Regarding Yodeling
2012-07-17 0:00

By Andrew Evans | DigitalNomad

Julie Andrews had it all wrong.

In the 1965 film musical The Sound of Music, her character Maria sings how The Lonely Goatherd yodeled and how it sounded “lusty and clear from the goatherd’s throat.”

Clearly neither she nor Oscar Hammerstein II knew anything about actual yodeling.

“With yodeling your voice jumps from deep in your chest up to a high-pitched falsetto in your head,” explained Swiss yodeler Amadé Perrig. “If you try to sing it in your throat, it won’t work.”

Amadé is not a professional yodeler per se, but he is Swiss and grew up as a cowherd in the Alps near the mountain town of Zermatt and he’s been yodeling longer than The Sound of Music has been in existence.

He calls it “singing” but he normally means yodeling.

“As a boy, I sang all the time. We didn’t have TV. On Sunday afternoons, all of us in the family would gather round the kitchen table and just sing and sing.”

Amadé also grew up milking cows every morning. He yodeled in the hills with his cows, as it’s been done in Switzerland for at least a thousand years (even the Romans remarked on Swiss yodeling).

Cow- and goatherds used yodeling as a way to call across from one mountain to another. It was a rudimentary (albeit beautiful) way to communicate. Certain sounds and notes actually meant words, so in a way, yodeling began as a kind of melodic language of the mountains.

Although you couldn’t see a fellow cowherd across the valley, you could hear him, and you would yodel back. Like bird calls, sending out feelers to see who’s out there and listening to the responding calls that come back.




[...]


Still, I’m happy that the first yodeling I heard in Switzerland was 100% authentic. This was not some choir greeting me on cue as I pulled into a railroad station, nor was it some “Swiss Folklore Show” played out in front a group of Japanese tourists as they fondled their fondue.

No, my first yodeling was improvised in the Alps of Zermatt by a true-blue Swiss cowherd. Nowadays he spends his winters in Arizona on the golf course, but even in the American Southwest, he says he lets out a very special yodel every time he hits a birdie.

The other golfers may think him a little odd, but when they hear that certain yodel, they know exactly what it means: “That crazy Swiss guy just hit a birdie!” Sending non-verbal messages across the green with a bit of vocal flourish, just like it’s been done in the Alps for centuries.



Read the full article at: nationalgeographic.com





Related Articles
Otherworldly, yet so human: The Art of Throatsinging
Mongolian Throat Singing


Latest News from our Front Page

Turkey's Erdogan threatened to flood Europe with migrants: Greek website
2016-02-09 23:04
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened in November to flood Europe with migrants if European Union leaders did not offer him a better deal to help manage the Middle East refugee crisis, a Greek news website said on Monday. Publishing what it said were minutes of a tense meeting last November, the euro2day.gr financial news website revealed deep mutual irritation and distrust ...
Will Denmark Be The First Islamic Nation In Europe?
2016-02-09 23:44
Daily headlines prove that Europe is bursting at the seams with Islamists attempting to establish Sharia law and homegrown terror plots. France is ablaze with radicals, ISIS threatens they will send Spain back to the times of the Ottoman Empire, and Britain is much too concerned with appeasing Muslims that they are doing away with their own citizens’ free speech. The ...
'Hamilton' musical: All American founders non-White, but evil King George. I hate musicals!
2016-02-09 22:43
‘Hamilton’, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers, is being performed on Broadway. You know it’s going to have political undertones, when you read that the first act is titled: “Immigrants : We get the job done!” In addition to Alexander Hamilton, Miranda’s musical also casts Aaron Burr, George Washington, James Madison, John Laurens, Marquis Gilbert ...
Ted Nugent Posts "Anti-Semitic" Facebook Message About Gun Control
2016-02-09 22:53
Rock musician Ted Nugent posted a message about “who is really behind gun control” on Facebook that the Anti-Defamation League slammed as "anti-Semitic". More: ADL claims 26% of all world population is “anti-semitic” The ADL and domestic spying: Roy Bullock case revisited "Antisemitism on rise across Europe in worst times since the Nazis" says "expert" to the Guardian In the post, Nugent shares a ...
Illegal immigrant is arrested over murder of American nanny in Austria after she took him in to stop him being deported - and is revealed to have raped underage girl
2016-02-09 22:20
An illegal immigrant has been arrested over the murder of an American nanny who had given him shelter at her Vienna apartment. The 24-year-old Gambian had been wanted by police since the death of Lauren Mann, 25, from Grand Junction, Colorado last month. He was arrested on Thursday in Bern, Switzerland, at an asylum center there after his mobile phone use was ...
More News »