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Encyclopedia > Overtone singing
Physical representation of first (O1) and second (O2) overtones. F is the fundamental frequency.
Physical representation of first (O1) and second (O2) overtones. F is the fundamental frequency.

Overtone singing, also known as throat singing, overtone chanting, or harmonic singing, is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the harmonic resonances (or formants) created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out the lips to produce a melody. Throatsinging is both a generic and a specific term. Generally, it is applied to any singing style which entails the application of a harsh voice or some other constriction. Specifically, it refers to a type of Central Asian overtone singing. The term is often incorrectly applied to unconstricted overtone singing. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... In acoustics and telecommunication, the harmonic of a wave is a component frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency. ... This article is about resonance in physics. ... Spectrogram of American English vowels [i, u, É‘] showing the formants f1 and f2 A formant is a peak in an acoustic frequency spectrum which results from the resonant frequencies of any acoustical system. ... // Bold textItalic text The vocal folds, also known popularly as vocal cords, are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally across the larynx. ... Pressed voice, also called ventricular or harsh voice, is the production of speech sounds (typically vowels) with secondary epiglottal articulation. ...

Contents

Acoustics and theory

See also: Overtone

The partials of a sound wave made by the human voice can be selectively amplified by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx and pharynx. This resonant tuning allows the singer to create more than one pitch at the same time. An overtone is a sinusoidal component of a waveform, of greater frequency than its fundamental frequency. ... In acoustics and telecommunication, the harmonic of a wave is a component frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with mouth (human). ... Voicebox redirects here. ... The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the neck and throat situated immediately posterior to the mouth and nasal cavity, and cranial, or superior, to the esophagus, larynx, and trachea. ...


Through a study at the University of Wisconsin’s hospitals and clinics along with the National Center for Voice and Speech, video fluoroscopy, which is a motion x-ray, and a nasoendosocopy, the imaging of the vocal folds using a small camera to look at the throat closely, have come to the conclusion that the throat singers control their vocals to shift the frequency of a specific formant and mesh that with a harmonic tune. By performing in this manner it subsequently brings a melodic tune.[1] Spectrogram of American English vowels [i, u, É‘] showing the formants f1 and f2 A formant is a peak in an acoustic frequency spectrum which results from the resonant frequencies of any acoustical system. ...


Rollin Rachelle is the first to have authored a comprehensive study guide covering the mechanics and theory behind overtone singing[citation needed]. 'The Overtone Singing Study Guide' was first published in Dutch 1989 and then in English in 1996.


Traditional styles

Eurasia

The best-known of the traditional forms comes from Tuva, a small autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. The history of throat singing, or khoomei (Tuvan language: Хөөмей), reaches too far back for anyone alive to accurately discern. Among the Tuvans, throat singing is taught formally at the Tuvan School Of Art , but it also comes naturally to them and is picked up like a language. Many of the male herders can throat sing, and women are beginning to practise the technique as well. The popularity of throat singing among Tuvans seems to have arisen as a result of geographic location and culture. The open landscape of Tuva allows for the sounds to carry a great distance. Ethnomusicologists studying throat singing in these areas mark khoomei as an integral part in the ancient pastoral animism that is still practised today. Capital Kyzyl Area - total - % water Ranked 22nd - 170,500 km² - negligible Population - Total - Density Ranked 77th - est. ... Tuvan (Tuvan: Тыва дыл Tyva dyl), also known as Tuvinian, Tyvan, or Tuvin, is one of the Turkic languages. ... In its most general sense, the term Animism refers to belief in souls (anima is Latin for soul): in this sense, animism is present in nearly all religions, including religions such as Christianity that see souls as distinct from bodies and as limited to humans. ...


The animistic world view of this region identifies the spirituality of objects in nature, not just in their shape or location, but in their sound as well. Thus, human mimicry of nature's sounds is seen as the root of throat singing. (A beautiful example is the Mongolian story of the waterfall above the Buyan Gol (Deer River), where mysterious harmonic sounds are said to have attracted deer to bask in the waters, and where it is said harmonic sounds were first revealed to people.) Indeed, the cultures in this part of Asia have developed many instruments and techniques to mimic the sounds of animals, wind, and water. While the cultures of this region share throat singing, their styles vary in breadth of development.


In one of the main styles of khoomei, melodies are created by isolating the 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th (although more are possible) partial in the harmonic series (Sol, Do, Re, Mi and Sol in Solfege). The base pitch is typically around a G below Middle C. This is basic Sygyt. An overtone is a sinusoidal component of a waveform, of greater frequency than its fundamental frequency. ... Pitched musical instruments are usually based on a harmonic oscillator such as a string or a column of air. ... In music, solfege (or solmization) is a pedagogical technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of the score is sung to a special syllable, called a solfege syllable (or sol-fa syllable). The seven syllables normally used for this practice in the West are: Do, Re... In Western music, the expression middle C refers to the note C or Do located exactly between the two staves of the grand staff, quoted as C4 in note-octave notation (also known as scientific pitch notation). ...


The people of Tuva have a wide range of throat singing vocalizations, and were the pioneers of six pitch harmonics. [1] There are several different classification schemes for Tuvan throat singing. In one, the three basic styles are khoomei, kargyraa, and sygyt while the sub-styles include borbangnadyr, chylandyk, dumchuktaar, ezengileer, and kanzip. In another, there are five basic styles: khoomei, sygyt, kargyraa, borbangnadyr, and ezengileer. The substyles include chylandyk, despeng borbang, opei khoomei, buga khoomei, kanzyp, khovu kargyraazy, kozhagar kargyraazy, dag kargyraazy, Oidupaa kargyraazy, uyangylaar, damyraktaar, kishteer, serlennedyr, byrlannadyr.[2]

Sygyt
(Tuvan: Сыгыт) meaning "whistling", a technique that utilizes a mid-range fundamental and produces a high-pitched, rather piercing harmonic reminiscent of whistling. The technique is different from khoomei as the fundamental is completely attenuated, and has a higher pitch. The tone sounds very bright and clear. Also described as an imitation of the gentle breezes of summer, the songs of birds.
Kargyraa
(Tuvan: Каргыраа) a deep, "undertone" technique. The vestibular folds or false vocal folds are vibrated to produce an "undertone" exactly half the frequency of the fundamental produced by the vocal folds, and the mouth cavity is shaped to select harmonics of both the fundamental and the "undertone," producing from four to six pitches simultaneously. There are two main kargyraa styles, dag kargyraa and khovu kargyraa. The dag or "mountain" kargyraa is the lower of the two. There are also the distinctive kargyraa styles of Vladimir Oidupaa and Albert Kuvezin, the latter also bearing the name kanzat. This style can also be described as the howling winds of winter or the plaintive cries of a mother camel after losing her calf.
Khoomei
(Tuvan: Хөөмей) While khoomei is used as a generic term to designate all throat singing techniques in this region, it is also more specifically a technique where the drone is in the middle-range of the voice, with harmonics between one and two octaves above. Singing in this style gives the impression of wind swirling among rocks.
Chylandyk
(Tuvan: Чыландык) merely a mixture of Sygyt and Kargyraa. Both styles are sung at once, creating an unusual sound of low undertones mixed with the high Sygyt whistle. It has also been described as the "chirping of crickets."
Dumchuktaar
(Tuvan: Думчуктаар) could be best described as Throat Humming. The singer creates a sound similar to Sygyt using only the nasal passage. The word means to sing through the nose (dumchuk). The mouth does not need to be closed, but of course it demonstrates the point better.
Ezengileer
(Tuvan: Эзеңилээр) is a pulsating style, mimicking the rhythms of horseback riding. It is named after the word for stirrup in Tyvan, ezengi.

In Mongolia, throat singing is found mostly in the western part of the country. Khoomii (Mongolian: Хөөмий) can be divided up into the following categories. Tuvan (Tuvan: Тыва дыл Tyva dyl), also known as Tuvinian, Tyvan, or Tuvin, is one of the Turkic languages. ... In acoustics and telecommunication, the harmonic of a wave is a component frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency. ... Tuvan (Tuvan: Тыва дыл Tyva dyl), also known as Tuvinian, Tyvan, or Tuvin, is one of the Turkic languages. ... // Bold textItalic text The vocal folds, also known popularly as vocal cords, are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally across the larynx. ... // Bold textItalic text The vocal folds, also known popularly as vocal cords, are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally across the larynx. ... In acoustics and telecommunication, the harmonic of a wave is a component frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency. ... Albert Kuvezin is a Tuvan guitarist and singer. ... Tuvan (Tuvan: Тыва дыл Tyva dyl), also known as Tuvinian, Tyvan, or Tuvin, is one of the Turkic languages. ... Tuvan (Tuvan: Тыва дыл Tyva dyl), also known as Tuvinian, Tyvan, or Tuvin, is one of the Turkic languages. ... Tuvan (Tuvan: Тыва дыл Tyva dyl), also known as Tuvinian, Tyvan, or Tuvin, is one of the Turkic languages. ... Tuvan (Tuvan: Тыва дыл Tyva dyl), also known as Tuvinian, Tyvan, or Tuvin, is one of the Turkic languages. ... Tuvan (Tuvan: Тыва дыл Tyva dyl), also known as Tuvinian, Tyvan, or Tuvin, is one of the Turkic languages. ...

  • uruulyn / labial khoomii
  • tagnain / palatal khoomii
  • khamryn / nasal khoomii
  • bagalzuuryn, khooloin / glottal, throat khoomii
  • tseejiin khondiin, khevliin / chest cavity, stomach khoomii
  • turlegt or khosmoljin khoomii / khoomii combined with long song

Mongolians also sing in a style known as karkhiraa.


In the Altai Republic, throat singing, which they call kai, is used mostly in Epic poetry performance, to the accompaniment of topshur. Altay kai-chi perform in kargyraa, khöömei, sygyt styles, which are similar to Tuvan. They also have their own style, a very high harmonics, emerging from kargyraa. Variations of kai are called karkyra, sybysky, homei, and sygyt. The Altai Republic (Russian: ; Altay: Алтай Республика) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). ... The epic is a broadly defined genre of narrative poetry, characterized by great length, multiple settings, large numbers of characters, or long span of time involved. ... Topshur is a northern turki (tuvans, altai, khakas) two-stringed musical instrument, a domra-kind. ... Kai-chi (altai) - narrator, the man who sings kai. ...


Just north of Tyva in the region of Khakassia there exist native styles of throat singing known as khai. Khakassia or Khakasiya (Russian: or ) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic) located in south central Siberia. ...


Tibetan Buddhist chanting is a sub-genre of throat singing. Most often the chants hold to the lower pitches capable in throat singing. Various ceremonies and prayers call for throat singing in Tibetan Buddhism, often with more than one monk chanting at a time. Studies measuring the frequencies of the throat singing and the brain waves of the monks have shown synchronicity in the brain, causing it to emit similar waves to those found in studies of silent meditation.[citation needed] Tibet (older spelling Thibet; Tibetan: བོད་; Wylie: Bod; Lhasa dialect IPA: [; Simplified and Traditional Chinese: 西藏, Hanyu Pinyin: XÄ«zàng; also referred to as 藏区 (Simplified Chinese), 藏區 (Traditional Chinese), ZàngqÅ« (Hanyu Pinyin), see Name section below) is a plateau region in Central Asia and the indigenous home to the Tibetan people. ... A Buddhist chant is a form of musical verse or incantation, in some ways analogous to Hindu or Christian religious recitations. ... Tibetan Buddhism is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet, the Himalayan region (including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim and Ladakh), Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia (Russia), and northeastern China (Manchuria: Heilongjiang, Jilin). ...


The Bashkorts have a style of overtone singing, uedhlaew (sometimes spelled uzlyau; Bashkort: үзләү), which nearly died out. In addition, Bashkorts also sing uzlyau while playing the kuray, a national instrument. This technique of vocalizing into a flute can also be found in folk music as far West as the Balkans and Hungary. The Bashkirs, a Turkic people, live in Russia, mostly in the republic of Bashkortostan. ... The Bashkir language is a Turkic language, a member of the Kyphchak group of languages. ...


The oral poetry of Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan, and Kazakhstan sometimes enters the realm of throat singing.


Elsewhere

In the Barbagia region on the island of Sardinia, one of the two different styles of polyphonic singing is marked by the use of a throaty voice. This kind of song is called a tenore. The other style, known as cuncordu, doesn't use throatsinging. A tenore is practiced by groups of four male singers each of whom has a distinct role; the boche (pronounced /boke/, "voice") is the lead while the mesu boche ("half voice"), contra ("against") and bassu ("bass") - listed in descending pitch order - provide the accompainment. Boche and mesu boche sing in a regular voice whereas the contra and bassu sing with a throat voice. The boche sings a poetic text while the accompainment consists of nonsense syllables (for example bim-bam-bo). The execution differs in details between each of the villages where a tenore is sung to such an extent that the village can be immediately recognized. Some of the most wellknown groups who perform a tenore are Tenores di Bitti, Tenores di Oniferi and Tenores di Neoneli.


The resurgence of a once-dying Inuit throat singing tradition is underway in Canada. Xhosa women of South Africa have a style of chanting that falls in the category of throat singing. The Sami people have a singing genre called yoik that is often compared with throat-singing. While overtone techniques are not a defining feature of yoik, individuals sometimes utilize overtones in the production of yoik. The Nunatsiaq News, a newspaper of the Nunavik region of Arctic Quebec since 1973, reports on throat singing among the Inuit. ... The Sami people (also Sámi, Saami, Lapps, sometimes also Laplanders) are the indigenous people of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. ... Yoik, Joik or juoiggus is a traditional Sami form of song. ...


Non-traditional styles

America and Europe – The 1920s Texan singer of cowboy songs, Arthur Miles, independently created a style of overtone singing as a substitute for the normal yodeling of country western music. Starting in the 1970s, some musicians in the West either have collaborated with traditional throatsingers or ventured into the realm of throatsinging and overtone singing, or both. Some made original musical contributions and helped this art rediscover its transcultural universality. As harmonics are universal to all physical sounds, the notion of authenticity is best understood in terms of musical quality. Musicians of note in this genre include David Hykes (who created the term "harmonic singing" in 1975), Karlheinz Stockhausen, Jim Cole, Ry Cooder, Paul Pena (mixing the traditional Tuvan style with that of American Blues), Demetrio Stratos, and Steve Sklar. Lester Bowie and Ornette Coleman worked with the Tenores di Bitti, and Eleanor Hovda has written a piece using the Xhosa style of singing. DJs and performers of electronic music have also merged their music with throatsinging, overtone singing, or with the theory of harmonics behind it. In Ireland Anúna have revived a technique of overtone chanting mentioned in the 8th century manuscript Cath Almaine, the technique uses one held drone with a shifting three or four note overtone series. Contemporary classical composers are incorporating overtone singing into their works. "Past Life Melodies" for SATB chorus by Australian composer Sarah Hopkins (b. 1958) also calls for this technique. In Water Passion after St. Matthew by Tan Dun, the soprano and bass soloists sing in a variety of techniques including overtone singing of the Mongolian style. Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... World map showing the location of Europe. ... The 1920s is a decade that is sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... Arthur Miles was a 1920s Texan singer of cowboy songs. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979. ... David Hykes (1953 - ) is a musician, composer, author, experimental filmmaker and meditation teacher, and a principal pioneer in the modern harmonic, healing sounds and contemplative chant movements. ... Karlheinz Stockhausen (born August 22, 1928) is a German composer, and one of the most important and controversial composers of the 20th century. ... Ryland Ry Peter Cooder (born 15 March 1947, in Los Angeles, California) is an American guitarist, singer and composer, known for his slide guitar work, his interest in the American roots music and, more recently, for his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries. ... Paul Pena on the cover of his album New Train Paul Pena (born January 26, 1950 in Hyannis, Massachusetts, died October 1, 2005, in San Francisco) is a multi-genre singer, pianist, and guitarist, performing Mississippi Delta blues, jazz, flamenco, folk, rock and roll and Tuvan throat-singing. ... Steve Sklar is one of the leading performers and teachers of khoomei, or Tuvan Throat-Singing, in the west. ... Lester Bowie (11 October 1941–8 November 1999) was a jazz trumpet player and composer. ... Ornette Coleman (born March 19, 1930) is an American saxophonist and composer. ... Eleanor Hovda is a composer from the United States of America. ... The Xhosa (IPA ) people are peoples of Bantu origin living in south-east South Africa, and in the last two centuries throughout the southern and central-southern parts of the country. ... For other meanings of DJ, see DJ (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Electronica be merged into this article or section. ... Anúna is an Irish choral group that came to world prominence through its involvement with the Riverdance phenomenon in the mid 1990s. ... Tan Dunn (pinyin: Tán Dùn, 譚盾; born August 18, 1957) is a Chinese composer, most widely known as the Grammy and Oscar award winning composer for the soundtracks of the movies Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. ...


Rajasthan - Ethnomusicologist John Levy recorded a Rajasthani singer utilizing overtones in imitation of either a Jew's harp or a double-flute. There is no tradition of this style of singing there.


References

  1. ^ Theodore Levin, Valentina Süzükei: Where Rivers and Mountains Sing. Indiana University Press, Bloomington 2006, ISBN 0-253-34715-7.
  • Mark van Tongeren: Overtone Singing. Fusica, Amsterdam 2002, ISBN 90-807163-2-4, ISBN 90-807163-1-6.
  • Theodore Levin, Valentina Süzükei: Where Rivers and Mountains Sing. Indiana University Press, Bloomington 2006, ISBN 0-253-34715-7.
  • Wolfgang Saus: Oberton Singen. Traumzeit-Verlag, Schönau im Odenwald 2004, ISBN 3-933825-36-9 (german).

See also

This is a list of musicians utilizing some form of overtone singing. ... Yoik, Joik or juoiggus is a traditional Sami form of song. ... The Sami people (also Sámi, Saami, Lapps, sometimes also Laplanders) are the indigenous people of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. ... Jews harp, from an American Civil War camp near Winchester, Virginia A modern jews harp The Jews harp, jaw harp, or mouth harp) is thought to be one of the oldest musical instruments in the world; a musician apparently playing it can be seen in a Chinese... The Nunatsiaq News, a newspaper of the Nunavik region of Arctic Quebec since 1973, reports on throat singing among the Inuit. ... David Hykes (1953 - ) is a musician, composer, author, experimental filmmaker and meditation teacher, and a principal pioneer in the modern harmonic, healing sounds and contemplative chant movements. ... Genghis Blues (1999) is a documentary film about the people of Tuva and features singer/guitarist Paul Pena and Tuvan throatsinger Kongar-ol Ondar. ... Paul Pena on the cover of his album New Train Paul Pena (born January 26, 1950 in Hyannis, Massachusetts, died October 1, 2005, in San Francisco) is a multi-genre singer, pianist, and guitarist, performing Mississippi Delta blues, jazz, flamenco, folk, rock and roll and Tuvan throat-singing. ... Capital Kyzyl Area - total - % water Ranked 22nd - 170,500 km² - negligible Population - Total - Density Ranked 77th - est. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In trigonometry, an ideal sine wave is a waveform whose graph is identical to the generalized sine function y = Asin[ω(x − α)] + C, where A is the amplitude, ω is the angular frequency (2π/P where P is the wavelength), α is the phase shift, and C... A portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820 Ludwig van Beethoven (IPA: ), (baptized December 17, 1770[1] – March 26, 1827) was a German composer. ... Karlheinz Stockhausen (born August 22, 1928) is a German composer, and one of the most important and controversial composers of the 20th century. ... Rin gong at Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto Singing bowls (also known as Tibetan Prayer Bowls, Himalayan bowls or rin gongs in Japan) are type of musical instrument classified as a standing bell. ...

External links

Artist websites

  • David Hykes Harmonic Chant overtone choir
  • Spectral Voices overtone music of Jim Cole & Spectral Voices
  • Chirgilchin Innovative Tuvan traditional music group
  • Stephen Fandrich Innovative overtone singing of the Northwest U.S.
  • Sarymai Altai khaichi
  • Sabjilar Khakass traditional group
  • Huun Huur Tu Well-known Tuvan traditional music group
  • Tyva Kyzy All-female Tuvan traditional music group that performs all styles of throat-singing. (photos, music samples)
  • Alash Tuvan throat singing and traditional music with some non-traditional influences
  • Tenores di Bitti "Remunnu 'e Locu" Sardinian "a tenore" singing, in Italian and English (photos and music samples)
  • Braxton Stowe and his appearance on Row.

Acoustic researchers

Acoustics

Lessons and resources

  • David Hykes Harmonic Presence workshops and retreats in many countries.
  • Fusica - Throat-singing CD, books and background information by ethnomusicologist Mark van Tongeren.
  • Jan Stanek Overtone choir seminars and workshops in Czech and German.
  • Pure Nature Music - offers the California Throat Singing Camp, a 7-day intensive program that examines many aspects of throat singing performance, and other workshops.
  • khoomei.com Steve Sklar's online Tuvan throatsinging (khoomei) lessons, including a forum.
  • EarthChant Tutorials and workshops in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Friends of Tuva's How To's and Why's
  • Brian Grover's Crash Course in Khoomei Downloadable Audio Tutorial
  • Tuva Trader Throat-singing instructional CD's, books and music.
  • Audio samples of throat-singing
  • Khoomei - Dr. TRAN QUANG HAIs Method of Learning Overtone Singing Khoomei in five easy steps
  • Sed's Khoomei page Learn Sygyt and Kargyraa with clear explanations and excellent sample recordings.

  Results from FactBites:
 
OVERTONE SINGING (1797 words)
It is precisely in exploring that which 'lives' in the 'space' between notes that the spirit of overtone singing resides.
Whilst the law of overtones exists within the classical stream in the form of timbre, many Western instruments are designed to cut down on these overtones for the sake of 'harmony'.
Overtone singing can consequently be seen as a way of producing musical forms arising organically from within the Laws of Nature and, therefore, potentially more healing and harmonious to the human being.
Overtone singing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1913 words)
Overtone singing, also known as overtone chanting, harmonic singing, or harmonic chant, is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the harmonic resonances (or formants) created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out the lips.
The overtones are clearly heard when the partials of a sound wave produced by the human voice are selectively amplified by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx and pharynx.
Studies measuring the frequencies of the throat singing and the brain waves of the monks have shown synchronicity in the brain, causing it to emit similar waves to those found in studies of silent meditation.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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