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Acappella (group) - Wikipedia

Acappella Origin Genres Years active Labels Website Past members
Paris, Tennessee, U.S.
Contemporary Christian, Contemporary worship music, Southern Gospel
The Acappella Company,Word, Epic
Duane Adams, JJ Blevins, Robin Brannon, Allen Brantley, Rodney Britt, Wayburn Dean, Nic Dunbar, Gary Evans Jr., Zac George, Robert C. Guy, Malcolm Himes, Jordan House, Anthony Lancaster, Keith Lancaster, Steve Maxwell, Ken McAlpin, Wes McKinzie, Gary Miller, Raymond Mobley, Gary Moyers, Matt Nunnally, George Pendergrass, Steve Reischl, Sean Samuel, Kevin Schaffer, Bill Spencer, Tim Storms, Barry Wilson, Zachary Wilson; as HIS IMAGE: Bobby Collum, Tom Graham, Randy Hatchett, Jeff Martin, Tim Martin, Kevin McCall?, Ron McCommas, Greg Pittman, Tim Tripp, Gary Yeager

Acappella is an all-male Contemporary Christian vocal group founded in 1982 by Keith Lancaster who has been the singer, songwriter, and producer throughout the group's history. The group only consists of vocalists who sing in a cappella style without instrumental accompaniment.


Acappella's fan base steadily grew through the 1980s as the group experienced many lineup changes and constantly experimented with fresh new sounds. The landmark album, Sweet Fellowship (1988), ushered in one of the most significant developments in the group's membership and style. Lancaster stepped out of the group as lead singer to focus on the role of producer and manager. The group continued to change after that, developing a unique sound that has been mimicked by countless groups around the world.

Signed to Word Records in 1990 (and later to Epic Records), Acappella's popularity soared with releases such as Rescue, We Have Seen His Glory, and Set Me Free. Media exposure included television appearances, while the song "More Precious Than Gold" became the centerpiece of a Sony Camcorder television commercial and was broadcast across the USA. Hymns For All The World helped to increase the group's exposure internationally. Acappella has toured extensively around the world, singing in Africa, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Jamaica, Japan, South America and the Caribbean in addition to thousands of concerts in the United States.

In 1986, Lancaster launched a spinoff group called Acappella Vocal Band (AVB). AVB originally opened and sang backup for Acappella, then branched off to tour on its own under the Acappella Ministries umbrella from 1988 to 2000.

After exploring various musical styles over more than three decades, Acappella has returned to its roots, strengthened by the addition of a fifth vocalist. Acappella's worldwide impact was recognized with the group's 2007 induction into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.


Current members[edit]

Acappella changed its format in June 2014 (formally announced in August 2014). Acappella is not limited to one combination of singers. In fact, every concert features a special lineup drawn from veteran concert music ministers who have sung with Acappella across the years. It is not uncommon for a concert to feature vocalists ranging in ages in their 20s, 30s, 40s & 50s, drawing from Acappella's vast catalog of original songs.

Those to participate in concerts since the new format have included Rodney Britt, Wes McKinzie, Gary Evans, Ken McAlpin, Robert C. Guy, Robin Brannon, Duane Adams, Wayburn Dean, Anthony Lancaster, Zac George, Nic Dunbar, Barry Wilson, George Pendergrass, Steve Maxwell, Sean Samuel, Keith Lancaster, Gary Moyers, Matt Sammons, Jabbarri Jones, Matt Nunnally, Kevin Schaffer, Zachary Wilson and AVB alumni Aaron Herman, Brishan Hatcher, and Jeremy Swindle.

Group formations[edit]

Bass Baritone 2nd Tenor 1st Tenor Vocal Percussion / Utility Video of Formation Year(s) Albums/Notes
Wes McKinzie Anthony Lancaster Zac George Jabbarri Jones Malcolm Himes I Feel Good[1] May 2013 – January 2014
Wes McKinzie Anthony Lancaster Zac George Raymond Mobley Malcolm Himes Take It Away[2] August 2011 – April 2013 Water From The Well (single) (2011), Wanna Be Like You (single) (2011), Just Say The Word (single) (2012), Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (single) (2012)
Wes McKinzie Anthony Lancaster Zac George Zachary Wilson Robin Brannon Scripture Medley[3] August 2009 – July 2011 The Walls Came Down (single) (2011)
Allen Brantley Anthony Lancaster Zac George Zachary Wilson Robin Brannon Summer 2008 – July 2009 Find Your Way (2009)
Allen Brantley Robin Brannon JJ Blevins Zachary Wilson Zac George Spring 2008
Allen Brantley Robin Brannon Jordan House Zachary Wilson Zac George He's Gonna Let You Know[4] January 2006 – December 2007 Radiance (2006) Cory Martin was a temporary fill-in for some concerts in the Fall of 2007 when Jordan had work commitments. Video with Cory: More Than A Friend[5]
Gary Evans Robin Brannon Jordan House Zachary Wilson Zac George Glory And Honor[6] August 2005 – December 2005 Radiance (2006) – in production
Gary Evans Nic Dunbar Sean Samuel Matt Sammons Spring 2005
Gary Evans Nic Dunbar Sean Samuel Matt Nunnally I Understand[7] August 2002 – December 2004 Heaven and Earth (2004) This quartet at times included backup vocalists: Cory Martin, Dale Pratt, and Albert Hall.
Gary Evans Steve Maxwell Barry Wilson Don Connel America The Beautiful[8] January 2002 – July 2002
Gary Evans Steve Maxwell Barry Wilson Kevin Schaffer January 2001 – December 2001 Live From Paris (2002), Hymns For All The Ages (2001) Jeremy Swindle filled in some concerts for Kevin Schaffer, who was on paternity leave, in the spring.
Ken McAlpin Steve Maxwell Barry Wilson Kevin Schaffer January 2000 – December 2000 Hymns For All The Ages (2001) – in production
Ken McAlpin Gary Moyers Barry Wilson Kevin Schaffer Shut De Do[9] January 1998 – December 1999 All That I Need (1999), The Collection (1998) Allen Krehbiel filled in some concerts for Barry Wilson, who was on voice rest.
Gary Miller Gary Moyers Ken McAlpin Kevin Schaffer August 1997 – December 1997
Gary Miller Gary Moyers Steve Reischl Kevin Schaffer Everybody Said (But Nobody Did)[10] February 1997 – August 1997 Act of God (1997)
Duane Adams Gary Moyers Steve Reischl Kevin Schaffer My Lord And My God[11] January 1997 Act of God (1997) – in production
Robert Guy Duane Adams Steve Reischl Kevin Schaffer August 1995 – Act of God (1997) – in production
Tim Storms Robert Guy Steve Reischl Duane Adams I Feel Good[12] 1995
Robert Guy Duane Adams Steve Reischl Gary Moyers Pray Every Day[13] at least April 1995 – at least September 1995 Beyond a Doubt (1995)
Robert Guy Duane Adams George Pendergrass Gary Moyers Criminal On The Cross[14] 1993 Hymns For All The World (1994), Espanol (1994)
Duane Adams Wayburn Dean George Pendergrass Gary Moyers Hush[15] 1989–1993 Set Me Free (1993), We Have Seen His Glory (1991), Rescue (1990),He Leadeth Me (1990), Growing Up In The Lord (1990)
Rodney Britt Wayburn Dean George Pendergrass Gary Moyers Now To Him[16] 1988 – at least April 1989 Sweet Fellowship (1988) This quartet at times included backup vocalists: Duane Adams and Denise Sweet.
Rodney Britt Keith Lancaster While the Ages Roll On (1987), Better Than Life (1987), Conquerors (1986)
Rodney Britt Bill Spencer Keith Lancaster John The Revelator[17] 1985 Travelin' Shoes (1985)
Ron McCommas Gary Yeager Keith Lancaster Jeff Martin Brother Taylor[18] 1984–1985 Perfect Peace (1984)
Ron McCommas Gary Yeager Keith Lancaster Jeff Martin Tim Martin I Want To Be Like Him[19] 1984
Ron McCommas Gary Yeager Keith Lancaster Tim Tripp  ?? Can you identify in video (far left)? Kevin McCall?? Sail On[20] May 1983 – July 1984 As "His Image" – Tim Tripp took a break from the group during the fall of 1983.
Bobby Collum Gary Yeager Keith Lancaster  ??Greg Pittman?? Fall 1982 As "His Image" – Made in His Image (1983)
Bobby Collum Gary Yeager Randy Hatchett Keith Lancaster As "His Image" – Heaven's Gonna Shine (1982)
Tom Graham Gary Yeager Randy Hatchett Keith Lancaster 1982 As "His Image" – Til He Comes (1982)
Gary Yeager Randy Hatchett Keith Lancaster Til He Comes[21] 1982 As "His Image"

Previous members[edit]

  • Duane Adams – Duane is one of the most versatile singers that has sung with Acappella. He joined the group as the bass and recorded on Growing Up In The Lord, He Leadeth Me, Rescue, We Have Seen His Glory, and Set Me Free. After Set Me Free was released, baritone Wayburn Dean left the group and Duane took his part. As the baritone, Duane's vocals can be heard on Acappella En Espanol, Hymns For All The World, Beyond A Doubt, and back to sing bass in "Let's Show And Tell" on Act of God. He later left the group to take the role of Worship Leader at Amarillo South Church. Currently he is the Worship Leader at the Cross Pointe Church in Amarillo, Texas.
  • James "JJ" Blevins – JJ was briefly in Acappella in early 2008. He is a graduate of Adventures in Missions (AIM) and has worked with congregations across the country. He is currently a House Parent at Fair Haven Children's Home in Missouri.
  • Robin Brannon – Robin sang baritone for Acappella and was famous for his vocal percussion skills and incomparable energy on stage. He appeared on the Radiance and Find Your Way albums. He now lives in the Nashville area.
  • Allen Brantley – Allen appeared on Radiance and Find Your Way in addition to assisting on Keith Lancaster's Praise & Harmony projects. He lives in Alabama with his wife Kim (one of Keith's daughters) and sings with the Lancaster Family.
  • Rodney Britt – Rodney delivers sermons for the Pine Tree Church of Christ[22] in Longview, Texas. He also sings bass for The Sounds of Glory.[23]
  • Bobby Collum –
  • Don Connel – Don sang tenor in Acappella in the spring of 2002. He also participated in the 20th Anniversary Reunion. He works for an advertising and marketing company in Abilene, Texas. After his time with Acappella, he sang with Fishers of Men and Cornerstone. Cornerstone produced 2 CD's: Standing on the Rock and Everywhere. Don leads worship for the Oldham Lane church of Christ in Abilene, TX.
  • Wayburn Dean[24]
  • Nic Dunbar – Nic serves as the worship minister at the Singing Oaks Church of Christ[25] in Denton, Texas.
  • Gary Evans – Now in Lubbock, Texas (his hometown), he helps lead worship at South Plains Church of Christ[26] and works as a developer for World Bible School.[27]
  • Zac George –
  • Tom Graham –
  • Robert Guy – Robert appeared on Acappella En Espanol, Hymns For All The World, Beyond A Doubt and Act of God.
  • Randy Hatchett – Randy sang with "His Image Quartet" and appeared on Til He Comes, Heaven's Gonna Shine and Made in His Image. Randy currently is an elder at the Jackson Park Church of Christ in Nashville, TN.
  • Malcolm Himes –
  • Jordan House – Jordan works full time in the Bible department for Greater Atlanta Christian School. He has also been the worship minister for the Campus Church in Norcross, GA since September 2015.
  • Jabbarri Jones – Jabbarri is the worship minister for the Singing Oaks Church of Christ in Denton, Texas.
  • Anthony Lancaster – Anthony is the worship minister for the Madison Church of Christ in Madison, Tennessee.
  • Keith Lancaster – Keith continues as producer for Acappella.[28] In addition, he conducts Praise & Harmony workshops around the world.[29] He is currently the worship minister at the Cullman Church of Christ in Cullman, Alabama.[30]
  • Jeff Martin – Jeff attended Abliene Christian University prior to joining Acappella. He sang in ACU's A Cappella chorus with bass Ron McCommas and future AVB member Dave Fletcher. He was the high tenor on the Perfect Peace album. Jeff worked in ministry nearly 30 years. He released a solo project, "Dance Before The Lord", in 1998. His family moved to Eagle River, Alaska, in 2007, to serve at Riverside Community Church. He passed away on August 13, 2017 at the age of 58.
  • Tim Martin – Tim currently lives in Comanche, Texas and works with Hospice. He has done humanitarian aid work in Russia, Croatia, New Orleans (after Katrina) and Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and is a first responder for the Desdemona Volunteer Fire Department. Tim is still singing Cowboy, Gospel, Bluegrass with a band he formed called “Spirit of the West” and recently has teamed up with Glenn Murray to form 'Martin and Murray’ – keeping the Cowboy tradition alive and focusing on Cowboy Poetry Gatherings.
  • Steve Maxwell – Steve serves as Worship Minister at White Stations Church of Christ in Memphis, TN. Previously he has served as College and Young Adults Minister at CrossPoint Church of Christ[31] in Florence, Alabama.
  • Ken McAlpin – Ken serves as worship minister at Campbell Church of Christ[32] in Campbell, California. In addition, he is now a member of the a cappella group Sweet Deliverance.[33]
  • Ron McCommas – Business performance advisor at Insperity.
  • Wes McKinzie –
  • Gary Miller – Gary sang bass for Vocal Union[34] for many years before and after his membership in Acappella. He died March 12, 2011 at the age of 60.
  • Raymond Mobley –
  • Gary Moyers – "Mo" is currently the Worship & Technology minister at Broadway Church of Christ[35] in Lubbock, TX. He also acts as director of Best Friends, the mixed ensemble performance/recruiting group from [36] Lubbock Christian University. The Moyers family lives in the Lubbock, Texas area.
  • Matt Nunnally – Matt sang 1st tenor on Heaven And Earth. He currently sings tenor for First Day.[37]
  • George Pendergrass – George lives in the Nashville area, performing with Merging Blue.
  • Greg Pittman – Public Relations and Human Communications major, Abilene Christian University. Greg joined the group as lead vocalist and 1st tenor in fall of 1982 and was featured on the album "Made in His Image".
  • Steve Reischl – Steve sang lead on Beyond A Doubt and Act of God. His most popular song was "If There Were No God." After leaving Acappella, he performed with the Contemporary Christian band Newsong.[38] He is currently pursuing a solo career.[39]
  • Matt Sammons – Matt sang tenor in the spring of 2005 and on an Acappella Cruise. He works as a professional piano man in Little Rock, AR.
  • Sean Samuel – Works with Disney in Orlando, Florida.
  • Kevin Schaffer[40] – Kevin is the 1st tenor on the Act of God, All That I Need, Hymns For All The Ages, and Live From Paris albums. His most famous lead was "Walking That Line." He currently works with Central Church of Christ in Amarillo, Texas.[41]
  • Bill Spencer – Bill and his wife are executive directors at Narrow Gate Foundation, a Christian discipleship experience for young men ages 18–25.[42]
  • Tim Storms – Tim sings at the Pierce Arrow Theater[43] in Branson, Missouri.
  • Tim Tripp – Tim was a member from May 1983 until July 1984. He took a break from the group during the fall of 1983 and missed his only opportunity to record with the group. He is currently the senior minister at West Side Church of Christ[44] in Russellville, Arkansas. This congregation also has Zac George on staff as worship minister and Mark Hixson (a former Acappella sound technician) as youth minister.
  • Barry Wilson – Milton Hershey Foundation in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
  • Zachary Wilson – Zachary sang on the "Radiance" and "Find Your Way" albums. He was in the group for six years and is most known for his soaring lead on "All Men Will Know" (from the "Radiance" album) and his live performances of "Take It Away" and "Shut De Do." He graduated from Oklahoma Christian University and leads worship at Legacy Church of Christ in North Richland Hills, Texas.
  • Gary Yeager – Preacher, worship leader, and father of ten in Colorado.


The labels are taken from each of the albums’ original releases; many of these albums have been re-released under new distributors. Lyrics to each of these albums along with scripture references and other relevant information can be found at Acadisc.com.

  • Perfect Peace (1984, Clifty Records)
  • Travelin’ Shoes (1985, Clifty Records)
  • Conquerors (1986, Clifty Records)
  • Better Than Life (1987, Clifty Records)
  • While the Ages Roll On (1987, Clifty Records)
  • Sweet Fellowship (1988, Clifty Records)
  • Growing Up In the Lord (1989, Clifty Records)
  • He Leadeth Me (1990, Acappella Music Group)
  • Rescue (1990, Word)
  • We Have Seen His Glory (1991, Word)
  • Set Me Free (1993, Word)
  • Acappella en Español (1994, Word)
  • Gold (1994, Word)
  • Platinum (1994, Word)
  • Hymns for All the World (1994, Word)
  • Beyond a Doubt (1995, Word)
  • Act of God (1997, Word)
  • The Collection (1998, Diamante)
  • All That I Need (1999, Diamante)
  • Hymns for All the Ages (2001, The Acappella Company)
  • Live from Paris (2002, The Acappella Company)
  • Heaven And Earth (2004, The Acappella Company)
  • Radiance (2006, The Acappella Company)
  • Find Your Way (2009, The Acappella Company)
  • The Walls Came Down (single) (2011, The Acappella Company)
  • Water From The Well (single) (2011, The Acappella Company)
  • Wanna Be Like You (single) (2011, The Acappella Company)
  • Just Say The Word (single) (2012, The Acappella Company)
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (single) (2012, The Acappella Company)
  • I Feel Fine (single) (2014, The Acappella Company)

Before the group was named Acappella, it was briefly named "His Image"; the records released under that name are:

  • Til He Comes (1982, Clifty Records)
  • Heaven’s Gonna Shine (1983, Clifty Records)
  • Made in His Image (1984, Clifty Records)

In addition to projects recorded under the Acappella name, the group collaborated with AVB, Keith Lancaster and other artists on numerous "Acappella Series", "Acappella Scripture Songs" and "Acappella Praise & Worship" albums in the 1990s. These projects include:

  • Acappella Southern (1990, Word)
  • Prime Time (1991, Word)
  • Acappella America (1992, Word)
  • Acappella Christmas (1992, Word)
  • Acappella Country (1992, Word)
  • Acappella Spirituals (1993, Word)
  • Acappella Carols (1993, Word) – Originally released as A Savior Is Born (1989-cassette; 1990-CD)
  • The Parables of Jesus (1993, Word)
  • Acappella Ladies (1994, Word)
  • Acappella Resurrection (1994, Word)
  • Acappella Gospel (1994, Word)
  • The Reason (1994, Word)
  • Acappella Classycal (1994, Word)
  • The Book of James (1994, Word)
  • In His Presence (1994, The Acappella Company)
  • Heaven Is in My Heart (1994, The Acappella Company)
  • In God We Trust (1995, The Acappella Company)
  • Communion (1995, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Wedding 1 (1995, Word)
  • Acappella Spirituals 2 (1995, Word)
  • Acappella Classics (1995, Word)
  • Acappella Favorites (1995, Word)
  • Heroes of Faith (1995, The Acappella Company)
  • Acapella Children Christmas (1995, The Acappella Company)
  • Exalt Him (1996, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Praise Service (1996, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Jazz (1996, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Wedding 2 (1996, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Classics 2 (1996, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Melodies (1996, The Acappella Company)

Compilations of Acappella, AVB, Keith Lancaster and other Acappella Company songs include:

  • Hear It in Our Voice (1994, Word)
  • Hear It in Our Voice II (1994, Word)
  • Acappella Favorites (1995, Word)
  • Hear It in Our Voice III (1995, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Wedding Longplay (1999, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Spirituals Longplay (1999, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Family Christmas (1999, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Gospel Longplay (2000, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Classics Longplay (2000, The Acappella Company)
  • Acappella Word of God Longplay (2000, The Acappella Company)


  1. ^ "I Feel Good". 
  2. ^ "Take It Away". 
  3. ^ "Scripture Medley". 
  4. ^ "He's Gonna Let You Know". 
  5. ^ "More Than A Friend". 
  6. ^ "Glory And Honor". 
  7. ^ "I Understand". 
  8. ^ "America The Beautiful". 
  9. ^ "Shut De Do". 
  10. ^ "Everybody Said (But Nobody Did)". 
  11. ^ "My Lord And My God". 
  12. ^ "I Feel Good". 
  13. ^ "Pray Every Day". 
  14. ^ "Criminal On The Cross". 
  15. ^ "Hush". 
  16. ^ "Now To Him". 
  17. ^ "John The Revelator". 
  18. ^ "Brother Taylor". 
  19. ^ "I Want To Be Like Him". 
  20. ^ "Sail On". 
  21. ^ "Til He Comes". 
  22. ^ "Sermons". Pine Tree Church of Christ. Retrieved October 11, 2017. 
  23. ^ "The Sounds of Glory biography". The Sounds of Glory. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Dean Wayburn Official Website". Retrieved October 11, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Singing Oaks Church of Christ". Archived from the original on March 2, 2010. 
  26. ^ "South Plains Church of Christ". 
  27. ^ "World Bible School". 
  28. ^ "Keith Lancaster's Blog". 
  29. ^ "Praise & Harmony". Acapella.org. 
  30. ^ "Ministry Staff". Cullman Church of Christ. Archived from the original on June 26, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2016. 
  31. ^ "CrossPoint Church of Christ". 
  32. ^ "Campbell Church of Christ". 
  33. ^ "Sweet Deliverance". Archived from the original on August 19, 2000. 
  34. ^ "Vocal Union". 
  35. ^ "Broadway Church of Christ". 
  36. ^ "Lubbock Christian University". 
  37. ^ "First Day". 
  38. ^ "Newsong". 
  39. ^ "Steve Reischl Music". 
  40. ^ "Kevin Schaffer Music". 
  41. ^ Shaughnessy, Michael F. (December 12, 2005). "An Interview with Kevin Schaffer: From Acappella to Ah! The Classroom!". ednews.org. EducationNews.org. Retrieved December 2, 2008. [dead link]
  42. ^ "Narrow Gate Foundation". Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Pierce Arrow Theater". 
  44. ^ "West Side Church of Christ". 

External links[edit]


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A cappella - Wikipedia

A cappella [a kapˈpɛlla] (Italian for "in the manner of the chapel")[1] music is specifically group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It contrasts with cantata, which is usually accompanied singing. The term "a cappella" was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style. In the 19th century a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music.[1] The term is also used, albeit rarely, as a synonym for alla breve.[2]

Religious origins[edit]

A cappella music was originally used in religious music, especially church music as well as anasheed and zemirot. Gregorian chant is an example of a cappella singing, as is the majority of secular vocal music from the Renaissance. The madrigal, up until its development in the early Baroque into an instrumentally-accompanied form, is also usually in a cappella form. Jewish and Christian music were originally a cappella,[citation needed] and this practice has continued in both of these religions as well as in Islam.


The polyphony of Christian a cappella music began to develop in Europe around the late 15th century AD, with compositions by Josquin des Prez.[3] The early a cappella polyphonies may have had an accompanying instrument, although this instrument would merely double the singers' parts and was not independent. By the 16th century, a cappella polyphony had further developed, but gradually, the cantata began to take the place of a cappella forms.[3] 16th century a cappella polyphony, nonetheless, continued to influence church composers throughout this period and to the present day. Recent evidence has shown that some of the early pieces by Palestrina, such as what was written for the Sistine Chapel was intended to be accompanied by an organ "doubling" some or all of the voices.[3] Such is seen in the life of Palestrina becoming a major influence on Bach, most notably in the Mass in B Minor. Other composers that utilized the a cappella style, if only for the occasional piece, were Claudio Monteverdi and his masterpiece, Lagrime d'amante al sepolcro dell'amata (A lover's tears at his beloved's grave), which was composed in 1610,[4] and Andrea Gabrieli when upon his death it was discovered many choral pieces, one of which was in the unaccompanied style.[5] Learning from the preceding two composeres, Heinrich Schütz utilized the a cappella style in numerous pieces, chief among these were the pieces in the oratorio style, which were traditionally performed during the Easter week and dealt with the religious subject matter of that week, such as Christ's suffering and the Passion. Five of Schutz's Historien were Easter pieces, and of these the latter three, which dealt with the passion from three different viewpoints, those of Matthew, Luke and John, were all done a cappella style. This was a near requirement for this type of piece, and the parts of the crowd were sung while the solo parts which were the quoted parts from either Christ or the authors were performed in a plainchant.[6]

Byzantine Rite[edit]

In the Byzantine Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches, the music performed in the liturgies is exclusively sung without instrumental accompaniment. Bishop Kallistos Ware says, "The service is sung, even though there may be no choir... In the Orthodox Church today, as in the early Church, singing is unaccompanied and instrumental music is not found."[7] This a cappella behavior arises from strict interpretation of Psalms 150, which states, Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.[8] In keeping with this philosophy, early Russian musika which started appearing in the late 17th century, in what was known as khorovïye kontsertï (choral concertos) made a cappella adaptations of Venetian-styled pieces, such as the treatise, Grammatika musikiyskaya (1675), by Nikolai Diletsky.[9] Divine Liturgies and Western Rite masses composed by famous composers such as Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Arkhangelsky, and Mykola Leontovych are fine examples of this.

Opposition to instruments in worship[edit]

Present-day Christian religious bodies known for conducting their worship services without musical accompaniment include some Presbyterian churches devoted to the regulative principle of worship, Old Regular Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Plymouth Brethren, Churches of Christ, Church of God (Guthrie, Oklahoma), the Old German Baptist Brethren, Doukhobors the Byzantine Rite and the Amish, Old Order Mennonites and Conservative Mennonites. Certain high church services and other musical events in liturgical churches (such as the Roman Catholic Mass and the Lutheran Divine Service) may be a cappella, a practice remaining from apostolic times. Many Mennonites also conduct some or all of their services without instruments. Sacred Harp, a type of folk music, is an a cappella style of religious singing with shape notes, usually sung at singing conventions.

Opponents of musical instruments in the Christian worship believe that such opposition is supported by the Christian scriptures and Church history. The scriptures typically referenced are Matthew 26:30; Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 2:12, 13:15; James 5:13, which show examples and exhortations for Christians to sing.[10]

There is no reference to instrumental music in early church worship in the New Testament, or in the worship of churches for the first six centuries.[11][12] Several reasons have been posited throughout church history for the absence of instrumental music in church worship.[nb 1]

Christians who believe in a cappella music today believe that in the Israelite worship assembly during Temple worship only the Priests of Levi sang, played, and offered animal sacrifices, whereas in the church era, all Christians are commanded to sing praises to God. They believe that if God wanted instrumental music in New Testament worship, He would have commanded not just singing, but singing and playing like he did in the Hebrew scriptures.

The first recorded example of a musical instrument in Roman Catholic worship was a pipe organ introduced by Pope Vitalian into a cathedral in Rome around 670.[14][nb 2]

Instruments have divided Christendom since their introduction into worship. They were considered a Catholic innovation, not widely practiced until the 18th century, and were opposed vigorously in worship by a number of Protestant Reformers, including Martin Luther (1483–1546),[16]Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin (1509–1564)[17] and John Wesley (1703–1791).[18] Alexander Campbell referred to the use of an instrument in worship as "a cow bell in a concert".[19] In Sir Walter Scott's The Heart of Midlothian, the heroine, Jeanie Deans, a Scottish Presbyterian, writes to her father about the church situation she has found in England (bold added):

The folk here are civil, and, like the barbarians unto the holy apostle, have shown me much kindness; and there are a sort of chosen people in the land, for they have some kirks without organs that are like ours, and are called meeting-houses, where the minister preaches without a gown.[20]
Acceptance of instruments in worship[edit]

Those who do not adhere to the regulative principle of interpreting Christian scripture, believe that limiting praise to the unaccompanied chant of the early church is not commanded in scripture, and that churches in any age are free to offer their songs with or without musical instruments.

Those who subscribe to this interpretation believe that since the Christian scriptures never counter instrumental language with any negative judgment on instruments, opposition to instruments instead comes from an interpretation of history. There is no written opposition to musical instruments in any setting in the first century and a half of Christian churches (33 AD to 180AD).[21] The use of instruments for Christian worship during this period is also undocumented. Toward the end of the 2nd century, Christians began condemning the instruments themselves.[22] Those who oppose instruments today believe these Church Fathers had a better understanding of God's desire for the church,[citation needed] but there are significant differences between the teachings of these Church Fathers and Christian opposition to instruments today.

  • Modern Christians typically believe it is acceptable to play instruments or to attend weddings, funerals, banquets, etc., where instruments are heard playing religious music. The Church Fathers made no exceptions.[22] Since the New Testament never condemns instruments themselves, much less in any of these settings, it is believed that "the church Fathers go beyond the New Testament in pronouncing a negative judgment on musical instruments."[23]
  • Written opposition to instruments in worship began near the turn of the 5th century.[24] Modern opponents of instruments typically do not make the same assessment of instruments as these writers,[nb 3] who argued that God had allowed David the "evil" of using musical instruments in praise.[27] While the Old Testament teaches that God specifically asked for musical instruments,[28] modern concern is for worship based on the New Testament.

Since "a cappella" singing brought a new polyphony (more than one note at a time) with instrumental accompaniment, it is not surprising that Protestant reformers who opposed the instruments (such as Calvin and Zwingli) also opposed the polyphony.[29] While Zwingli was burning organs in Switzerland – Luther called him a fanatic – the Church of England was burning books of polyphony.[30]

Some Holiness Churches such as the Free Methodist Church opposed the use of musical instruments in church worship until the mid-20th century. The Free Methodist Church allowed for local church decision on the use of either an organ or piano in the 1943 Conference before lifting the ban entirely in 1955.


While worship in the Temple in Jerusalem included musical instruments (2 Chronicles 29:25–27), traditional Jewish religious services in the Synagogue, both before and after the last destruction of the Temple, did not include musical instruments[31] given the practice of scriptural cantillation.[32] The use of musical instruments is traditionally forbidden on the Sabbath out of concern that players would be tempted to repair (or tune) their instruments, which is forbidden on those days. (This prohibition has been relaxed in many Reform and some Conservative congregations.) Similarly, when Jewish families and larger groups sing traditional Sabbath songs known as zemirot outside the context of formal religious services, they usually do so a cappella, and Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations on the Sabbath sometimes feature entertainment by a cappella ensembles. During the Three Weeks musical instruments are prohibited. Many Jews consider a portion of the 49-day period of the counting of the omer between Passover and Shavuot to be a time of semi-mourning and instrumental music is not allowed during that time.[33] This has led to a tradition of a cappella singing sometimes known as sefirah music.[34]

The popularization of the Jewish chant may be found in the writings of the Jewish philosopher Philo, born 20 BCE. Weaving together Jewish and Greek thought, Philo promoted praise without instruments, and taught that "silent singing" (without even vocal chords) was better still.[35] This view parted with the Jewish scriptures, where Israel offered praise with instruments by God's own command (2 Chronicles 29:25). The shofar is the only temple instrument still being used today in the synagogue,[36] and it is only used from Rosh Chodesh Elul through the end of Yom Kippur. The shofar is used by itself, without any vocal accompaniment, and is limited to a very strictly defined set of sounds and specific places in the synagogue service.[37] However, silver trumpets, as described in Numbers 10:1-10, have been made in recent years and used in prayer services at the Western Wall.[38]

In the United States[edit]

Peter Christian Lutkin, dean of the Northwestern University School of Music, helped popularize a cappella music in the United States by founding the Northwestern A Cappella Choir in 1906. The A Cappella Choir was "the first permanent organization of its kind in America."[39][40]

A strong and prominent a cappella tradition was begun in the midwest part of the United States in 1911 by F. Melius Christiansen, a music faculty member at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. The St. Olaf College Choir was established as an outgrowth of the local St. John's Lutheran Church, where Christiansen was organist and the choir was composed, at least partially, of students from the nearby St. Olaf campus. The success of the ensemble was emulated by other regional conductors, and a rich tradition of a cappella choral music was born in the region at colleges like Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota), Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois), Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa), Luther College (Decorah, Iowa), Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, Minnesota), Augustana College (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), and Augsburg University (Minneapolis, Minnesota). The choirs typically range from 40 to 80 singers and are recognized for their efforts to perfect blend, intonation, phrasing and pitch in a large choral setting.

Major movements in modern a cappella over the past century include Barbershop and doo wop. The Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines International, and Harmony Inc. host educational events including Harmony University, Directors University, and the International Educational Symposium, and international contests and conventions, recognizing international champion choruses and quartets.

These days, many a cappella groups can be found in high schools and colleges. There are amateur Barbershop Harmony Society and professional groups that sing a cappella exclusively. Although a cappella is technically defined as singing without instrumental accompaniment, some groups use their voices to emulate instruments; others are more traditional and focus on harmonizing. A cappella styles range from gospel music to contemporary to barbershop quartets and choruses.

The Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) is a membership option for former students, whose funds support hosted competitions and events.

A cappella music was popularized between the late 2000s and the early to mid-2010s with media hits such as the 2009–2014 TV show The Sing-Off, the musical Perfect Harmony, and the musical comedy film series Pitch Perfect.

Recording artists[edit]

In July 1943, as a result of the American Federation of Musicians boycott of US recording studios, the a cappella vocal group The Song Spinners had a best-seller with "Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer". In the 1950s several recording groups, notably The Hi-Los and the Four Freshmen, introduced complex jazz harmonies to a cappella performances. The King's Singers are credited with promoting interest in small-group a cappella performances in the 1960s. Frank Zappa loves Doo wop and A cappella, so Zappa released The Persuasions' first album from his label in 1970.[41] In 1983 an a cappella group known as The Flying Pickets had a Christmas 'number one' in the UK with a cover of Yazoo's (known in the US as Yaz) "Only You". A cappella music attained renewed prominence from the late 1980s onward, spurred by the success of Top 40 recordings by artists such as The Manhattan Transfer, Bobby McFerrin, Huey Lewis and the News, All-4-One, The Nylons, Backstreet Boys and Boyz II Men.[citation needed]

Contemporary a cappella includes many vocal groups and bands who add vocal percussion or beatboxing to create a pop/rock/gospel sound, in some cases very similar to bands with instruments. Examples of such professional groups include Straight No Chaser, Pentatonix, The House Jacks, Rockapella, Mosaic, Home Free and M-pact. There also remains a strong a cappella presence within Christian music, as some denominations purposefully do not use instruments during worship. Examples of such groups are Take 6, Glad and Acappella. Arrangements of popular music for small a cappella ensembles typically include one voice singing the lead melody, one singing a rhythmic bass line, and the remaining voices contributing chordal or polyphonic accompaniment.

A cappella can also describe the isolated vocal track(s) from a multitrack recording that originally included instrumentation.[citation needed] These vocal tracks may be remixed or put onto vinyl records for DJs, or released to the public so that fans can remix them. One such example is the a cappella release of Jay-Z's Black Album, which Danger Mouse mixed with The Beatles' White Album to create The Grey Album.

A cappella's growth is not limited to live performance, with hundreds of recorded a cappella albums produced over the past decade. As of December 2006, the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) had reviewed over 660 a cappella albums since 1994, and its popular discussion forum had over 900 users and 19,000 articles.[citation needed]

On their 1966 album titled Album, Peter, Paul and Mary included the song "Norman Normal." All the sounds on that song, both vocals and instruments, were created by Paul's voice, with no actual instruments used.[42]

In 2013, an artist by the name Smooth McGroove rose to prominence with his style of a cappella music.[43] He is best known for his a cappella covers of video game music tracks on YouTube.[44]

in 2015, an a cappella version of Jerusalem by multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier was selected for Beats by Dre "The Game Starts Here" for the England Rugby World Cup campaign.[45][46]

Musical theater[edit]

A cappella has been used as the sole orchestration for original works of musical theater that have had commercial runs Off-Broadway (theaters in New York City with 99 to 500 seats) only four times. The first was Avenue X which opened on 28 January 1994 and ran for 77 performances. It was produced by Playwrights Horizons with book by John Jiler, music and lyrics by Ray Leslee. The musical style of the show's score was primarily Doo-Wop as the plot revolved around Doo-Wop group singers of the 1960s.[47][48]

In 2001, The Kinsey Sicks, produced and starred in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit, "DRAGAPELLA! Starring the Kinsey Sicks" at New York's legendary Studio 54. That production received a nomination for a Lucille Lortel award as Best Musical and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Lyrics. It was directed by Glenn Casale with original music and lyrics by Ben Schatz.[49]

The a cappella musical Perfect Harmony, a comedy about two high school a cappella groups vying to win the National championship, made its Off Broadway debut at Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre on 42nd Street in New York City in October, 2010 after a successful out-of-town run at the Stoneham Theatre, in Stoneham, Massachusetts. Perfect Harmony features the hit music of The Jackson 5, Pat Benatar, Billy Idol, Marvin Gaye, Scandal, Tiffany, The Romantics, The Pretenders, The Temptations, The Contours, The Commodores, Tommy James & the Shondells and The Partridge Family, and has been compared to a cross between Altar Boyz and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.[50][51]

The fourth a cappella musical to appear Off-Broadway, In Transit, premiered 5 October 2010 and was produced by Primary Stages with book, music, and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan, and Sara Wordsworth. Set primarily in the New York City subway system its score features an eclectic mix of musical genres (including jazz, hip hop, Latin, rock, and country). In Transit incorporates vocal beat boxing into its contemporary a cappella arrangements through the use of a subway beat boxer character. Beat boxer and actor Chesney Snow performed this role for the 2010 Primary Stages production.[52] According to the show's website, it is scheduled to reopen for an open-ended commercial run in the Fall of 2011. In 2011 the production received four Lucille Lortel Award nominations including Outstanding Musical, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League nominations, as well as five Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Musical and won for Outstanding Ensemble Performance.

In December 2016, In Transit became the first a cappella musical on Broadway.[53]

Barbershop style[edit]

Barbershop music is one of several uniquely American art forms. The earliest reports of this style of a cappella music involved African Americans. The earliest documented quartets all began in barbershops. In 1938, the first formal men's barbershop organization was formed, known as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A), and in 2004 rebranded itself and officially changed its public name to the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS). Today the BHS has about 22,000 members in approximately 800 chapters across the United States and Canada,[54][55] and the barbershop style has spread around the world with organizations in many other countries.[56] The Barbershop Harmony Society provides a highly organized competition structure for a cappella quartets and choruses singing in the barbershop style.

In 1945, the first formal women's barbershop organization, Sweet Adelines, was formed. In 1953 Sweet Adelines became an international organization, although it didn't change its name to Sweet Adelines International until 1991. The membership of nearly 25,000 women, all singing in English, includes choruses in most of the fifty United States as well as in Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the organization encompasses more than 1,200 registered quartets and 600 choruses.

In 1959, a second women's barbershop organization started as a break off from Sweet Adelines due to ideological differences. Based on democratic principles which continue to this day, Harmony, Inc. is smaller than its counterpart, but has an atmosphere of friendship and competition. With about 2,500 members in the United States and Canada, Harmony, Inc. uses the same rules in contest that the Barbershop Harmony Society uses. Harmony, Inc. is registered in Providence, Rhode Island.

Amateur and high school[edit]

The popularity of a cappella among high schools and amateurs was revived by television shows and movies such as Glee and Pitch Perfect. High school groups have conductors or student leaders who keep the tempo for the group.

In other countries[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2013)


The musical show Strepsils Stereo is credited for introducing the art of a cappella in Pakistan.[57]

Sri Lanka[edit]

Composer Dinesh Subasinghe became the first Sri Lankan to write a cappella pieces for SATB choirs. He wrote "The Princes of the Lost Tribe" and "Ancient Queen of Somawathee" for Menaka De Shabandu and Bridget Halpe's choirs, respectively, based on historical incidents in ancient Sri Lanka.[58][59][60] Voice Print is also a professional a cappella music group in Sri Lanka.[61]


The European a cappella tradition is especially strong in the countries around the Baltic and perhaps most so in Sweden as described by Richard Sparks in his doctoral thesis The Swedish Choral Miracle in 2000.[62]

Swedish a cappella choirs have over the last 25 years won around 25% of the annual prestigious European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (EGP) that despite its name is open to choirs from all over the world (see list of laureates in the Wikipedia article on the EGP competition).

The reasons for the strong Swedish dominance are as explained by Richard Sparks manifold; suffice to say here that there is a long-standing tradition, an unsusually large proportion of the populations (5% is often cited) regularly sing in choirs, the Swedish choral director Eric Ericson had an enormous impact on a cappella choral development not only in Sweden but around the world, and finally there are a large number of very popular primary and secondary schools (music schools) with high admission standards based on auditions that combine a rigid academic regimen with high level choral singing on every school day, a system that started with Adolf Fredrik's Music School in Stockholm in 1939 but has spread over the country.

United Kingdom[edit]

The Sweet Nothings are one of the University of Exeter's eight A Capella groups. They are one of the oldest and most successful girl groups in the UK

A cappella has gained attention in the UK in recent years, with many groups forming at British universities by students seeking an alternative singing pursuit to traditional choral and chapel singing. This movement has been bolstered by organisations such as The Voice Festival UK.


It is not clear exactly where collegiate a cappella began. The Rensselyrics of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (formerly known as the RPI Glee Club), established in 1873 is perhaps the oldest known collegiate a cappella group.[63][additional citation(s) needed] However the longest continuously-singing group is probably The Whiffenpoofs of Yale University,[64] which was formed in 1909 and once included Cole Porter as a member.[64] Collegiate a cappella groups grew throughout the 20th century. Some notable historical groups formed along the way include Colgate University's The Colgate 13 (1942), Dartmouth College's Aires (1946), Cornell University's Cayuga's Waiters (1949) and The Hangovers (1968), the University of Maine Maine Steiners (1958), the Columbia University Kingsmen (1949), the Jabberwocks of Brown University (1949), and the University of Rochester YellowJackets (1956). All-women a cappella groups followed shortly, frequently as a parody of the men's groups: the Smiffenpoofs of Smith College (1936), The Shwiffs of Connecticut College (The She-Whiffenpoofs, 1944), and The Chattertocks of Brown University (1951). A cappella groups exploded in popularity beginning in the 1990s, fueled in part by a change in style popularized by the Tufts University Beelzebubs and the Boston University Dear Abbeys. The new style used voices to emulate modern rock instruments, including vocal percussion/"beatboxing". Some larger universities now have multiple groups. Groups often join one another in on-campus concerts, such as the Georgetown Chimes' Cherry Tree Massacre, a 3-weekend a cappella festival held each February since 1975, where over a hundred collegiate groups have appeared, as well as International Quartet Champions The Boston Common and the contemporary commercial a cappella group Rockapella. Co-ed groups have produced many up-and-coming and major artists, including John Legend, an alumnus of the Counterparts at the University of Pennsylvania, and Sara Bareilles, an alumna of Awaken A Cappella at University of California, Los Angeles. Mira Sorvino is an alumna of the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones of Harvard College, where she had the solo on Only You by Yaz.

A cappella is gaining popularity among South Asians with the emergence of primarily Hindi-English College groups. The first South Asian a cappella group was Penn Masala, founded in 1996 at the University of Pennsylvania. Co-ed South Asian a cappella groups are also gaining in popularity. The first co-ed south Asian a cappella was Anokha, from the University of Maryland, formed in 2001. Also, Dil se, another co-ed a cappella from UC Berkeley, hosts the "Anahat" competition at the University of California, Berkeley annually. Maize Mirchi, the co-ed a cappella group from the University of Michigan hosts "Sa Re Ga Ma Pella", an annual South Asian a cappella invitational with various groups from the Midwest. Another South Asian group from the Midwest is Chai Town who is based in the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.

Jewish-interest groups such as Queens College's Tizmoret, Tufts University's Shir Appeal, University of Chicago's Rhythm and Jews, Binghamton University's Kaskeset, Ohio State University's Meshuganotes, Rutgers University's Kol Halayla, New York University's Ani V'Ata and Yale University's Magevet are also gaining popularity across the U.S.[65][66][67]

Increased interest in modern a cappella (particularly collegiate a cappella) can be seen in the growth of awards such as the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (overseen by the Contemporary A Cappella Society) and competitions such as the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella for college groups and the Harmony Sweepstakes for all groups. In December 2009, a new television competition series called The Sing-Off aired on NBC. The show featured eight a cappella groups from the United States and Puerto Rico vying for the prize of $100,000 and a recording contract with Epic Records/Sony Music. The show was judged by Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman, and Nicole Scherzinger and was won by an all-male group from Puerto Rico called Nota. The show returned for a second, third and fourth season, won by Committed, Pentatonix and Home Free respectively.

Each year, hundreds of Collegiate a cappella groups submit their strongest songs in a competition to be on The Best of College A Cappella (BOCA), an album compilation of tracks from the best college a cappella groups around the world. The album is produced by Varsity Vocals – which also produces the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella – and Deke Sharon. ). According to ethnomusicologist Joshua S. Dunchan, "BOCA carries considerable cache and respect within the field despite the appearance of other compilations in part, perhaps, because of its longevity and the prestige of the individuals behind it."[68]

Collegiate a cappella groups may also submit their tracks to Voices Only, a two-disc series released at the beginning of each school year. A Voices Only album has been released every year since 2005.[69]

In addition, all women's a cappella groups can send their strongest song tracks to the Women’s A Cappella Association (WACA) for its annual best of women's a cappella album. WACA offers another medium for women's voices to receive recognition and has released an album every year since 2014, featuring women's groups from across the United States.[70]

Emulating instruments[edit]

In addition to singing words, some a cappella singers also emulate instrumentation by reproducing instrumental sounds with their vocal cords and mouth. One of the earliest 20th century practitioners of this method were The Mills Brothers whose early recordings of the 1930s clearly stated on the label that all instrumentation was done vocally. More recently, "Twilight Zone" by 2 Unlimited was sung a cappella to the instrumentation on the comedy television series Tompkins Square. Another famous example of emulating instrumentation instead of singing the words is the theme song for The New Addams Family series on Fox Family Channel (now ABC Family). Groups such as Vocal Sampling and Undivided emulate Latin rhythms a cappella. In the 1960s, the Swingle Singers used their voices to emulate musical instruments to Baroque and Classical music. Vocal artist Bobby McFerrin is famous for his instrumental emulation. A cappella group Naturally Seven recreates entire songs using vocal tones for every instrument.

The Swingle Singers used nonsense words to sound like instruments, but have been known to produce non-verbal versions of musical instruments. Beatboxing, more accurately known as vocal percussion, is a technique used in a cappella music popularized by the hip-hop community, where rap is often performed a cappella also. The advent of vocal percussion added new dimensions to the a cappella genre and has become very prevalent in modern arrangements.[71] Jazz vocalist Petra Haden used a four-track recorder to produce an a cappella version of The Who Sell Out including the instruments and fake advertisements on her album Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out in 2005. Haden has also released a cappella versions of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'", The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" and Michael Jackson's "Thriller".

Christian rock group Relient K recorded the song "Plead the Fifth" a cappella on its album Five Score and Seven Years Ago. The group recorded lead singer Matt Thiessen making drum noises and played them with an electronic drum machine to record the song.

The German metal band van Canto uses vocal noises to imitate guitars on covers of well-known rock and metal songs (such as "Master of Puppets" by Metallica) as well as original compositions. Although they are generally classified as a cappella metal, the band also includes a drummer, and uses amplifiers on some songs to distort the voice to sound more like an electric guitar.

See also[edit]

  1. ^ The absence of instrumental music is rooted in various hermeneutic principles (ways of interpreting the Bible) which determine what is appropriate for worship. Among such principles are the regulative principle of worship (Ulrich Zwingli), Sola scriptura (Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli), and the history of hymn in "Christianity". Dispensationalism emphasizes the differences between the old (Law of Moses) and the new (Jesus and the Apostles) covenants, emphasizing that the majority of the practices from the Law of Moses were replaced by the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. The absence of instrumental music in early church worship is significant given the abundance of Hebrew Bible references and commands to worship God with harp, lyre and cymbal. After several hundred years of Tabernacle worship without references to instrumental music, King David (ca 1500 BCE) introduced musical instruments into Temple worship reportedly because of a commandment from God, complete with who was to sing, who was to play, and what instruments were to be used.[13]
  2. ^ McKinnon maintained that the organ was the first instrument to be introduced into worship and the next was the trumpet. He noted accounts of an organ being sent from Byzantium to Pippin in 757, and another to Charlemagne in 812.[15]
  3. ^ Rather than calling the use of instruments "evil", modern opposition typically uses terms like "unspiritual"[25] or an Old Testament "shadow".[26]
  1. ^ a b Holmes 2007
  2. ^ Arnold 1998, p. 314
  3. ^ a b c Hoiberg 2010, p. 1
  4. ^ Taruskin 2005a, p. 6
  5. ^ Taruskin 2005, p. 780
  6. ^ Taruskin 2005a, p. 73
  7. ^ Ware 1997, p. 268
  8. ^ Psalms 150:6
  9. ^ Taruskin 2005b, p. 234
  10. ^ Kurfees 1911
  11. ^ McKinnon 1965, pp. 263, 265
  12. ^ Bales 1973, p. 351
  13. ^ 2 Chronicles 29:25-29
  14. ^ American Encyclopedia, Volume 12, p. 688[title missing]
  15. ^ McKinnon 1965, p. 265
  16. ^ M'Clintock & Strong 1894, p. 762
  17. ^ Calvin 2009
  18. ^ Clarke 1844, p. 684
  19. ^ Ferguson 2004, p. 414
  20. ^ Scott 1818
  21. ^ McKinnon 1989, p. 2
  22. ^ a b McKinnon 1998, p. 72
  23. ^ Ferguson 1972, p. 74
  24. ^ Ferguson 1972, pp. 52, 53
  25. ^ Ferguson 1972, p. 88
  26. ^ Ferguson, Lewis & West 1984, p. 109
  27. ^ McKinnon 1989, p. 7
  28. ^ 2 Chronicles 29:25
  29. ^ Weiss & Taruskin 1984, p. 107
  30. ^ Weiss & Taruskin 1984, p. 109
  31. ^ Price 2005, p. 68
  32. ^ McKinnon 1998, p. 85
  33. ^ Melamed 2013
  34. ^ Shircago 2013
  35. ^ Ferguson 1972, pp. 39–41
  36. ^ Olson 1967, p. 562
  37. ^ Alleman 2011
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External links[edit]

Look up a cappella in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


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