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As per the title, is there a name for the technique where a singer (especially a female one) voices a pitch in the falsetto register on releasing a note?

Examples include:-

  • Alanis Morissette
    • You Oughta Know - particularly at the end of the chorus, "You^ You^ You^ Oughta Know"
  • Sinead O'Connor
    • Nothing Compares to You - occasionally "since you been gone I can do whatever I wa-aaa-aan^t" around 45s
  • Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries
    • Zombie (The Cranberries) - constantly... "Z-om-bi^e, Z-om-bi^e, Z-om-bi^e e^eh e^eh e^eh o^oh o^oh" etc
  • I'll add more examples if I find some. I'm listening to all sorts of embarrassing 90s pop looking for more! – Iain Galloway Apr 13 '15 at 17:47
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    In German, I'd call it umkippen (“tip over”) or kieksen (onomatopoeic). The closest fit in English might be just the voice cracks, but that seems rather more severe... – leftaroundabout Apr 14 '15 at 21:52
  • While I know exactly what you mean, you might want to find a description for this other than falsetto, because you’re talking about female singers, and it’s controversial whether female falsetto exists. – Bradd Szonye Apr 16 '15 at 22:42
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    Yes. It's called "yodeling." (Sorry, couldn't resist) – BobRodes Apr 17 '15 at 2:38
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I think the technique is best described as a yodel, which is defined as a quick flipping between vocal registers. A yodel isn't specific to the release of a note, but is the closest thing to a proper term for the general technique.

If you're trying to describe the style for a someone, "like a yodel" might be clearer, since most people associate yodeling with a more specific genre of music/vocalization.

Like leftroundabout mentioned, it could also be described more informally as a voice crack in some scenarios.

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