Yodel in Hi-Fi
From Kitsch Folk to Contemporary Electronica
Yodel in Hi-Fi explores the vibrant and varied traditions of yodelers around the world. Far from being a quaint and dying art, yodel is a thriving vocal technique that has been perennially renewed by singers from Switzerland to Korea, from Colorado to Iran. Bart Plantenga offers a lively and surprising tour of yodeling in genres from opera to hip-hop and in venues from cowboy campfires and Oktoberfests to film soundtracks and yogurt commercials. Displaying an extraordinary versatility, yodeling crosses all borders and circumvents all language barriers to assume its rightful place in the world of music.
356 pp., paperbound
8 x 10 inches, 47 b/w illus.
“Chock-full of both amusing and informative sidebars, pictures, and accessible text that is both quasi-academic and popular, Plantenga’s book wends its musicological way across a diverse cultural spectrum that includes everything from yodeling’s traditional Bavarian alpine roots to a multinational cast of yodelers from Japan, Asia, various Arabic nations, Hawaii, and Latin America, along with the obligatory Europeans. . . . Strongly recommended for musicologists and music hipsters everywhere.”
“A triumph of cheeky erudition that demonstrates beyond any doubt the international ubiquity of goofy yet profound chest-to-head vocal acrobatics in a legion of longstanding, continuously evolving musical styles. Bart Plantenga is an original thinker and a truly gifted writer blessed with vision, wit, and passion.”
—James P. Leary, author of Polkabilly and Yodeling in Dairyland
“While Plantenga is refreshingly open to every manifestation of yodel-related trivia cum nostalgia to be found, he is also a very serious, diligent and often remarkably astute scholar..”
—Victor Grauer, author of Sounding the Depths: Tradition and the Voices of History
“Bart Plantenga has, with Yodel in Hi-Fi, added enormously to his groundbreaking work begun with his earlier book Yodel-Ay-Ee Oooo. The history, musicology, and anthropology of yodeling—from indigenous people all over the planet to film stars like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers—is covered in astonishing breadth and depth.”
—Douglas B. Green, yodeler with “Riders in the Sky”
“Books about music tend to be informative; few are entertaining as well; Yodel in Hi-Fi accomplishes both. Plantenga approaches the subject with earnestness and lighthearted humor.”
“For something so thorough and comprehensive, it’s also tremendously fascinating and fun. . . . Plantenga presents the yodel in all its glory, demonstrating how it’s a global phenomenon.”
—The Brooklyn Rail
Bart Plantenga is a freelance researcher, writer, translator, and editor. He is the author of Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling around the World and the compiler of the CD Rough Guide to Yodel. He lives and works in Amsterdam and is the disc jockey of radio show Wreck This Mess.