The rise of A Capella

Over the course of the past decade, we have seen our fair share of music trends come and disappear, but one trend that 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, which 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 on prime-time TV. The show revolved around 10 A capella groups, and their battle for the winning title and a recording contract. Groups would perform covers of different music genres, being eliminated one by one until only 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 the trend that we see today.

2010: The following year, A capella was pushed 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) first appeared in the 2010 episode entitled Never been kissed, with actor Darren Chris as the lead.

The appearance of A capella in a popular youth TV show only further increased its popularity, 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 focuses on 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 to a new style of A capella.

What made this movie so great was that it stayed true to A capella. Not only did it showcase the beauty of this art form, but the difficulties that come along with it as well. Not long after the movie’s release, fans were thrilled to hear that a second movie was in the works. The sequel Pitch Perfect 2 was released in May 2015.

2015-16: Although all these events contributed to the rise of A capella, if there is one thing 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 began posting covers on YouTube, which brought them an online audience and expanded 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 have connected with this generation (which in an industry heavily dominated by 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 a third Pitch Perfect movie in the works, 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!


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