One of the regular haunts of music in the 16th and 17th centuries was the barber’s shop. Here customers awaiting their turn found some simple instrument on which they could strum. The barbers themselves, waiting between customers, took up the instrument and thus came to possess some repute as performers. In English literature of the 16th and 17th centuries allusions to barbers as musicians are numerous. The music proclivities of barbers ceased in England in the earlier part of the 18th century The tradition was maintained longer in America where ‘barber‐shop harmony’, implying a rather banal style of close harmony singing, has enjoyed a 20th‐century revival.