What is an a capella?

You’ve probably came across the term A capella if you are a signer or songwriter, a music aficionado or a music producer but do you know what this term exactly stands for and what is an a capella ?

You might be surprised to know that you have probably spelled it wrong your whole life. If you have already searched the net for a capellas,  you will probably have noticed huge differences in spelling such as a capella, acapella, accapella or acapela , …. and most versions are wrong as you will find out later.

But what is an a capella?

The term A Capella has Italian roots and it literally means ‘manners of chapel’, probably beacause of it’s religious origins .

a capella in the Renaissance

what is an a capella

In The Renaissance, a capellas were only performed in choirs during religious ceremonies. It’s only in the early Baroque that some instrument-accompanied forms emerged and were introduced to the public outside the church.

 

In the 18th century, the term has been introduced in the English language. At first it would still apply exclusively to choirs, to later evolve and expand it’s significance to any vocal act without the accompaniment of instruments.

A Capella now stands for a solo singer or group performing without any instruments.

A Capella or Acapella?

There seems to be a debate around the correct way to spell it.  Thought, the correct spelling is claimed to be  ‘A capella’  by experts and in the realm of musical terminolgy,  the other spelling ‘ Acapella‘, even though is wrong, is frequently used in the English vocabulary.

Why are a capellas still popular?

what is an acapella

Even though, nowadays,  it is hard to get around instruments in music, a capella versions of songs seems to still make their way into the music industry.

 

If you are searching around for a capellas on music platforms like Youtube or Soundcloud you will be able to find about any version of a song preformed a capella. And how beautiful isn’t it to hear your favorite artist solo! 

 

Why do I do speak about a capellas on a music production website?

A Capellas are commonly used in music production for remix purposes or to add vocals to a track.

Sampling techniques are used a lot by professionals and the options are endless if you like to play with sounds. Like music samples, A capellas and vocals can be chopped and managed in any DAW ( What is a DAW? ) and adding a capellas or vocals tend always to bring that little extra that is sometimes missing in your productions.

What I like about using a capellas in my production is the fact that it’s fun to use and that you can be as creative with it as you want with it!

When you make a survey about music taste, people tend to choose songs with vocals above instrumentals only.

In Electronic music it is a bit different, but vocals can be a great plus to go along with a strong beats and bass line. They are very popular in EDM and big Room , but in some genres like Techno or minimal, where the attention goes to drums, bass and details, adding a few vocals can lift up the sometimes ‘cold’ aspect of this specific genre.

When you are using a capellas or vocals into your music production you should always watch out for Royalty free material as you would want to avoid any copyright infringements in the future.

Some websites offer free, Royality free acapellas that are ready to use….

read more:  ‘The best acapella websites

 

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About the Author Angelique D.

My name is Angélique. I am a full-time music producer and blogger.I created Children of the Electronic Revolution to give you all the tools you need to help you become the successful music producer you dream to be !

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