When audiences hear great big ringing chords they tend to think that the singers are just pumping out the big muscle sound.
But using muscle in the sound and pressure in the vocal apparatus will only sound like a bunch of individual guys singing flat, and as loudly as they can. The resulting impurities in the sound actually prevent the pop, lock and ring that gives us that huge expanded sound.
“Science makes it loud” is a quotation from Jim Henry at the Ambassadors of Harmony master class at the Barbershop Harmony Society’s convention in the first week of July. He was talking about keeping the pitch perfect, the vowels clean and the vocal placement correct, so that the overtones – the naturally occurring miracle in the physics of sound – can do their job and create their magic doubling of the amount of sound. And all this without any more physical, muscle effort from the singers.
Sing clean clean clean, and science rewards you with a truly thrilling, and much bigger sound.