• http://twitter.com/PhanTheHotness Jenny

    dbsk’s has the best harmonization among an idol group. can’t really say they’re an idol group. they’re beyond that

  • http://twitter.com/rachui9096 rachelle☆g

    “Why can’t we live in harmony?” I wonder too. I always think that being a group, you’ve got to be harmonizing on a vocal level. But this is not emphasized in kpop world at all. I believed some of the groups are able to do it but it’s just not given to them. There are good vocalists out there and I think harmonizing requires more effort and skills than personal display vocals. Who’s the culprit? Companies who wanted catchy songs thus songwriters did so. DBSK or rather Tohoshinki displayed their harmonizing skills very much in Japan but sadly not really in Korea, as their main tracks are usually… dance tracks. Yup. What’s there to harmonize in dance tracks? Esp when viewers wanted more and more complicated choreographies rather than one good harmonizing chorus. And that leads back to catchy tunes demands in kpop. 

    Thus, a harmonizing DBSK is one of the big reason I love them.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1013323116 Zainab Ali Alfaraj

    To be Honest, when it comes to harmonization in Kpop I can only think of one group, DBSK. Really, they are just perfect! I personally think that they would be super successful if they had tried to debut in the US, it will be hard but not possible for them Their talents and voices when blend together is like the sound of heaven. Should K-pop add more harmonies? I would like to see some but I’m not sure I will at least not in the near future.

  • http://twitter.com/MsLiliputka MsLiliputka

    I’m not so familiar with music words. What is it – harmonization?

    • yuki kokoro


      It’s when 2 or more signers sing a different melody that harmonize well together and is pleasant to the ear. The song need to be composed with the possibilty of harmony. It doesn’t need to be the entire song, it can be little parts here and there throughout the song.

      I’m personnally enable to hear harmony in a song T_T So please don’t take my words for the absolute truth.

      • http://twitter.com/MsLiliputka MsLiliputka

        Thank you.

        Unfortunetly, I never thought about harmonization until now. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

      Harmonization is heaven in vocal form — when it is done correctly.

      A capella performances are the best representation of harmony. Generally you have a baritone keeping the part where you would have a traditional bass guitar and in place of a drum, a higher soprano would be holding down the high end and two tenors/altos would generally be singing the lead and backup — either/or depending on their ability to stand out and handle the changes.

      Sadly, Kpop groups are rarely built to be able to handle this task. You often have one or two genuinely, very talented vocalists, one member that is there just to grab attention and one that only sings in trickles while they are there mostly to dance. Harmonization is based on a group of gifted vocalists garnering attention ONLY for the way they intermingle, aurally. For that reason, you can’t have any dead weight in order to harmonize well. Not everyone has to be a world class vocalist like in Boyz II Men, but you better at least be able to hold a consistent note, especially if you do a capella without instrumental backing.

      • http://twitter.com/MsLiliputka MsLiliputka

        Thank you for explanation. 

        So best harmonizing group for me – CSJH The Grace. Check their perfomance – they’re amazing. /watch?v=0W1ZNdklzHg

  • http://www.m-rated.tumblr.com/ Michelle Chin

    Finally! Someone expressed the thought that my sister and I share! 

    We always find it strange how some groups, despite having solid vocalists, don’t harmonize. Perhaps, it’s tailored for stage performances? It’s easy to go out of tune (and then, there’s the difficult choreography to master and sync), with the dancing and all and you know how some idols can barely sing… Not only that, composition is an issue. It’s not as easy to write out a song that can fit harmonies. Plus, it has to make some sense, at least. It would be really strange to have harmonization for a dance track or have harmonization throughout the whole album – k-pop is no broadway- but with ballads, it’s a different page altogether.

    Also, fans probably don’t want that. They want to hear their oppa’s or noona’s voice individually, and not in a mish-mash of blend, which they might find more of a cacophony, than a symphony. 

    The ultimate point is due to the marketing and the resources. But who knows, K-pop might catch up and start producing some really high quality music that involves harmonies?

    • http://twitter.com/silverukiss Silver

      Yeah, I have met some people who don’t like hearing more than the melody line, they say anymore than that is too many voices, and sounds like noise to them.

  • http://twitter.com/TheeAverageJo LaCoca Motion

    So back in late 90’s and early 00’s there was a little group called *NSYNC that could dance AND sing at the SAME TIME. Like really dance. And they didn’t sing… they SANG and HARMONIZED. Destiny’s Child did it a little bit too. It can be done, they just have to train their lungs. Both of the aforementioned groups used to sing while running on treadmills. I figure with all the dance practice these KPop groups do, they can sing while they practice dancing… that might help.

    • Almira Agathas

      Oh I like *NSYNC :)

  • SweetiePie54

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately since I saw Pitch Perfect. Could or would any of these idol groups venture to sing one of their songs acapella, which would require harmonizing. Harmonizing adds so many layers to a song and ups the awesome quotient. It always baffles me that there are 4,5,6,7,8, 9, 10 11, 12  people in a group and there is NO harmonization anywhere. Now I understand that nowadays that’s not the particular function of idols, but it is always in the back of my mind. DBSK harmonized and it sounded amazing. AND they were dancing too. I hate when people say it’s hard to sing and dance at the same time and that explains why an a group doesn’t sing live, or doesn’t harmonize or doesn’t do any other thing they are supposed to do (not just in reference to K-Pop, but music from all over the world). If an artist wants to be a dance singer, it is their JOB to sing and dance at the same time. It can be difficult, but that is why people train to do it. Plenty of singers and groups dance and sing at the same time, so there really isn’t an excuse..

    • BishieAddict

      Well DBSK lipsynced a lot earlier in their career, so that’s why their performance sounded perfect. It wasn’t until after they went to Japan and forced themselves to perform live that they improved .These days rookies are expected to sing live right from the start (EXO was criticized for for not singing live from the very beginning). 

  • http://twitter.com/silverukiss Silver

    I know that Kpop composers have said that they purposefully keep the songs easy to sing along too, because Karaoke in Asia is a huge thing, so your song will be more popular if the average person can sing with it. I’m not sure about this, but maybe harmonization is too hard to sing along to in Karaoke? Hmmm, but the songs do have some harmonization, they just don’t sing it live… I’m not sure if the karaoke deal has anything to do with it or not.

    • asianromance

      You can definitely get away with just singing just the melody of the a song with harmonies in karaoke since the melody is the main vocal line and the part you can distinguish the best.  You can sing the melody of the song and be okay, but it’s awkward sounding to just sing the harmony without the melody.  Harmonies just enrich and support the melodies of the song.  Harmonies are pretty hard to sing because the melody is the part that stands out the most and then you’d have to time your harmony with the person singing the melody.  And if the person singing the melody effs up, then it’s easy to lose your spot.  Needless to say, it requires a lot of concentration and practice.  I think composers also get lazy too.  It’s easier to just write a catchy melody and submit it to the kpop machine instead of having to go through the song again and try to find out what harmony works best with the pitch of the melody.  

  • http://twitter.com/Myrmicinae Brendicienta

    Now excuse me but TaeTiSeo DO harmonize! If you hear “Baby Steps” all the backing vocals are them, their “Cater2U” performance on Sketchbook proves they are good at it, SNSD (at least 5 of them) made a great Gee, Sorry Sorry, Honey Honey (ABBA) acoustic version with harmonizations (watch them on YT). But you are right, harmonization is the key for a good vocal group. Just like NSYNC, DBSK is a good example, too. 

  • AcadiasFire

    I believe Infinite harmonizes but I don’t know whether they’ve done it live yet. They sound really good together to. Their voices are just heaven to me.

  • pg13247

    Having more harmonies would be great, but I worry that some fans are thinking that their bias does not get their precious 2-3 second solo which is ridiculous.

    Black Pearl’s Go Go Ssing lives always had harmonies. That song unfortunately didn’t catch people’s attention.
    CSJH is a great example of girl group harmonies and it sucks that they never got the recognition that they should get.

    Currently, SNSD could totally do harmonies as at least 5 of them have the ability to do so. Too bad very few of their songs actually use it. “My Best Friend” used it briefly. (Seohyun is the best at it I think)

    I’m not too familiar with BEG’s newer lives, but they performed with harmonies in their pre-Abracadabra songs.

    She’z did harmonies while covering Big Mama’s – Break Away. (They need more recognition)

    Groups who I think could do harmonies if the companies wanted to focus more with them (2NE1, SISTAR, Secret, WG and possibly T-ara)

  • LadyXia

    I’m no expert, but I would like to throw Code-V into here. They are really good singers and harmonize so well with each other:

    Honestly Acapella -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0A2Q-aCOac
    Honestly Full Live -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB4z9f-cZ3s

  • http://piggy68gal.tumbr.com/ piggy68gal

    Spica does harmonizing too, in the Russian Roulette performances :) And in my opinion they did it well :)

  • Anna Yeo

    UKISS does do harmony together especially in the cover Gathering My Tears, and in Someday, which is relaly awesome! because you can really hear the main vocalists powers!!!!! :D

  • Anna Yeo

    UKISS does do harmony together especially in the cover Gathering My Tears, and in Someday, which is relaly awesome! because you can really hear the main vocalists powers!!!!! :D

  • cecedee

    when it comes to harmonization,the name that will pop out in my head first will be DB5K and CSJH. seriously, I get goosebumps everytime I hear them harmonizing. DB5K’s Little Princess is my ultimate favorite.Super Junior KRY’s Sorry Sorry Answer is also amazing. And do SJ’s Lovely Day (Accoustic Ver.) performance on SS4 counts?if it is,that’s one of my favorite too.

  • BishieAddict

    There is 2AM, which isn’t as popular as 2PM. This just shows you that it is the dance tracks that sell. I love 2AM’s vocals. BEG’s really good vocally. I think some of the new groups (ie. EXID) have really good vocals too. 
    DB5K was able to dance AND sing. Without the dance music, I don’t think they would be as popular. They’ve always promoted their dance tracks as the title tracks first. Then they might perform some ballads (Tonight, Hey girl) I’m just facing the facts: Mediocre vocals + catchy songs + great dance skills + pretty faces is what it takes to be popular. Ballads don’t sell as much, unfortunately. 

    • black_rose45000

      Sweet Sorrow amaze me every time ~♥

    • Haibara Christie

      Yet DBSK manages to add harmonies to the dance tracks as well. Even the quintessential dance track from them, “Mirotic” had harmonies– and those harmonies are probably the only reason why the song was good.  It has a very monotonus chorus, so the only thing that gives the song life are the harmonies that they have towards the end.  Otherwise, you’d end up with Lucifer (okay, there’s some harmonization there too, but is stilted in delivery) One of my favorite moments in “Wrong Number” is the killer three part harmony after the rather atrocious rap part.   DBSK may have had their roots in dance tracks but even the ballads take center stage for them–it’s why most of their fans stayed.

      • BishieAddict

        I’m a fan of dbsk’s ballads more than their dance tracks. I think in Japan, they have released more ballads than dance tracks, as they think that appeals more to that particular audience (hence they had a more mature audience there). Yet, in Korea, they showcase more of their dancing, probably because that is what the kpop audience liked the most. I don’t think the harmony in mirotic made that song popular. I think it is the fact that DBSK sang it that made it a hit. By that time, they had quite a large and loyal fanbase. I liked the song, but I was a fan who basically liked anything by dbsk and only listened to dbsk. The dancing suited the song and I was mesmerized.

        • Haibara Christie

          It’s true that they have a large and loyal fan base (they had absolutely no competition during the time of their inception) but that has little to do with what I was trying to say.  I was just mentioning that even dance tracks can have harmonies that the artists actually sing when they preform live.  I’m not saying that DBSK has perfect lives–because they don’t–but they do put the most effort into having the best songs for themselves as an a cappella group.  The only reason that I like them is that there is substance and talent behind the sugar coated pop, so as a fan, I stayed because they were able to pull of their ballads as well as their dance tracks. 

  • madtownJOE2

    Harmonies are what got me to like 2ne1 in the first place with there underrated song “In the Club”. Its a shame they don’t have more songs like this 

  • madtownJOE2

    Harmonies are what got me to like 2ne1 in the first place with there underrated song “In the Club”. Its a shame they don’t have more songs like this 

  • http://yesbabyohyea.blogspot.com/ Nyan

    i can only think of tvxq. then sm the ballad follows after. then urban zakapa.
    thanks for the doushite link. i’ve always wanted to hear the acapella ver again <3

  • Haibara Christie

    Out of curiosity, I wonder if part of the reason why harmonies are not as prevalent in Kpop is due to the fact that Asian music traditionally doesn’t have harmonies to the same extent Western music does?  At least with Indian music, harmonies were almost unheard of–everyone sang a single melody line, and even accompanying artists on instruments only played octaves. I’m not sure if this applies to East Asian Music, but it would be an interesting reason as to why people don’t address it as much–even if it is a very unlikely one.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/R5BKARJWK7NNOXYOIUSP76YJW4 Aj

    Dong Bang Shin Ki, love their acappellas  even Yunho’s voice. Im not a fan of Park Bom’s voice so I couldnt say 2ne1. And yes KRY.

    • http://twitter.com/denzelwynter Ashley B

      Ah yes, Bom. The asphyxiating goat.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/R5BKARJWK7NNOXYOIUSP76YJW4 Aj

        actually I like Bom but it’s kinda hard liking her voice lately I only love her voice in BigBang’s Oh Yeah.

  • Lance Harris

    The thing with harmonizing is…you have to learn to do it when you’re in a group. Everyone hears music differently; some people have to read a harmony in order to sing it, other people can make them up on the spot. So when you have a 4 or 5 person group, it means 4 or 5 different ways that people will hear a melody line and come at it….I imagine that a lot of companies just find it better to add harmonies digitally, or with one other member of a group?

    That’s why I’m excited for SuPearls. To watch them pick it up on KPopStar was very inspiring, and hopefully their debut might turn a few heads in the K-Pop world, in terms of focusing on vocals rather than just looks. ^_^

  • http://twitter.com/eliyshas Eliysha C. Saputra

    Aha! This piece is gold.

    Harmonization is one of my absolute favorite in music and ironically enough, K-pop as the genre that I’ve been listening to more than most, lacks that. The thing about harmonizing though is that it’s not easy for those who have not been trained to. We can be honest and say that most idols are not really singers, and thus, to expect them to harmonize is like expecting babies to skip — they can definitely do it, but they need to be taught how to. Granted, some are naturally able to harmonize but doing it in a group requires practicing together to find the perfect blend.

    Vocal groups like 2AM are amazing at harmonizing, especially live and it shows how amazing idols can be. So I do think K-pop should do more harmonizing. But I suggest we take it a step at a time by doing more live performances where the vocals sound solid before we jump ahead into attempting to harmonize. Because while some groups may have tried to harmonize during their live performances, bad harmonizing is truly fatal and it degrades their sound as a whole.

    So dare I say that K-pop as a whole is not quite ready for harmonizing quite yet?

  • Victoria Cheng

    I love hearing harmonization. It is such a shame that kpop is so devoid of it. As, LaCoca Motion, stated NSYNC and Destiny’s Child could harmonize and dance  almost flawlessly. 

    Perhaps the new generation of idols just haven’t trained long enough. I also think there are just so many groups with weak vocals or sub-vocals, as they are labeled. They simply aren’t equipped or capable for harmonization. When I browse new groups and listen to their songs I sometimes find the members voices jarring and mismatched, I don’t like the groups sound.

    The only live idol harmonizers that immediately come to mind are 2AM, The Boss/DGNA, KRY, BEG, The Grace (aren’t they kind of disbanded?), DBSK, Oneway (I think their more artists than idols? not sure about where they categorize) and U-KISS(for their ballads).

    In my opinion Infinite, SPICA(good vocalists), BEAST, Z:EA, Parts of Nine Muses(vocals greatly improved), parts of After School(have some good vocals), and Dalmatian(ER would have been an amazing song with harmonization instead of just good) could attempt harmonization.

    Here a link for an amazing complication of The Boss/DGNA harmonizing live: