An acoustic analysis of the cattle call “kulning”, performed outdoors at Säter, Dalarna, Sweden


  • Anita McAllister
  • Robert Eklund


This paper summarizes recent research on ‘kulning’, a surprisingly understudied Swedish cattle call singing style. In a previous study (Eklund, McAllister & Pehrson, 2013), we compared kulning and head voice (‘falsetto’) as recorded in a normal room and in an anechoic chamber. This paper reports from an analysis of the same “kulning” song recorded outdoors on location in Säter, Dalarna (Sweden), close to the singer’s home, which makes the data more ecologically valid and allows comparisons between “clean” indoor recordings and more authentic outdoor recordings. Several recordings were made, but the present article analyses recordings made simultaneously at 1 meter and 11 meters from the singer. Results indicate that for the vowels [a] and [u̟] partials in kulning, as compared to head voice, are visible at both higher frequencies and at a longer distance, which provides an acoustic rationale for the development of the singing style, intended to be heard at a long distance.