Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Make a joyous, high-pitched, warbling sound: ululation!

Ululation is a long, wavering, high-pitched vocal sound resembling a howl with a trilling quality. It is produced by emitting a high pitched loud voice accompanied with a rapid movement of the tongue and the uvula, says Wikipedia.[1]

The term ululation is an onomatopoeic word derived from Latin.

Ululation is found in some singing techniques and ritual situations. In Arab countries ululation is commonly used by women to express celebration, especially at weddings.

Ululation is commonly practiced by Jewish women of Mediterranean communities originating in North Africa, the Middle East as well as in Ethiopia, and central and south Asia at all joyous occasions such as at a hachnasat sefer Torah (the dedication of a Torah scroll, circumcisions,[3] communal celebrations, weddings,[4][5] bar miswa[6] celebrations, and most of all at henna celebrations.[7]

Ululation is also widely practiced in southern and eastern parts of India.

In Ancient Egypt, reference to ululation appears on the inscription of the pyramid texts of Unas, on the West Wall of the Corridor (section XIII),[12] and of Pepi I, in the Spells for Entering the Akhet.[13] In ancient Greece ululation or ololuge was normally used as a joyful expression[14] to celebrate good news[15] or when an animal's throat is cut during sacrifice.[16] However, in Aeschylus' Agamemnon, along with being an expression of joy, it is also used for fury,[15] and in Sophocles' Electra it is employed as an expression of grief.[14]