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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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
References in periodicals archive ?
"The Road to Hell," at the Tarragon Theater, where Healey is play-wright-in-residence, is actually two one-acts: "Yodellers" was a hit at Toronto's Fringe Festival, while "Kreskinned" is a new work.
In "Yodellers" Lynch is a lesbian pro golfer and Healey is a golf journalist on one of Canada's daily papers.
He introduces the yodellers, including Hassan from Morocco and Rodolfo from Chile.
He also sums up what had been a glorious 2008 for the club: celebrating its 90th anniversary; recording a first CD; touring the country to great acclaim; earning a standing ovation and a T (for excellence) rating at the Swiss national yodelling meet in Lucerne; numerous radio and TV appearances; and newspaper reviews like the Neue Zurcher Zeitung's that declared itself "amazed" by the performance of these yodellers from the "city of Calvin".
Particularly when that group of strangers are wearing bibs, carrying a clipboard and asking you to take out a direct debit for pounds 10,000 a month to save the gay yodellers of Turkmenistan.
It was like being shut in public toilets with a tuneless choir of yodellers. And I haven't even started on that "all- star" line-up yet.
It's not at all unusual to encounter Swiss yodellers or Zulu dancers displaying their talents on street corners.
DUBLINER Rose Tynan was regarded as the queen of the Irish yodellers.
16.09.2004: Folklore evening: dancers and yodellers
As this twosome are inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame (as big an honour as a country musician can achieve) a whole new breed of yodellers vies to gain their success.