Over the course of the past decade, we have seen our fair share of music trends come and disappear, but one trend that hasn’t and won’t be going away anytime soon is the rise of A capella. For those who aren’t familiar with this genre, A capella is a style of music where artists use only their voices to create and replicate not only lyrics, but instruments! The trend began in late 2009 with the introduction of the popular reality show The Sing-Off, aired on NBC. From the beginning audiences were hooked and A capella soon became the newest trend in music.
To gain a better understanding of this, let’s look at a chronological timeline of the rise of A capella.
2009: This was the first year that NBC’s reality show, The Sing Off, began airing. The show revolved around 10 A cappella groups, ranging from high school to professional, and their battle for the title of the ultimate team and the a recording contract. Groups would perform covers of different music genres and be eliminated until one group was left standing. Within the show’s first season, audience ratings went through the roof. Audiences even loved the show so much that NBC decided to extend the show for another four seasons. This launched A capella into the limelight and started this trend that we see today.
2010: The following year, A capella was pushed even further into the limelight when audiences were introduced to The Warblers on the hit TV show Glee. The all-male A capella show choir group, who were actually a real life college choir called the Tufts Beelzebubs, were led by famous actor Darren Chris and first appeared in the 2010 episode entitled Never been kissed. The appearance of A Capella in a popular youth TV show only further increased the popularity of the genre and inspired other artists to form their own A capella groups.
2012: Jumping ahead two years, we see A capella return to the spotlight with the release of the movie Pitch Perfect. The film was set in America’s college life where students compete in A capella championships. Specifically the film focuses on an all-female group who are struggling to compete against reigning champions and rivals The Treblemakers. That is until freshman Beca (played by Anna Kendrick) comes along and introduces them into a new style of A capella. What made this movie great was that it stayed true to A capella and how serious and difficult the genre can be. Audiences were thrilled to hear not long after the movie’s release that a second movie was in the works. The sequel Pitch Perfect 2 was released in May 2015.
2015-16: Although all these events did contribute to the rise of A capella, if there is one thing that the genre is known for, it’s for one A capella group in particular: Pentatonix. We were first introduced to Pentatonix in 2011 after they became the winners of NBC’s The Sing Off. Soon after, the group started posting covers on YouTube, which brought them an online audience and furthered their popularity. Now Pentatonix have become platinum selling record artists; selling more than 2.8 million albums and even winning some Grammys. Their combination of flawless harmonies and modern melodies has connected with the new generation, which in an industry that is dominated by heavily altered music, is a great feat.
As you can see, A capella has been a trend on the rise for almost a decade now and it doesn’t look like it will be disappearing anytime soon. With another Pitch Perfect movie in the works and the continuing fame of Pentatonix, A capella seems like it will be an ongoing trend in the music industry. What are your thoughts? Do you think A capella will be here to stay or do you think that it will disappear in a couple of years? Leave a comment below!