Write Again . . . It’s called what?

Published 2:13 pm Friday, September 22, 2017

Well, now. Most who know me are aware of my almost life-long love of four-part a cappella harmony. Especially when it’s in the traditional barbershop chord structure.

This little piece, however, will not be given over to a lengthy explication of diminished sevenths, tension and ringing chords, or most especially that aural thrill of thrills when that perfect chord produces an overtone that barbershoppers live for. They say “the bird is flying,” or “the angels are singing.” Such is that which makes singing and hearing — when done correctly — barbershop harmony so captivating to aficionados of the genre.

Enough of that, though. This is about paranomasia. What? You don’t know what paranomasia is? An admission: I didn’t either. There’s a piece in the July-August edition of the Barbershop Harmony Society magazine that defines and gives examples of this.

By definition, paranomasia means pun-inspired words with a double meaning. And many barbershop quartets, and some choruses, choose names so intended. Let me give you a few examples. If at first you don’t “get it,” then say it out loud. That should help. In some instances, a little knowledge of musical terms is helpful.

So. Here we go.

The “Four Pitchikers.” “Coda Honor.” “Chordtastrophe.” “Lost @ C.” “Lovin’ Tuneful.” “2 # 2 Bb.” “Sharp Attack.” “Air Fours.” “Rip Chords.”

“Desperate Measures.” “Treble Makers.” “Great Western Timbre Co.” “Armchair Chorderbacks.” “Tonal Eclipse.” “Split Tunes.”

“Basses Loaded.” “Wild Pitch.” “Hit by the Pitch.” “Four Bass Hit.”

“School Bored Four.” “4 got 2 share.” “Fourfathers.” “Four in Legion.” “Four Gone Conclusion.” “Four Tissimos.” “Four Hearsemen.”

“3 Wise Men.” “Three Handsome Gentlemen.” “Completely Youthless.” “Elderly Brothers.” “C Nile Sound.” “Rusty Pipes.”

“Apple-Core-Tet.” “Lettuce Turnip the Beet.” “One of us is Rich.” “Dewey, Singum and Howe.”

“Contempt of the Chord.” “Chordiac Arrest.” “In Harmony’s Way.” “Men ‘n a Chord.” “Four in a Chord.” “Clef Dwellers.”

The Oklahoma City Chorus is the “OK Chorale.” I like that.

And these are just a few examples, friends. The list could go on. And on. On occasion, I get together with three (naturally) fellows as “Silver & Old.” Perhaps I ought to be in a “Final Four” now.

Anyway, this was just a bit of paranomasia.

Keep a song in your heart.