Barbershop Arranging News

SemiQuaver: n. Music. A sixteenth note. British.

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Twice each month a different Barbershop arranger will be featured, along with 3-4 of his/her recent works. One of them might be great for your chorus or quartet.

Joe Johnson

This issue's featured arranger, Joe Johnson, is a relative newcomer on the barbershop scene. Since joining the Barbershop Harmony Society in 2001, he has carved out a unique niche for himself in the barbershop world. He brings a rich and varied musical background to barbershop music, resulting in some very creative and high-caliber arrangements. Although very few of his works have reached the contest stage, his show music has been performed by many quartets and choruses, including Saturday Evening Post, Realtime, Max Q, the New Horizon Chorus, and the Masters of Harmony, to name just a few. He is probably better known for his collection of hymn and gospel arrangements, which he makes available to everyone at no charge. Some of these arrangements are already in widespread use. They may be downloaded from the BHS website or Joe's own website,

California Dreamin' - The classic hit for the Mamas and Papas. This arrangement is very true to the original style of the song and features clever new lyrics for the soulful flute solo.

It Could Happen to You - Written in 1944 for the musical comedy “And the Angels Sing”, this song has been recorded by Frank Sinatra, The Four Freshmen, and many others. This arrangement makes good use of the song’s potential for driving rhythm.

The Song Is You - One of most intriguing songs from the golden era, this Jerome Kern classic has been a favorite vehicle of jazz musicians for many decades. It now comes to life again in this swinging big band style arrangement.

Here Comes the Sun - From The Beatles’ Abbey Road album, 1969. This arrangement, a collaboration with the excellent Bob Shami, captures all of the intricate rhythms and driving energy of the original. Learning tracks are available from Tony De Rosa.

Contact Joe

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