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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
  1. To make a shrill, high-pitched sound by forcing air through the mouth. To produce a whistling sound, restrictions to the flow of air are created using the teeth, tongue and lips.
  2. To move in such a way as to create a whistling sound.
    A bullet whistled past.


Spaghetti Western whistling

In the Ennio Morricone soundtrack for the film For a Few Dollars More, prominent whistling can be heard by Alessandro Alessandroni. Along with the whistling in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme, these are perhaps the two best-known whistling tunes. Alessandroni can be heard as the whistler on the soundtrack for Sergio Leone's film A Fistful of Dollars and many others.

Musical/melodic whistling

Whistling can be musical: many performers on the music hall and Vaudeville circuits were professional whistlers, the most famous of which were Ronnie Ronalde and Fred Lowery. Both had several notable songs featuring whistling.

Pucker whistling is the most common form of whistling used in most Western music. Typically, the tongue tip is lowered, often placed behind the lower teeth, and pitch altered by varying the position of the tongue body. In particular, the point at which the dorsum of the tongue approximates the palate varies from near the uvula (for low notes) to near the alveolar ridges (for high notes). Although varying the degree of pucker will change the pitch of a pucker whistle, expert pucker whistlers will generally only make small variations to the degree of pucker, due to its tendency to affect purity of tone.

By contrast, many expert musical palatal whistlers will substantially alter the position of the lips to ensure a good quality tone. Venetian gondoliers are famous for moving the lips while they whistle in a way that can look like singing.

The term puccalo refers to jazz whistling.

Muzzy Marcellino was a whistler of note.

Popular culture

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Whistling" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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