Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Dr Matthew Styles


Barbershop harmony refers to a unique style of arrangement and performance for voice that is strictly in four parts and acapella. There is much untapped potential in this close harmonic genre that could be explored in instruments other than the human voice. This paper set out to explore and establish a method of arranging and performing music of the barbershop style for the saxophone quartet. To achieve this transference of the style from voices to saxophones, the harmonic conventions and arranging rules of barbershop from the existing literature were established, along with a review of the literature pertaining to effective saxophone ensemble writing. An exegetical process was adopted utilising the Action Research Model. This detailed the processes of rearranging barbershop standards for a quartet of saxophones, drawing on the accepted traditions of the barbershop style. Specific aspects of instrumentation, dynamics, intonation, and the expression of text were considered throughout the process, resulting in the production of considered rearrangements of barbershop music for saxophone quartet, along with observations as to how to perform them in an authentic manner. This research aimed to show that the saxophone quartet is an effective medium through which to perform the music of barbershop quartets and that barbershop is a genre that should not just be restricted to voices; its unique style could be enjoyed by many different arrangements of instruments.

Access Note

Access to the appendices of this thesis is not available.