March 2, 2006

Whistle while you Work

Posted in Music at 11:32 pm by egalitaria

My growing list of useless talents includes being able to whistle and hum at the same time. I can also do this in parts. My voice takes on the main melody, and my whistling takes the descend part. Alternatively, voice takes alto and whistling takes melody. I’ve always been good at immediately singing/whistling/playing by ear, and so doing an impromptu four-part harmony with others is easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Not many people can whistle, and well, at that. In fact, there is an art to whistling. Which is why whenever I find a gem of a whistler, I mentally keep the person in mind. Because who knows, one day we might be able to form a whistling choir, like Lip Service of Brown University in the US of A. While individual whistlers exist, whistling choirs are still very much unheard of. I wonder whether it would even be appreciated in any circle.

One difficulty that would be faced: everytime someone makes a little joke, the entire performance would break down. Whistling requires much focus and concentration, and I suppose facial muscles would be highly toned by the time the choir rehearses and performs.

Imagine a four-part, SATB whistling choir of fifty (numbers are important here, since whistles aren’t as powerful as say, trombone. But you knew that) on stage, a capella or perhaps accompanied by a quiet plucking guitar or keyboard.

A friend and I recently whistled a whole series of pop songs together, in part. It sounded beautiful. I wonder how it would sound in an entire choir.



  1. piquet said,


    i do whistle. Have you heard of this guy Whistling Jack Smith ?

    British guy who cut some vinyls back in the mid sixties.

    His whistling songs included Hey There Little Miss Mary and

    I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman.

  2. piquet said,

    Hi again,

    i took the liberty to post you the Whistling Jack Smith song

    ‘ I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman ‘

    enjoy ( dont worry we wont get arrested for copyright in fringements )

  3. egalitaria said,

    Hi there piquet. Online relationships are interesting aren’t they? Thanks for the file. interesting music, and good to know there are people doing alternative music. But it would be great if it’s a whole whistling choir, minus the instruments. Then you get a sort of “acapella” whistling group. Thx for your comments.

  4. Emily said,

    Hey, thanks for the plug! It’s exciting to see our group referenced on your blog. Good luck starting your own choir; I’d love to hear how it goes.
    Emily Savin
    Co-Founder, Lip Service: The Brown University Whistling Choir

  5. stumbled across this entry while googling “whistling choir” as i want to set one up and wondered whether anyone has previously. by the looks of things it seems rare, but thanks for the link to the “lip service” website! inspiring that someone has done it. mine probably would be less professional/organized.

    check out if you haven’t already for a massive amount of info on whistlers who put their work on waxx.

    – monsieur morality.

  6. Ben said,

    Vassar College’s AirCappella attends the International Whistlers Convention, has been hired to perform for a multinational corporation, and was recently invited to audition for America’s Got Talent.

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