The Wild and Terrible Cry of His People: The Evolution of Tarzan's Yell
January 20, 2014 2:40 PM Subscribe
As the body rolled to the ground Tarzan of the Apes placed his foot upon the neck of his lifelong enemy and, raising his eyes to the full moon, threw back his fierce young head and voiced the wild and terrible cry of his people. ― Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the ApesERBzine, "the official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Site," brings us The Evolution of the Tarzan "Yell."
From the List of Sound Trademarks (Sensory Marks), United States RegistrationsDescribing it turns out to be the easy part: The origin of Tarzan's call is surprisingly complicated. The first yell was, in fact, silent. There were a few other Tarzans, sure, but it was Johnny Weissmuller who made the part, and the sound, famous. Or did he? Was it, in fact, his yodel? Or was it cribbed from a voice double? Was Weismsmuller's voice supplemented with a hyena howl, a soprano's note, a dog's growl, and a raspy violin? Read more about the thrilling adventures of this Hollywood jungle trivia!
Serial No: 75326989 ~ Registration No: 2210506
Current Status: Registered Applicant/Owner: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
The mark is a yell consisting of a series of approximately ten sounds, alternating between the chest and falsetto registers of the voice, as follow - 1) a semi-long sound in the chest register, 2) a short sound up an interval of one octave plus a fifth from the preceding sound, 3) a short sound down a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 4) a short sound up a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 5) a long sound down one octave plus a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 6) a short sound up one octave from the preceding sound, 7) a short sound up a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 8) a short sound down a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 9) a short sound up a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 10) a long sound down an octave plus a fifth from the preceding sound.
Of course, no post on this subject is complete without the wild and terrible cry of... "Tarzan Boy." Don't say I don't love you.
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