Participants parade with their alphorns at the Yodel festival in Davos, Switzerland, Sunday July 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone,Arno Balzarini)
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DAVOS, Switzerland: Dressed in round black hats and bright red waistcoats, the huddled circle of men burst into song, their falsetto voices echoing across the mountain valley: "Yodelayheehoo".High in the Alps, the resort of Davos is playing host to the Swiss Federal Yodelling Festival, a three-yearly magnet for lovers of mountain folk music and the region's centuries' old traditions.Known internationally for the annual World Economic Forum gathering of business and political leaders, this is the first time Davos is hosting the four-day yodelling festival.For many attendees, yodelling is about more than just music.Peter Sutter, a yodeller for 30 years, said it was his passion for a host of reasons.Other musicians are mixing traditional Alpine music with new sounds.From the early 19th century onwards, Switzerland used music, wrestling and sharp-shooting festivals to forge a united identity in a country of disparate regions.The festival also holds recitals featuring alphorns -- a 3.6-metre (12-foot), pipe-shaped instrument -- as well as flag-throwers, who hurl banners aloft and deftly catch them.
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