None of us are immune to trends really. They are in almost every aspect of our life, regardless of whether or not you want to admit to it. Music, naturally, goes through these trends just like everybody else. Some years emo music is the leader of the pack, other years rap and hip hop are the main contenders.
Interesting enough, this year it seems as though a capella music is the way to go.
A capella is a form of music, where the lyrics and often melodic notes (without words) are sung entirely without music.
Stemming from far back into the history of music where monks would sing without the aid of written music through nodes, the primitive form of notation. Music would not be played on an instrument, and quite often the music would be passed by word of mouth. The sound of the music would just be filled with many different voices from tenor to soprano.
A capella was also used through the opera period, during oratorios. Oratorio is a form of dramatic opera technique, in which a long and dramatic passage would be sung without the aid of music or costume to emphasise the passage in question. This form became quite popular and we still see it used today throughout pop culture references and the newer operas being composed.
If you’re listening to raw beat boxing as well, that is a form of a capella. This is a form in which there is no beat produced live or electronically by anything other than the mouth. This form of music used more frequently in rap was a large trend appearing throughout American Idol shows, as well as a general talent embraced by schools encouraging children to participate in music programs.
Universities embrace music styles in order to encourage social activity as well as broadening their music subjects throughout the stimulus. Often there is drum beat classes, as well as choir groups that are seen around campus. A capella music is another of these styles which seems to be embracing the trend and appearing not only on campus, but in recorded albums.
Ben Fold’s latest record University A Capella embraces the high calibre of a capella music that is exploding onto the scene throughout universities. The album embraces the quality of musicians out there, and has used these incredible singers as his supporting band throughout the cd. Each song has a different university’s group singing the vocals, as well as the instrumental parts for each song that Ben Fold’s has composed himself.
This technique can be seen in his live recording of Army, during his Three Ben’s tour in Australia some years previous. Fold’s asks the crowd to sing certain parts of the horn instruments that he’s left without during the tour. This proved fruitful and has made its way across Australia in the years past as a popular and well known song – possibly just from the great sound of many many voices.
The album is currently out and certainly worth having a listen to, if you’re intrigued by a capella and how it works. It certainly astounds you and makes you think about what exactly the human voice can do – as well as being damn pretty and amazing to listen to!
It gets my recommendation, so have a look.