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(both: yō`dəl), type of wordless singing, joyous in nature, usually associated with the Swiss. It is, in fact, practiced throughout the Alps and, as an importation, in the mountains of Kentucky. It is characterized by sudden shifts from the natural singing voice to falsettofalsetto
[Ital.,=diminutive of false], high-pitched, unnatural tones above the normal register of the male voice, produced, according to some theories, by the vibration of only the edges of the larynx. Some male altos are tenors skilled in the use of falsetto.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a type of folk song practiced by the mountain population of the Alps in Austria, Switzerland, and Southern Bavaria, with a vocalization as the refrain. This unique type of refrain is characterized by the frequent and rapid passing from a low chest voice to a falsetto. Split common chords are vocalized at wide intervals. In the low register the singer vocalizes the vowels a and o; in the high register, e and /’.


Tobler, A. Kuhreihen oder Kiihreigen, Jodel und Jodellied in Appenzell. Zurich, 1891.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


an effect produced in singing by an abrupt change of register from the chest voice to falsetto, esp in popular folk songs of the Swiss Alps
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Yodel Challenge, a contest to find America's favorite amateur yodeler, with a grand prize of appearing in an upcoming advertisement and US$10,000.
The program was divided into two parts: the search, and then the announcement of the winning yodeler.
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Black Americans were often translated into ethnic images like Swiss yodelers, Swedish Lapps or plain rural nerds, or mythical figures with a somewhat similar field of association.
In Swedish imagination, women, Negroes, yodelers, Lapps, and trolls were constructed as metaphorical Others, believed to be genuinely natural but also particularly responsive to temptations of modern popular culture.
Heidi and I were the principals, the stars; all the others, I seem to recall, were just yodelers except they didn't yodel as much as gurgle and gargle.
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These in turn are interspersed with fine satiric touches, as he tells of Germans' typically excessive efforts to be politically correct - Volksmusik programs these days feature mulatto yodelers in Lederhosen - and of the backlash against this as certain newspapers juxtapose stories of Germans killing themselves because they cannot find jobs with stories of "'asylum seekers' driving up to their free dormitory housing in BMWs."