First Night

The bari’s laryngitis for his first time on the stage
built a backstage tension no lozenge could assuage.
The bass was getting nervous: he had a tricky part;
in “Sh Boom” he sings a counterpoint—the timing is an art.

The lead was clearly nervous: he projected pale faced calm;
he’d written jokes with the tenor, and hoped they wouldn’t bomb.
the tenor was realistic: he knew from his great experience
that smiles and energy overcome the audience’ hearience.

So what do you think then happened, with the nerves and the throat and the jokes?
They stood and sang and they minted gold with the song and the tag and the post.

The four parts of a barbershop quartet:

Tenor: the high part, usually sung in falsetto
Lead: the melody part
Bari: the baritone, the harmony part, ranging from above the lead to the bass range
Bass: the lowest part, the foundation for the quartet’s sound

Tag: the flourish of sustained chords at the end of most barbershop tunes (Barbershoppers often learn tags by themselves because they are so much fun to sing.)
Post:  a long note, ususally sung by the lead or tenor, that resolves, gloriously, at the end of  the tag.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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