Show Summary Details

Page of
PRINTED FROM Oxford Music Online. © Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single article in Oxford Music Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).


  • Sally Sanford


Technique for producing sound by pressing the tip of the tongue against the superior alveolar ridge with the mouth open and bringing the tongue down, thus creating a click. Pitch can be varied by adjusting the length of the phonatory tube by pursing the lips, by lifting the palate, and by making other small opening and closing adjustments in the mouth. Recognizable tunes can be clicked. Dynamics can also vary, principally due to the amount of pressure in the tongue tip and the forcefulness with which it is pulled away from the alveolar ridge. Tongue clicks occur in many African languages, Mongolian shamanism, and various pop, jazz, and scat styles associated, for example, with singers such as Al Jarreau, Janet Lawson, and Miriam Makeba. Karlheinz Stockhausen called for tongue-clicking in ...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.