Distinctive Syllables

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #120: Distinctive Syllables

One of the most interesting parts of listening to a cappella is hearing how groups translate instrumentation to pure vocals. Intonation is one thing, syllable choices are another. Soft syllables, hard syllables. Staccato ones, elongated ones. The best syllable choices match the mood, tone, and message of the song. And some are distinctive to a group.

Whether it’s a group like The University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers implanting additional lyrics into to amplify the lead (see the transition on “Mr. Brightside” with “I’m about to blow, just let me go”) or the SUNY Binghamton Harpur Harpeggios sliding iterations of “bing” into songs like “Uninvited,” particular syllable choices can be as distinctive as a group’s signature on a given song.

I love it!