Faq - a Cappella

FAQ - A Cappella

1) What is a cappella?
A cappella refers to singing without the accompaniment of musical instruments. It is typically performed in a group, where the vocals consist of different parts to form a harmony.

2) How many people typically make up an a cappella group?
The number generally ranges from 4 to 12 people. Larger groups do exist; however they are better known as choirs, since each distinct part is usually sung by more than one person. This differs from an a cappella group, where each distinct vocal part is typically sung by one person.

3) What are the vocal parts in an a cappella group?
The group usually consists of (in the order of highest to lowest singing pitches)
a soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass. The first three parts are typically sung by female vocals, while the other three parts are undertaken by male vocals.

4) Is a cappella a genre?
A cappella is better considered a manner of singing rather than a music genre by itself. Though it requires vocal performance without musical instruments, it does not dictate the style or form of the musical performance. In addition, a cappella can be performed in a wide range of existing music genres, such as pop, R&B, jazz and gospel.

5) Does a cappella only consists of vocal harmonies?
No, it may also include vocal percussion (better known as beatboxing). This refers to emulating percussion sounds using one’s vocals, often producing an effect similar to accompaniment by a drum set. Vocal percussion is most commonly used in the R&B and pop genre, though it can appear in other genres of a cappella performance.