Whistling as vocals

This is a pedantic point and I’m not pushing for any changes. But it’s an interesting discussion: is whistling really “vocals” when it doesn’t use the vocal cords?


I guess it is under “vocal” as “part of human body used to make the noise”.

Whereas the “instruments” tend to be some form of physical object separate to the human body.

That pesky RealWorld™ not fitting in to those neat boxes again :wink:

But that theory then breaks as “body percussion” is in the instrument list.

I would tend to agree with you - the instrument in use are “human teeth” with air blown through them. Just the same way as blowing air through a tin whistle. A human created whistle seems to be logically be an Instrument.

So where do the “Throat Singers” come in?

1 Like

“part of human body used to make the noise”.

But handclaps are under instruments :slight_smile:


And Le Pétomane, the famous French flatulist, he was’t flatulating vocally. His career could have continued much longer if he had been.

Whistling (and tongue clicking and teeth percusion and nasal snorting and armpit farting and clasped-hands horn and ass flute/trumpet) seems better excluded from vocals - unless some can explain great benefits?

1 Like

I would tend to think of “vocal” as meaning “mouth-related” rather than “vocal-cord related”.(to think of it, I might want to include ventriloquism through the nose as “vocal” as well – maybe “lung-related”?)
I would put whistling in the same category as yodeling, beatboxing, scat-singing and throat-singing, which could all be arguably grouped separately from (to use a word I found on wikipedia) lexical singing.

I think I’ve heard the term “mouth music” used as an umbrella term in the past–I would have guessed I saw it on Wikipedia, but it’s apparently not there now.


See https://tickets.metabrainz.org/browse/STYLE-609