Episode #3546

Yodels and Hockets

« previous episode | next episode »

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

For this New Sounds, listen to music involving yodeling, (the abrupt change of pitch in a voice during a single note) and hockets.  Hocketing is a rhythmic technique where you take two or more musicians and split up the melody between them so that one note, pitch, (or chord) sounds while the other rests.  Listen to music by Merrill Garbus, aka TuneYards, performed by her and some performed by the vocal octet Roomful of Teeth.  Also, from vocal innovator, conductor, and improviser Bobby McFerrin, hear one of his Circle Songs.

Then, hear from the late Camerounian guitarist, novelist, singer, flutist, percussionist, and musicologist Francis Bebey, in a piece where he alternates falsetto vocals with a tiny, single note, bamboo flute,” to create a hocket.  Plus, music from Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble, and from Zap Mama (Belgian artist Marie Daulne) as well.

PROGRAM #3546–Yodels and Hockets  (First aired on 12/17/2013)             





Roomful of Teeth

Roomful of Teeth

Merrill Garbus: Ansa Ya [6:45]

New Amsterdam NWAM 041

Rabbit Rabbit (Carla Kihlstedt & Matthias Bossi)

Rabbit Rabbit Radio

Drowning Alice [2:59]

Zap Mama

Adventures In Afropea 1

Babanzélé [7:35]

Luaka Bop #45183
Also available at

Francis Bebey


Bissau [3:00]

Original Music #105.
Available at

Various Artists

Centrafrique: Musique Gbaya

Piere [6:30]

Ocora #558-524
Out of print


Biophilia (Limited Deluxe Edition)

Virus [5:26]

Nonesuch 528728


Bird Brains

Hatari [5:40]

4AD  #CAD 2928
Available at iTunes, or

Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble

Songs of Ascension

Cloud Code [3:33]

ECM 2154

Bobby McFerrin


Circle Song 1 [6:10]

Sony #62734
Available at

Comments [2]

doctorofyodel from Jamaica, New York

This kind of music should be incorporated into future video games on the new video game systems like Xbox One and PS4.

Dec. 26 2013 01:56 AM
Voice Journey Sound Center from Brooklyn, NY

Thanks so much for this program, John! Such a beautiful, expansive, & stimulating span of style & cross-cultural influence in this set. You got us listenin closely & studyin hard over here!! :)

Dec. 17 2013 11:37 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.