel free to let me know, and I'll see what I can do. ;-)
Hilltop MN chapter
> [Original Message]
> From: <PolecatBass@...>
> To: <dbaldrich1@...>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: 3/30/2005 7:24:28 PM
> Subject: Re: [bbshop] Re: Preservation with change
> David Bailey-Aldrich wrote, among other things:
> > ... some audience members are pleased by ...
> >simple arrangements ... some audience members are
> >pleased by ... complex arrangements. Some audience members
> >are pleased by both types of arrangements.
> David, how do you know these things?
> Tom Pearce
> Arlington, Texas