Sunday, February 24, 2013

Listening person

Do you hear a cappella usually? I think that there are few people who are hearing it. I want you to enjoy and hear a cappella. Please hear it, when free.

A cappella group and a vocal group

 As for a cappella group and a vocal group, the maximum charm is harmony. However, where is different?
 An a cappella group is faithful to "no playing and the many voice" which are the original meanings of a cappella. People also sing a bass and percussion. It seems that charge seldom moves in many cases. Since people have sung all, a cappella gives the impression about people's possibility. When it is heard for the first time, even if it hears it how many times, of course, you feel so.
 Although the vocal group harmonizes carefully, generally there is no part called percussion. Accompaniment is attached to it. A bass is not fixation. The charge itself may interchange by music. Since accompaniment sticks in many cases, you can enjoy the tone and melody line of a musical instrument. Conversely, since there is accompaniment usually, when a part of music is sung a cappella, there is impact considerably. It is because the portion of a cappella is conspicuous. It is recommended at those who want to hear the melody of harmony and accompaniment.

From now on, I will introduce the a cappella group which you enjoy and can be heard. It is a group which can be heard while riding on a rhythm rather than leaning and hearing an ear firmly.


They formed the group in the circle of Saitama University from the first. It seems that they became the six present men through the member change several times. The Japanese variety program of "Chikaranokagiri gogogo" of 2001 is the cause to which they became famous suddenly. The present member's Masayoshi Okumura played together as one person of a different group. Those days, the young man who begins a cappella increased rapidly under the influence of a program. Since Okumura specializing in percussion became famous in them first, the image of percussion may be strong. It is acknowledged to the extent that it will suspect whether to be a real percussion instrument, if the first person to hear it does not actually look at a stage. Incidentally Okumura is from University of Tsukuba. He is a senior of the circle in which I belong.
Furthermore, since all six persons are making music, as for their album, their individuality is overflowing. You can enjoy the music of various tastes.

 And their merit is piece with a catchy rhythm after all. If the music to which the body shakes at quick tempo is made to sing, there is no one better in the song than them. A cappella is pleasant! Also in everybody, the coming! And they are always sending the message. They are everybody and are the groups which are invited in order to share this pleasant space rather than make harmony hear it gently.

 I have spoken about a cappella over ten weeks. How was this blog? It is best to hear it for getting to know the merit of a cappella. First of all, please hear it. And please find your favorite.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


 A cappella has an image sung in parks. But equipment is required in a live house. A cappella becomes beautiful by work of sound and lighting. Then, I introduce sound and lighting this time.


Is sound equipment necessity at a cappella?

 For a cappella, sound equipment is not necessarily required. However, it is a saved existence for a base or voice percussion. Since a microphone and the mouth are near, many low-pitched sounds is contained in the sound obtained with a microphone. This is called the approach effect and it is a troublesome existence usually. Microphones for vocals are having some approach effects taken into consideration.
While the voice which you actually uttered reaches your ear, bass has already declined considerably. Low-pitched sound is hard to transmit air. Therefore, to the part who wants to make low-pitched sound, I think that they are powerful arms.
Equipment will give a big effect to a musical performance, because an instrument is not used.

What is required?


 Needless to say, it is required by the number. The kind of microphone may be divided on voice percussion and a base.


 Probably, you understand since this is also heard. This diffuses the sound included in a microphone.

 It prepares sound, it is equipment taken out collectively. It prepares each volume, sound quality, a feeling of a stereo, etc.

 It is amplification apparatus for amplifying the sound summarized by the mixer etc. and taking out from a speaker. Put simply, there is a knob which carries out volume adjustment in an ordinary speaker. It is itself. The size of amplifier also changes with sizes of the speaker to be used.

 It is apparatus which attaches an echo artificially. It extends a short sound. It is like the echo of karaoke. Put simply, reverb is such.

 It is not necessarily required. If there is it, it is convenient. An effector is used tying between a mixer and amplifier.
 Do you have a disagreeable experience in which the sound "Peeeeeee" sounds from a speaker? It is called howling. When sound travels between a microphone and speakers repeatedly, the phenomenon happens. An effector is suppressing the phenomenon and improves the whole sound quality.


Is lighting required for a cappella?

 A cappella is materialized even if there it. However, lighting attaches a flower to a cappella.

 There is much lighting equipment in a live house like a photograph. Various kinds of lights are attached near the ceiling.

 This is a lighting table for operating many upper lights. This table can be called heart of lighting.

An engineering work is smart!

Sound and lighting are a band member's members.

 Lighting illuminates Wright so that a member may shine, and Sound works so that sound may melt together. Although it is work of a shadow, in order to make the live pleasant, they are working hard. How about taking notice of sound and lighting, when seeing the live? I think that you get the view different from former. Let's also praise work of a shadow.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Vocal exercises

I talk about the practice methods of a cappella today.  
  • I should think that I can sing a song well at a karaoke! 
  • It is disagreeable to be called a tone-deaf person ;-(
Anyhow, this is recommended at those who come to be able to be to sing a song well.

Before singing

Be in good health.
 Cold is an enemy of a song. There are some persons it becomes impossible to keep his sounds. Moreover, voice gets husky, or it becomes difficult to come out of high sounds.

A drink is prepared.
 Please drink briskly. I drink 500ml or more 2h.

It is necessary to make the whole body soft. It is especially a face.
Let's move a mouth and eyes. You cannot utter good voice with the body being hard. An ideal is it being unconscious and singing. It is good in uttering, while moving the body at the time of utterance.

Abdominal breathing
Let's be made to do from usually. If you sing using a throat, you will be tired, and also not much good voice does not come out of you.

*** What is abdominal breathing? ***
 As the name suggests, it is carrying out a breath in the belly. I teach you the method of practice. Let's sit on a chair first. You fold your fingers to an elbow of both hands. Your palm carries out in the direction which is visible to you then. You grasp a hand. Please bring it close to your breast. You push down with the upper half of the body near at hand until your floor can be seen. And please breathe. Then, let's have consciousness in the back, exactly hit of the kidney. If it does so, you should understand the feeling that the breath goes into the back. Let's breathe using a metronome in the state as it is. Tempo is set to 60. Probably, the furniture of the speed of breathing once by 16 beats will be good. You rise gradually. And in the state where it sat down ordinarily, if you have the feeling containing a breath in the back, you will be a success.
 Those who cannot do it need to breathe repeatedly, pushing down the upper half of the body. Next, the same thing is stood.
If it can do in the state where it stood normally, you will already be an expert of abdominal breathing. When singing, let's be made to make this abdominal breathing unconscious.

Vocal exercises are performed after being based on this.

 A metronome and a keyboard are certainly required. Be careful for a song not to become like a chorus at the time of vocal exercises. Since a chorus is a chorus, that voice is good. If you do a cappella, you need to be conscious of an ordinary band.

Please refer to this animation about vocal exercises.

It is important not to take out loud voice with vocal exercises. You sing with whispering in first small voice, and it is good to enlarge voice gradually.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I speak about gospel today. Gospel is also the same church music as a cappella.

The African taken to the U.S. continent as slaves was entirely deprived of their original language, religion, etc. Some people of them met with the gospel which gives help under the painful situation. They came to offer their original praise to God through the reformation to individual Christianity. In this way, music and poetic sensitivities, such as the Europe hymn, united with the tradition etc. of the rhythm peculiar to Africa which jumps, and the oral tradition. The music used as the keynote of present gospel called negro spiritual was produced. Becoming behind, the musicality is connected with various genres, such as jazz and a lock, and is still continuing evolving.
There are a church which uses this even in a Christian church, and a church which is not used. Especially, even a band participates in worship for a boy and it is used briskly. It has recognized officially in order to gain a young believer even in the Catholic Church.
In addition, there are black gospel which began to be performed from 1930 at a black church, and white gospel which south white Christian artist had sung. As for black gospel and white gospel, in both, a Methodism hymn serves as the origin. Since each church of a black person and a white had dissociated completely, both musicality is also a considerably different thing.


 The gospel artist was affected to the rhythm and blues which were U.S.'s pop music. They were not able to buy a musical instrument. Music was influenced by the situation of such a black church. And the gospel of the form of a cappella spread. In addition, many a cappella gospel to Japan was imported by a cappella boom of Japan around 1990. Gospel already became old in the United States. In Japan, many cases where gospel and a cappella are still mixed up are seen. The musician of the gospel graduate made it develop behind, digesting gospel and R&B, and it made the new genre called soul music. In this way, gospel changed from so-called sacred to the thing of world. The flow of this gospel incurred an antipathy of the church not a little.


Praise Song

 It is a section placed mainly on the beginning of worship. About 1-3 music is sung by all persons that gathered. In an early beat or a lively motion beat, it is sung with a handclap in many cases. It bears the function which heaps up the start of worship gaily.

Famous music…This Is The Day, Oh Magnify The Lord, Glory Glory, I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me…

Worship Song

 This is a section set immediately after Praise. People become more introvert. People sing at this time, extending a hand to each one, praying with its hands joined so that it may pray, closing eyes, or looking up at heavens. It is a calm music tone and a simple phrase is repeated in many cases. God is treated by the second person, such as You and Lord, in many cases.

Traditional representation music…Thank You Lord, Halleluja…

Offering song

 It is sung to the intermediate part of worship. It asks people for the contribution to a church. A music tone has many lively motion things.

Monday, January 28, 2013

In Japan

Tatsuro Yamashita
The forerunner of a cappella boom in Japan is Tatsurou Yamashita. He released on the street corner of an album in 1980. He wrote the words and music of the Christmas Eve which certainly flows in a town when Christmas came. A cappella of on The Street corner which he also sang by alone gave a shock to the concept of a chorus. I didn't know that Tatsurou Yamashita had sung a cappella until I wrote this blog.

The Gospellers
After The Gospellers was in fashion, a cappella became famous. Before The Gospellers came out, there was a group which had taken in a cappella. It is the ballade released in 2000, eternal(永遠に), the long hit was continued over 43 weeks. Thus, they became a pioneer of a cappella boom. Next, the one person(ひとり) which is that of the 2001 release has finished the inspiring feat included in the best 3. This record becomes the first in Japan as an a cappella work. In this way, a cappella came to be heard at people. There are also many cappella groups which imitate and sing The Gospellers.

 Since it was the same exactly, Hamonepu became extremely popular by the variety program of Fuji Television. Hamonepu of the title has omitted harmony and Neptune of chairman.  It is a program which amateur's students sing a cappella. A cappella group called RAG FAIR became famous in this program. Okkun who is a member of RAG FAIR is from University of Tsukuba. There is a cappella circle called Doo-Wop in University of Tsukuba. He belonged to Doo-Wop. Incidentally, I am also a member of this circle.
 Those who want to regard it as mist by themselves increased in number. Many people yearned after the world of their harmony.
 The students who have shared the painfulness of the same time and practice, therefore great a cappella can be played. How about singing or listening a cappella ?

 Many universities have cappella circles. There is also exchange between universities. If the live is held together, we can send the heart.
 The a cappella practiced over many hours is impressive. Let's move the body together, snap your fingers and listen to a cappella.

What’s JAM?
 Japan A cappella Movement is loved by the nickname of "JAM". It is the greatest a cappella street event in Japan. After being planned focusing on the volunteers of college student society in 1999, it is performed every year. More than 2000 visitors come every year. In JAM, the application of a cappella band is received from the whole country regardless of the genre. The band which won straight victories in two examinations, sound source and actual examinations performs the live. JAM is working with the idea of telling many people charms called the pleasure and wonderfulness of a cappella. The band of 12 which passed two examinations sang on the day. In the 12 bands, two were a band of Doo-Wop. It is great!

Monday, January 21, 2013

In Europe

In Europe

The origin of a cappella is the church music in Europe. In order to know the background that a cappella was produced, let's see the history of the music in Europe.

History of the music in Europe

Western music before a Gregorian chant
 It seems that the chorus and the performance of a musical instrument were performed in B.C. as the dramatic music in ancient Greece. Although, as for the musical instrument, the stringed instrument and the whistle seemed to be in the mainstream, the musical actual condition is unknown.
 It is thought that the original hymn was produced being subject to the influence of the music of a spot as Christianity spreads in the area in the Mediterranean.

Gregorian chant
  The Roman Catholic acknowledges the "head temple" of Christianity. Since the style of the religious rite was diversified in various places, they defined the unified style. They tried to centralize authority on Rome.
 The hymn also became the object. It is an established theory that the time is a pope Gregory(590-604) neighborhood about.
The name of the Gregorian chant was attached to the hymn institutionalized in Rome. However, the present established theory is negative.
 Western music develops based on this Gregorian chant. The feature of a Gregorian chant is the following two.
1)    All the members sing a single melody. This melody is called monophony.
2)    Although the score devised later has prescribed the height of sound, there is no concept of the length of sound. All the sound is sung by the same length.

Gothic music
 If monotonous, people will get bored even if it is sacred music. The motion which is going to add another melody appears from the end of the 9th century to the middle of the 10th century. This is birth of polyphony. Polyphony means that there are many melodies.
 At first, submelody carried out only the fixed motion. It came to move freely gradually.
 French polyphony became famous in the 14th century. This is called chanson.

Renaissance music
 Originally the Renaissance is a term which means reproduction and revival in French. It generated as ancient art revival movement in Italy in the 14th century, and spread through all Europe.
 However, the "ancient times" which should be made an example in music was not left behind in the form of a score etc. When music was the former, it belonged to the church and was composed for God. People came to evaluate the sacred music as art. This is the change which took place to the Renaissance.
 As a result, the polyphony which began at medieval times progressed. Moreover, the work also became to what was able to take the balance very much.

Thus, the method of producing harmony using the voice from which sound is different was produced. If a score is also before a Gregorian chant, we can know more things. There was history of music wonderful probably. I would like to know.

In the United States

Contemporary a cappella was produced in the United States.
 Peter Christian Lutkin is the musicology division manager of Northwestern University. From now on, let's follow the flow of the history of the music in the United States.

History of the music in the United States

Many Europeans immigrated to the U.S. continent after discovery of the new continent by them. Settlers built ancestral original culture, eliminating native culture. Naturally in the culture, music is also contained.

<A colony and the emancipation of slaves>

In South America, racial reconciliation took place so that it might be called a racial crucible. On the contrary, in North America, immigration are not mixed, though affected mutually. They inherited ancestral culture and have continued till the present age. The situation is described as a racial salad bowl or a racial mosaic.
Now, many races have emigrated to the United States of America from Europe. There were most Anglo-Saxon's people. They have crossed from Britain. Therefore, North America including Canada is compared with Latin America in South America, and is called Anglo-America.
People of the Anglo-Saxon who moved to the United States sang and inherited the ballade liked and sung in the homeland. This continues till the beginning of the 20th century.
Church music was also carried in from Europe.
Moreover, there are people who contributed to development of U.S. music rather than Anglo-Saxon. They were people compulsorily taken as a slave from African every place. In their culture in an African continent, music had permeated all the fields of the life. It was an indispensable thing in order to maintain a community. There is a talking drum as the direct example. They had conveyed the intention using the sound of a drum.
Euro American and others feared that slaves banded together. They forbade the song, the dance, and the drum that becomes a tool of communication especially. However, those who consider that they should make a community form under Christianity soon, and it should make Euro American society contribute begin to appear. In this way, Christianity permeates into an African-American.

<From the emancipation of slaves>
In 1862, Emancipation Proclamation was made by Union Army President Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War. As a result, African-American people became the independent free American. A spiritual song will not be sung as a song of the past of its slave days after release. Instead, the gospel which dances and praises God came to be sung.
However, release meant simultaneously that it had to live alone. The African-American was separated from the slave's community. They were pressed to be faced with society. They will be faced with a new formidable enemy called racial discrimination there. And they do not have a community where it should already return. While there were such insecurity, dissatisfaction or fear, and anger, the blues were produced in the Mississippi delta in the southern part.
Northern people noticed spiritual music existence after the emancipation of slaves. They come to introduce this positively. As a result, the Europe system American comes to perform a cappella as one of the choruses.

Barbershop style

Barbershop music is an original culture in the United States. I wrote this in the first week. In order to delight visitor, since staffs of the barber sang, this style was produced. In 1938, the first formal men’s barbershop organization was formed. It is known as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA). SPEBSQSA was renamed to BHS in 2004. BHS has 30,000 or more members in the United States. The barbershop style spread all over the world. This is not famous in Japan.
In 1945, the first formal woman’s barbershop organization, Sweet Adelines, was formed. This is birth of female a cappella. In 1953, Sweet Adelines became an international organization. A total of about the 25,000 is in about 50 countries. He founded the a cappella chorus of the northwestern in 1906. It helped the spread of American a cappella music.