- November 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm #549422
Last year I worked with a choral director who repeatedly used the term “acapoco” instead of “a cappella” when talking about singing unaccompanied. I’d never heard this alternate term before, and I’m a musician with advanced training, so after the first time he said it I just thought it was a mistake. But then rehearsal after rehearsal he continued to use that term, and no one in the choir (myself included) ever corrected him (but a few of us chuckled under our breath). Even more confusingly, maybe 10% of the time he would actually say “a cappella.” I just assumed that this conductor, despite being very immersed in the choral world, was somehow confused about this basic term and I never had the heart to tell him.
But now a year later, I have started working with another choral director in another choir in a different part of the same state who is also saying “acapoco” instead of “a cappella”!! So now I am extremely confused!! Does anyone out there know if this is an actual valid synonym for “a cappella” that I, and many other musicians I’ve asked, have never heard about? I don’t know if these two choral directors know each other or not (and it’s very possible they do), but if they do it cannot have been for more than a few years. They are both well educated and trained musicians, singers, and choral conductors, but how could they both be mistaken about this term? Or is it some kind of conspiracy or joke being pulled on me?
Please, someone help me solve this mystery!!!!December 1, 2017 at 10:26 am #549448
That’s a new one
I’ve had people call it ‘archipelago’ beforeDecember 1, 2017 at 10:26 am #549450
It’s just a joke. 🙂 “A cappella” sounds like “Acapulco,” (acapoco) so people commonly switch it out. I don’t know where it started.December 1, 2017 at 10:27 am #549453
I’ve heard this frequently as a joking spin on “a cappella”–it’s sort of a spoonerism, substituting “Acapulco”. If you hear these directors using both interchangeably, I’d assume that they know that “Acapulco” is not the real term.December 1, 2017 at 10:27 am #549458
To be very honest, the only time I’ve ever heard that term used in rehearsal was as a joke. Acapulco, the Mexican city, is so close in pronunciation that it was used by directors to get a laugh.
To incorrectly use the term over and over and over is either an egregious use of the word or humor.December 1, 2017 at 10:27 am #549481
I have often heard “Acapulco” for a cappella. I think the directors are using a different word that sound like the real term, just trying to be funny. The name for doing that is Malapropism. Some people do it a lot, unintentionally. (I knew of someone who used to say ‘cylinder blocks’, instead of ‘cinderblocks’.)
RisëDecember 3, 2017 at 8:40 pm #549770
I think the best way is to ask the guy who said it!
However, there is a song called “A cappella in Acapulco” which is quite a famous contemporary a cappella piece composed and arranged by The Real Group. You can easily find it on Youtube.
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