Introducing JBE

The Jerusalem Barbershop Ensemble was organized in 1983 by Joe Romanelli, who felt that Israel had too long been denied the thrills and pleasures of barbershop harmonies. During the ensuing years we have appeared in public and private forums, performing for audiences ranging in size from intimate groups of friends to several thousands of screaming crazed adoring fans.

Our repertoire ranges from traditional folk music to modern songs, arranged mostly in the barbershop style. The group sings in both English and Hebrew, a-cappella (without instruments), and its members depend upon on their harmony, humor, and outside employment for survival.

What is barbershop harmony?

Barbershop harmony is 4-part, a cappella harmony characterized by the melody being sung by the second-highest voice (called the Lead), with the Tenor harmonizing on thirds and sevenths above. The Bass singer adds the roots and fifths of each chord, while the Baritone fills in all the gaps to complete each chord. Barbershop is generally sung with consonant harmonies (as opposed to dissonant ones), and is sung homophonically (most chords being sung by all voices on the same word sound).

Who sings barbershop harmony?

Barbershop harmony is sung by both men and women, but it is primarily sung by same-sex groups. Barbershop is traditionally sung in a quartet, with just one voice on each part, but there are thousands of choruses around the world, some with as many as 200 singers in them! Barbershop is sung in more than 40 countries, with organized barbershop harmony associations in the US, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.