Website: Tran Quang Hai’s World of Overtone Singing

TRAN QUANG HAI has created this website on the World of Overtone Singing coverning traditional overtone singing by Tuvin, Mongolian and Siberian singers , with the selection of new types of overtone singing performed by Western singers around the World .

Malte KOB: Analysis and modelling of overtone singing in the sygyt style


Overtone singing, also called biphonic singing, xöömij or chant diphonique in french; is a special singing style that exhibits two or more separate sounds – one “drone” sound of relatively low pitch and one or more high pitch melody sounds. The perceived pitches of the upper tones are multiples of the drone sound, i.e. taken from its overtone scale. Compared to voiced sounds of western style singers, the relative amplitude of the melody pitches is quite high, and the formant bandwidth of overtone sounds is small. This paper tries to answer the question of how these formant properties are achieved. Experimental investigations and numerical calculations prove the existence of two closely neighboured formants for the production of the melody sound in the sygyt style.




Overtone singing
Impedance measurement
Voice modelling

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  • Saturation mechanism in clarinet-like instruments, the effect of the localised non-linear losses

    Applied Acoustics, Volume 65, Issue 12, December 2004, pp. 1133-1154


  • Some aspects of the harmonic balance method applied to the clarinet

    Applied Acoustics, Volume 65, Issue 12, December 2004, pp. 1155-1180
  • Some insight into the acoustics of the didjeridu

    Applied Acoustics, Volume 65, Issue 12, December 2004, pp. 1181-1196


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Gerrit Bloothooft, Eldrid Bringmann, Marieke van Cappellen, Jolanda B. van Luipen, and Koen P. Thomassen : Acoustics and perception of overtone singing

Published Online: 04 June 1998
Accepted: June 1992
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 92, 1827 (1992);

Overtone singing, a technique of Asian origin, is a special type of voice production resulting in a very pronounced, high and separate tone that can be heard over a more or less constant drone. An acoustic analysis is presented of the phenomenon and the results are described in terms of the classical theory of speech production. The overtone sound may be interpreted as the result of an interaction of closely spaced formants. For the lower overtones, these may be the first and second formant, separated from the lower harmonics by a nasal pole‐zero pair, as the result of a nasalized articulation shifting from /c/ to /a/, or, as an alternative, the second formant alone, separated from the first formant by the nasal pole‐zero pair, again as the result of a nasalized articulation around /c/. For overtones with a frequency higher than 800 Hz, the overtone sound can be explained as a combination of the second and third formant as the result of a careful, retroflex, and rounded articulation from /c/, via schwa /E/ to /y/ and /i/ for the highest overtones. The results indicate a firm and relatively long closure of the glottis during overtone phonation. The corresponding short open duration of the glottis introduces a glottal formant that may enhance the amplitude of the intended overtone. Perception experiments showed that listeners categorized the overtone sounds differently from normally sung vowels, which possibly has its basis in an independent perception of the small bandwidth of the resonance underlying the overtone. Their verbal judgments were in agreement with the presented phonetic‐acoustic explanation.

Carole PEGG: Mongolian conceptualizations of overtone singing (xöömii)

CrossRef citations to date

Original Articles

Mongolian conceptualizations of overtone singing (xöömii)

Pages 31-54 | Published online: 31 May 2008

Based on field work in western Mongolia during 1989 and 1990, this paper relates Mongolian xöömii or overtone singing to its social context and to the cognitive world of the performers. It looks at secular performance contexts, theories of origin, legendary/historical development, recent transformation into an art form, traditional training methods and transmission, Mongolian classification of xöömii, and its relationship with nature and shamanism. A brief overview is given of previous non‐Mongolian perspectives, which have either concentrated on acoustical and physiological analysis of the sounds themselves or have made claims that overtone singing is a “magical voice technique” causing spiritual and physical healing. The latter is contrasted with the Mongolian belief that, although consumption of the sounds may be beneficial, the production of xöömii is potentially harmful to the body.

Ronald Walcott: The Chöömij of Mongolia A Spectral Analysis of Overtone Singing.

The Chöömij of Mongolia A Spectral Analysis of Overtone Singing.

  • Source: Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology . 1974, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p54-60. 7p.
  • Author(s): Walcott, Ronald
  • Abstract: This report is a preliminary study of the Mongolian style of singing known as chöömij. It begins by assembling the physical vocabulary of this singing style, and compares its mechanism with that of the Jew’s harp. It proceeds to a consideration of the ictus in isolation in order to show a progression toward a “normal” sustained chöömij sound. The normal chöömij is described in terms of its formants and their relation to possible physiological counterparts. Finally, it is inferred that, if correctly interpreted, the melographic data might be successfully linked with concepts and data from other disciplines, thereby significantly widening the implications these may have in explaining musical phenomena.
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