The piece was created years ago when I experimented with new techniques to imitate Dani singing. I’ve never completely succeeded. But as a by-product, funny new techniques have emerged.
The etudes use four singing techniques at the same time, which are gradually superimposed.
- At the beginning, a fifth is yodelled upwards with a constant keynote, inspired by pygmy yodelling. The vowel is colored as dark as possible with lowered larynx and narrow lips, so that only a harmonic-free sine tone is heard
- Then the basic tone starts alternating a major second. The falsetto tone is occasionally distorted into a trombone-like sound by narrowing of the lips.
- A mixolydian overtone melody, inspired by the umnqokolo of the Xhosa and sung with L-technique, is based on yodelling with a basic tone change. The melody first stretches legato over fundamental and falsetto (as far as the resonance allows it). Then the rhythm changes to a fast (3+3+2)/8 beat.
- Finally, the L-technique is alternated with extremely short vowel harmonics, inspired by my failed attempts at Dani techniques.
The piece requires very high concentration. I see it as a kind of circus act that produces amazing polyphonic sound effects. I have set it in D flat major, which fits perfectly to my yodelling and at the same time allows clear overtones in all registers. But I wrote the score in C major to make it easier to read.
You can easily transpose the piece and adapt it to your own voice pitch. For female voices there is still room for a fifth up if yodelling works well from D4 to A4. I chose a version in G for download, but A flat or A might be better. Just experiment with transpositions.
As always, I am looking forward to your comments, edits, video links and sounds of your results.
Sheet music download male voice:
Sheet music download female voice:
MuseScore file, for editing and transposition with the free music writing program: