According to Wikipedia, a "tag", in barbershop music, is the last section of the song. Its rough analog in Classical music is a coda.
Tags are characterized by a heightening of the dramatic tension of the song, frequently including a "hanger", or posted (held) note. In addition, good tags can be sung as short, stand-alone works. Tags may be soft and tender but are typically characterized by loud, "paint-peeling," ringing chords. According to the competition rules of the Barbershop Harmony Society, every song entered for a competition must have a tag.
When Barbershoppers get together, even if they have never met before, it is common for them to get into groups of four or more and sing a few tags. Those that don't know the tag being sung can be easily taught by those that do. This typically brings feelings of joy and camaraderie to all involved.
Barbershop is a style of a cappella (unaccompanied) singing, characterised by four male vocal parts sung in close, rich, consonant harmony. The most well-known expression of this musical style is the "Barbershop quartet", the contemporary form of which has shed its twee image of four men with moustaches, striped suits and boater hats, and is now sleek, professional, musically sophisticated entertainment. Groups of men larger than four can also sing Barbershop music. Organised groups are usually known as "choruses" and are found in most North American cities, as well as in Australia/New Zealand, Great Britain and several countries in Europe.
The organisation responsible for overseeing Barbershop singing and development in North America is the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS). It organises an annual convention and competition for quartets and choruses, which has become the de facto world championships for the art form. Groups from affiliate organisations in other countries are also invited to compete. Contestants must adhere to strict rules governing their performance style and the musical structure and subject material of their chosen songs.
The female counterpart to the Barbershop Harmony Society is Sweet Adelines International (SAI). Mixed (male and female) Barbershop groups exist, but are not common.
SAI stands for "Sweet Adelines International" - the female counterpart to the Barbershop Harmony Society. Members of SAI are known as "Sweet Adelines", and sing close rich four-part vocal harmonies just as their male (Barbershop) counterparts do. The name derives from a traditional Barbershop song of the same name.
SAI is the governing body of all female singers of this art form worldwide (note that the BHS is a North American organisation only).
SATB stands for "Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass (or Baritone)" - the names of the voice parts of a typical four-part mixed-gender (female/male) a cappella quartet or choir. SATB groups sing a wide variety of a cappella music, not just Barbershop
A Cappella is a musical style comprising of one or more voices without instrumental accompaniment. The term is Italian (or Latin) and literally translates as "From the chapel" (although most a cappella music is not church-related).
Barbershop is one type of a cappella singing.
Multitrack refers to a recording technique. When it applies to tag-singing, it means that each of the voice parts is recorded separately and then mixed together after recording is complete (as opposed to recording several singers harmonising with each other in one recording). In a multitrack recording, each voice part can be sung by a separate individual, or one person can sing all voice parts.
The term can equally apply to video recording. During the mixing stage of a multitrack video, the video screen is typically split into sections (4, 6, 8, etc), each section showing one person singing one voice part (they can often be all the same person, resulting in an eerie effect). A good example is here.
Two articles on how to record a multitrack tag can be found on our Multitrack page.
Welcome to Barbershop Tags.com
This site contains 3395 freely-downloadable Barbershop tags, with more being added every day.
Many tags come complete with learning tracks, sheet music - even video clips of them being sung. Most of the tags are in the Barbershop style, but there are also SAI, SATB and other a cappella tags available.
It's all free! You can listen to the tags on the website, or download them to your own computer. Most importantly, anyone can upload a tag or a video!
Every tag and video on this website was contributed by one of our members. If you know a good tag, become a member and then enter the details into our site. If you have the sheet music or feel like recording some learning tracks, even better!
Videos too! If you know a good tag-related video on YouTube, you can easily attach it to a tag on our site. If you're one of those people who creates those excellent multitrack videos, become a member and add them all to our site - it only takes a few clicks for each one!
We encourage you to download all the tags you want, and give each one a rating out of 5 (you don't have to be a member to do so). If you notice some missing/incorrect information about a tag, it would be great it you could let us know (click on the Add Missing Details button on that tag's page).
Unfortunately, we have had to reset the ratings (1 to 5) of every tag in the database. For the next little while, most tags will show no rating at all.
The ratings system was being abused - people repeatedly clicking "5" (or "1") in an effort to promote (or demote) certain tags. We didn't anticipate this behaviour when we created the ratings system (very shortsighted of us), and so now we're left with no choice but to clear the ratings of ALL tags and ask that people rate tags again. The new rating system is not able to be abused like the first one.
After a few months the rating system should be healthy and useful again.