When a Group Squeezes an Extra Song Into Its Competition Set

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #132: When a Group Squeezes an Extra Song Into Its Competition Set

Conventional wisdom dictates that a ten-to-twelve-minute competition set will consist of three songs (and, further, that that set will consist of two up-tempo songs to bookend a ballad). The format has certainly garnered its share of success, tailored to fit three-to-four minute long songs, and organized to capture the audience’s attention, show emotional depth, and explode into an epic finish.

While format works for many groups, others have found the greatest success by bucking tradition in favor mixing up the order of songs or defying the three-song model altogether, instead squeezing in a fourth number that has all the potential in the world to add depth and diversity to a set and to win audiences over for the sheer surprise that they thought the performance was over after the third number.

I love it!

You Know You Like It

Tuesday Tubin'

This week we present Berklee College of Music Pitch Slapped performing AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It.”

The First Time You Hear a Song After You’ve Heard It A Cappella

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #131: The First Time You Hear a Song After You’ve Heard It A Cappella

It’s no secret that one of the coolest parts of attending an a cappella show—particularly at the collegiate level, is walking away having been exposed to new music you may not have come across in your everyday life. The intersection of college students and people who love music is prime territory to be exposed to something off beat, on the cusp of becoming cool, or otherwise off the mainstream radar, but nonetheless awesome.

We’ve all heard songs translated from conventional instrumentation into a cappella—sometimes it’s great, sometimes it doesn’t work out so well. It’s pretty fantastic to hear a song performed (artfully) a cappella first, though, and then go back to discover the source material, reverse-engineering the process of the arrangement and elements performance to see how they link back to the original song, not to mention walking away with a new artist or album to explore.

I love it!

EDM Mashup

Tuesday Tubin'

This week we present Brigham Young University Vocal Point performing their EDM Mashup.

Watching the Crowd Grow at a Public Show

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #130: Watching the Crowd Grow at a Public Show

One of the a cappella’s most unique and most appealing qualities is how few requirements it has. A cappella groups need a place to exist—and, well, that’s about it. While not all venues are built equally in terms of aesthetic or acoustic quality, because a cappella is all about the music people make with their bodies, it allows for spontaneous performance, and performance in unlikely places ranging from a public park to a subway platform.

Better yet, once a group gets going, it can be pretty amazing to see a crowd take notice. Starting with a few friends of the group, soon, curious onlookers will wander over. Then more people who want to see what all of these other people are crowding around, and whom get sucked in by a captivating performance. In a matter of minutes, a cappella has the power to draw together a truly impressive audience.

I love it!

The Influence of A Cappella

Guest Columns

Guest author Deborah Tayloe is a professional writer and blogger for Musical Instruments Expert. While she’s an avid a cappella fan, she can’t sing a note and will stick with playing her violin for now.

From on screen media franchises Glee and Pitch Perfect, to sensations like Pentatonix and Home Free, the influence of a cappella on American pop culture is evident everywhere you look. In the era of social media, stardom is only a few clicks away. This gives the truly talented a chance to share their vocal gifts with the world at large.

A cappella fans just can’t seem to get enough! Rightly so. We are thrilled by the angelic harmonies, the fun beat box and amazing vocal percussion. Our iPods are full of covers of hits arranged by our favorite a cappella stars.

A cappella was once pigeonholed to a college campus activity. However, over time, a cappella music's appeal and accessibility have grown. That passion for vocal perfection has created an influence that has sent shock waves into popular culture.  

Consider the following influences. First, a cappella music brings great, old songs back to life for a new generation of listeners to enjoy. Second, a cappella artists can skillfully arrange songs to cross genres and give a fresh, new viewpoint that for new listeners to appreciate.


More current a cappella groups have begun resurrecting good, old, enjoyable songs from the past. In fact, they have brought old songs back to life for a new generation to enjoy.

Not quite sure what that means?

“Can’t Help Falling In Love” was an Elvis Presley ballad that topped the charts in 1961 and 1962. Our grandparents and parents fell in love to this song. It had a meaningful sentiment and any older person can tell you where they were the first time that they heard this some.

Pentatonix covered this song and published it on YouTube in April 2017...it now has over 9.8 million views in just about 4 months. A whole new generation of music lovers is falling in love to this song due to the newly released version.


A cappella music has a way of crossing genres that no other music, in my opinion, does. A country song is arranged to an upbeat, or a rock anthem is slowed down to a ballad. It makes a genre that’s not widely appreciated be understood better by new fans.

In many cases, a person who doesn’t care for a particular genre, such as classic rock, will appreciate a piece of music arranged in an updated  format.

A great example of the most popular song of country superstar Garth Brooks, “Friends In Low Places,” covered in 2016 by Home Free.

Home Free took a classic country drinking song, changed the tempo and pace, and arranged into a reggae-inspired pop sound. With 1.9 million views on YouTube, younger people are hearing the 1990 country hit, many for the first time.

So whether you are an avid a cappella fan or an aspiring artist you can rest assured that a cappella is relevant. It is influencing popular culture with fresh new voice and different points of view. It’s also accessible to all through the power of the internet and social media, giving you space to express your passion through your musical talents.

Next Page
When a Group Squeezes an Extra Song Into Its Competition Set
You Know You Like It
The First Time You Hear a Song After You’ve Heard It A Cappella
EDM Mashup
Watching the Crowd Grow at a Public Show
The Influence of A Cappella
Writing's on the Wall
Top 10 A Cappella Records From The 20th Century
Hearing a Song That Just Came Out on the Radio
A Sold-Out Crowd
The Campus Bookstore
The Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones on "Gemini Feed"
To Yearbook or Not To Yearbook
Simulating Sounds
Don't Wait
ICCA Finals 2017
ICHSA Finals 2017
Sahaana Sridhar, representing All-American Awaaz
RANGE Volume 1
The Towson Trills
Mad Hatter
A Cappella Only Festival
Let’s Bring Back The Sing-Off
Seanote Transitions
Deke Sharon on Total Vocal
Any Way You Want It