Yahoo! hosts e-mail groups for devotees of both; Bay Area Choral List, (yahoo! group name ba-choral) and Bay Area A Cappella, (yahoo! group name ba-acappella). ba-choral has, at present 147 members, and ba-acappella has 920. I would gather that there are fewer a capella singers than choir members in the Bay Area, which leads me to believe that a large number of the members of ba-acapella are purely fans. Is a capella 6.25 times more popular than choral music?
This begs the question, why would a capella be more popular than choral groups which perform the standard repertoire? I want to look beyond obvious reasons, namely, that a capella is a form of popular music with roots in American folk song, Rock, Soul, Gospel, Hip Hop, and Jazz, or that a capella in this country is almost always performed in English. I want to explore, in particular, two reasons for its greater appeal. When compared with performances of the standard choral repertoire,
- A cappella better vivifies the personality and charisma of the individual performers
- A cappella allows for more varied audience response, participation and expression