On tumblr, a cappella, and attitude

By Nick Pothetes

Over the course of following my story on a cappella, I often times looked to the web for resources. I discovered tons of amazing talent, and a barrage of interesting individuals and groups that I would have never seen if I hadn’t looked at it previously. Nonetheless, I was shocked at the small amount of diversity of webpages where a cappella could be found. Look at the types of top search hit pages that appear when I typed “football” into google:espn nfl





The sites found with this search were unsurprisingly well established, funded, and organized, but anything less would have been a shock with how big the sports industry in the united states is. Nonetheless, when I searched a cappella in google I got sites like this:


These types of sites are usually third party, low-budget, unorganized, and often slightly unrelated to the actual topic of a cappella. The only other real source of a-ca-info is a huge following on Tumblr. So why is it that this a cappella ground forms around Tumblr. I find that there is a few different answer that hint at why this happens.

First, choir singers tend to gain an admiration for singing at a younger age. Middle school and high school is very typical for people to discover this hobby. With it comes a lot of excitement over new types of friends and new activities yet the young age keeps the singing very intermediate and their wallets empty. The perfect solution to obtain solid discourse at this age is to blog about it on Tumblr. It’s free and tons of other like-minded people gather to post tons of multimedia content.

Second, part of the spirit of a cappella is that it isn’t reliant on much other than your voice. Tumblr goes along with this spirit well because it too remains simple with just you and your voice (voice in this case being text, video, and audio blogging).

Finally, I’ve found that many a cappella singers have a bit of an attitude. It’s not a bad thing, but to get up on stage and sing in front of crowds takes a lot of courage and confidence. A cappella attracts advantageous people who like the spotlight on them, are strongly opinionated, and very vocal (no pun intended).

These three qualities turn many a cappella individuals towards  Tumblr because it provides a free space for discourse where others are equally excited about the topic. It creates great opportunity to post home videos of performances, and has the ability to keep an individual or group within a spotlight if their blog is properly maintained and interesting. Basically, having a large over-funded website isn’t necessary for a cappella, it’s a discussion driven culture that keeps itself and it’s resources simple.


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