Barbershop singing features four-part harmony unlike any other style of music.  A chorus or a quartet typically sings it, while octets or other groups are occasionally featured.  Instrumental accompaniment is rare, and the music is almost exclusively performed a cappella so a good ear for music and a good voice are important.  The four parts in our style are lead, tenor, baritone and bass.  Leads usually carry the melody of the song and the tenor voice usually sings notes above the lead in harmony.  Basses sing in the lower register and give a harmonic foundation to the chord.  Baritones fall between lead and bass, sometimes singing above the lead, and fill the harmony to complete the “barbershop chord”.  The combination of these four voices creates what we call “close harmony” and when done right creates a “ring”, an overtone that is very pleasing to hear.  No part is “better” or more important than another, though there is frequent good-natured rivalry between voice sections.

Maybe you’ve seen The Coastmen perform, but we bet you’ve experienced barbershop more than you realize!  Barbershop may have received its greatest exposure in the great musical, and movie, “The Music Man” which featured the quartet “The Buffalo Bills” (1950 International Champions) with such songs as “Lida Rose”, “Good Night Ladies” and “Sincere”.  The Main Street of Walt Disney World and Disneyland is the home of The Dapper Dans who don the appearance of turn of the century barbershoppers and serenade visitors as they enter the park.  The Dapper Dans were also featured in the movie “Haunted Mansion” as the “Singing Busts”.  Perhaps you saw Homer Simpson singing “Baby On Board” with a quartet on “The Simpsons”, or the famous satirists of late night TV, Jimmy Fallon’s quartet, “The Ragtime Gals”.

The Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) is an international not-for-profit organization with its headquarters in Nashville.  They have a permanent staff that manages the Society affairs and supports chapters such as ours.  We are one of about 700 chapters and the Society boasts more than 20,000 members! There are also organizations abroad as well as our sister organizations for ladies, Sweet Adeline’s International and Harmony, Inc.

Our Society is divided into eighteen districts across the United States, and we are part of the Sunshine District, with over 38 chapters and 1,100 members.  We are the Palm Beach Chapter of the BHS.  The Coastmen is a performing chorus as opposed to a competing chorus. We sing at various venues in Palm Beach County.