A Cappella- An Unconventional Music

Now-a-days I am more into music than anything else. It was the Independence Day when for the first time I saw a music video on 9XM, and I was totally overwhelmed with that. I had the same kind of Goosebumps long time back when I heard Shankar Mahadevan’s Breathless. The video I am talking about is Penn Masala’s latest hit Maa Tujhe Salam featured on the 66th Independence Day on 9XM. It moved me so much that I had to dig out all the corresponding facts about it. And I found out a lot. This song is an A Cappella. And what is a A Cappella is a must read.
        A Cappella is an Italian word meaning “in the manner of the church” or “in the manner of the chapel”. A Cappella is a kind of music that is performed solo or in groups without an accompaniment of instruments. There is a long history of A Cappella in religious ritual.
        Traditionally, A Cappella was the only way of Christian musical worship. Instruments were not introduced into the churches until 670 AD. A Cappella is mainly intended for religious music. In Eastern Europe, the music performed in the Eastern Orthodox Cathedrals and monasteries is sung without instrumental help. In Jewish religion, the use of instruments is traditionally forbidden on the Sabbath. A Cappella is included in most of the Jewish rituals and celebrations. Also in Muslim communities, A Cappella is involved, mostly in Nasheed or Tawasheeh.
        A Cappella prominently exists in the United States of America, where the dean of the North-western University School of Music, Peter Christian Lutkin, has founded A Cappella Choir, a foundation to promote A Cappella music in 1906.  There are a good many organisations led by so many generous people endorsing A Cappella music all over USA.

A Cappella Choir (Courtesy: Google Images)
        The introduction of Collegiate A Cappella is indistinct. But possibly The Rensselyrics of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (old name ‘RIP Glee Club’), established in 1873 is the oldest collegiate A Cappella group. The longest continuously-singing group is ‘The Whiffenpoofs’ of Yale University, formed in 1909.
The Whiffenpoofs (Courtesy: Google Images)

The Top 10 A Cappella Groups

1.     Take 6
Courtesy: Google Images

2.     The Persuasions
Courtesy: Google Images

3.     Bobby McFerrin
Courtesy: Google Images

4.     Rockapella
Courtesy: Google Images

5.     King’s Singers
Courtesy: Google Images

6.     Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Courtesy: Google Images

7.     Chanticleer
Courtesy: Google Images

8.     GLAD
Courtesy: Google Images

9.     The Mint Juleps
Courtesy: Google Images

10.  Tonic Sol-Fa
Courtesy: tonicsolfa.com

Indian A Cappella Band, Penn Masala

Courtesy: pennmasala.com

The first South-East Asian A Cappella group, as well as the first Indian A Cappella band is Penn Masala, founded in 1996 at the University of Pennsylvania. They also have performed various types of music such as bollywood, R & B, hip-hop, Indian classical by emulating instrumentation by reproducing melody with their vocal cords.

Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

        In 1998 the group became luminous within the North American Desi community. In October 2008, Penn Masala performed for US President Barrack Obama in White House. In 1999, their first full-length album, Awaaz, released. They have also performed for the BBC Radio in London. They have performed in different concerts like at Zee Gold Awards, NYC, Bollywood Music Awards, NYC and many others. The 15-members-group surely rocks the whole nation mainly the youth.

Their Albums

·         Awaaz(1990)
·         11 PM(2001)
·         Soundcheck(2003)
·         The Brown Album(2005)
·         Out of Stock(2005)
·         Pehchaan(2007)
·         On Detours(2009)
·         Panoramic(2011)
 Courtesy: Youtube
Maa Tujhe Salam, along with 9XM, is their latest hit, featured on 15th August, 2012.

Source: Google, Wikipedia and other places


  1. Thanks for the knowledge insight regarding this form of music ... being a music lover myself, it was great getting to know about this art :-)

    1. Thank you so much for commenting. Keep in touch.:D

  2. Followed u ryt bk. And liked ur pg on FB too :)

    Keep smiling!


    1. thank you so much Eshna. Keep in touch. Keep reading:D


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