Yodeling, long practised in the Swiss Alps and beyond, as a way to communicate over vast distances, is a singing technique that involves rapid undulations from a low to high pitch. If you think it’s easy to do, think again.
Now, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is offering a three-year Bachelor’s course or a two-year Master’s in yodeling, so you can become a bonafied, er, yodeler. You won’t just learn the art of yodeling; students will also be required to delve into its fascinating history and use throughout the ages. And there’s advice on how to make a living from yodeling.
“In addition to having a good vocal technique, they need to know different styles and tone of voice to expand their repertoire,” Räss explained to the Tribune de Genève. “The whole yodel scene will take advantage of their new skills.”
She may think she is doing the resurgent yodel scene a favour, but some yodelers aren’t that impressed. “University studies have not been necessary to keep the yodel alive for decades,” says the head of the National Federation of Yodeling.
Places are tight during the course’s first year and only a handful of wannabe yodelers will be able to take part in this rather unorthodox degree programme. Applications open on 28 February.
If you want to experience the best of yodeling, without committing yourself to learning it officially, you could always check out the annual Yodel Fest that takes place in Switzerland every year.