Angels: A Modern Myth by Michel Serres

By Michel Serres

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34 The genetic research also seems to lend credence to the aforementioned vocal/yodel affinities of various peoples and tribes very distant from one another on the levels of geography, livelihood, topography, and climate. It seemed that now the “remarkable musical affinity” between “the Pygmies and Bushmen of Africa whose DNA is being referenced as representative of some of the  THE YODEL CLIMBS OUT THROUGH THE ROOF oldest populations in the world” can now be accepted as a valid tale of humankind’s genesis.

37 Havelock Ellis, in discussing elaborate mating rituals involving courting dances where boys show off their charms, talents, and stuff in elaborate dance displays, quotes Sanford Bell, who describes them “exposing their excellencies” by “jumping, dancing, prancing . . swinging, giving yodels and yells, whistling,”38 which certainly harkens back to our earlier mention of the schuhplattler dance with yodeling. 40 He believes that a culture’s Cantometric musical data is equivalent to the population’s DNA.

31 What Stanfield infers is that lingering myths were amplified by cowboy movies. That the white cowboy invented the yodel as utilitarian call obscures the possibility that it was actually a black “invention” or injection. This is further obscured by the fact that numerous popular white blackface performers, from Tom Christian to Emmett Miller,  THE YODEL CLIMBS OUT THROUGH THE ROOF also employed yodeling but in imitation of blacks. They wrung the Swiss yodel into a blue yodel, stunning both black and white audiences.

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