Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Little old lady hoo!

I am supposed to be finishing the coursework for my health and safety course, so naturally I have been pondering on yodelling and looking up my favourite exponents of the ulvular art on YouTube.

I've always fancied yodelling. S once took an online course in yodelling and even received a certificate, although the virtual 'examiner' had no idea whether she could actually yodel at the end of the instruction. I took the same course, although I was unable to print the certicificate, but suspect I sounded more like Julie Andrews doing 'The Lonely Goatherd' than Slim Whitman or an alpine maiden.

The problem is that for me yodelling goes against the grain. The way I've been taught to sing is all about keeping the tone even throughout the voice, making the break between head and chest voice as smooth and imperceptible as possible. Yodelling by constrast appears to about exploiting the break and moving very quickly from head voice to chest voice.

The other vocal technique I've been looking into this week is throat singing and more particularly creating overtones. These are the whistly harmonies you hear throat singers producing. It seems to be something to do with singing with a raised tongue and moving the lips to create different vowel sounds and curling in the sides of the tongue to change the shape of the aperture. Easy as that! I can only assume that Mongolians learn it from birth and don't sit for hours in their yurts trying to curl their tongues and wobble their cheeks.

Sadly I haven't been able to find any yodelling or throat singing teachers in the Yellow Pages, which is a pity as I feel a bit of token yodelling or throat singing would add a certain something to my performance. If I could master both of them a career could await me in Mongolian Country and Western with songs like 'One Steppe at a Time Sweet Jesus' and 'My Goat of Many Colours'. You heard it here first!

This bit of yodelling makes me mad, simply mad and gives me the urge to yodel too.

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