Khoomei / Overtone Singing and Related Links
NEW – Online Throat-Singing Lessons by Steve Sklar
NEW – Khoomei.com’s Forum The online meeting place to discuss throat-singing, overtone singing, instruments, cultures, and more!
Big Sky MP3 Page:* There are 3 mp3 songs here with examples of my khoomei: “Siberia,” “Fire in the Water,” and “Far Away.”
Huun-Huur-Tu: Ingrid Verhamme’s excellent site about the premier Tuvan ensemble. Bios, pics, tour info, links, and more!
Mark von Tongeren: Mark is a fine overtone and khoomei singer, and author of Overtone Singing.
http:tranquanghaisworldthroatsinging.com : Site of one of the pioneer researchers of overtone singing and phenomenal virtuoso Jaw Harpist, with many links.
Healing Voices/MantraVani Orchestra: Home of Jerry DesVoignes and One Voice Harmonic Choir in Vancouver, BC
Michael Ormiston: Michael’s web site is the best I’ve seen about Mongolian Throat-Singing.
Tuva Online: News from Tuva. Mainly Russian, but with English section, too.
Jonathan Goldman President of the Sound Healers Association
Harmonic Enchantment: web site of Arjuna, overtone singer, instructor and musician
Diane Mandle: San Diego-based sound healer and performer
Tarbagan: Fine Japanese khoomei duo featuring Masahiko Todoriki
Harmonic Sounds: Site of Nestor Kornblum and Michele Averard, co-founders of the International Ass. Of Sound Therapy (I.A.S.T.) In English and Spanish versions.
Okna Tsagan Zam Site of Kalmuk throat-singer and philosopher, with MP3s and AVIs
Paul Pena: Late blues singer, throat-singer and star of “Genghis Blues”
Genghis Blues: Web site for the documentary film about Paul Pena’s 1995 trip to Tuva
Yat-Kha: Excellent Tuvan ensemble led by Albert Kuvezin, a founding member of HHT
Alash: Fine young Tuvan group
Robert Beahrs’ Throat-singing Blog: Report of world-wide investigation of overtone singing
Jim Cole: Overtone singer Jim Cole and his group Spectral Voices have a several recordings here.
Friends of Tuva: The first and most comprehensive site for all things Tuvan
The Tuva Trader Online: Looking for the right gift for your favorite Tuvaphile?
Oberton Seiten: Wolfgang Saus’ Overtone Singing Site (in German)
Kiva: Site of talented overtone singer/musician Kiva, aka Kathy Brown. With mp3s
Baird Hersey and Prana: American Overtone Choir
Cedip Tur: Khoomei, Finnish style
Overtone Ru Throat-Singing discussion board. English and Russian.
Tyva Kyzy Meaning “Tuvan Girl,” a name suggested by khoomei great Khunashtaar-ool Oorzhak, this is an all-female Tuvan group.
Scientific American Article on Throat-Singing: Interesting piece by Ted Levin and Michael Edgerton (English Version)
Crash Course in Khoomei: The rough and ready way to jump into khoomei by Brian Grover and Sean P. “Kushkash-ool” Quirk
David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir: Web home of David Hykes, one of the earliest pioneers of western overtone singing. Bios, pics, CD sales, and more
Sainkho Namtchylak: Fantastic female avant-garde singer from Tuva; new site
Stimmhorn: Duo of Christian Zehnder and Balthasar Streiff. German, French, and English
Christian Bollmann’s Overtone Choir: German and English pages
Leonardo Fuks: Brazilian harmonic singer and researcher
Totem People’s Preservation Site: Preserving threatened Central Asian cultures
Michael Vetter: Veteran overtone singer (in German)
La Voix Diphonique: Overtone ensemble (in French)
Ken Hyder: Shamanic jazz, with throat-singing, yeah!
Stuart Hinds: American harmonic singer specializing in contrapuntal music
Roberto Laneri Veteran overtone singer, didgeridoo player, and composer. In Italian and English
Vershki da Koreshki: Interesting ensemble; Tuvan singer Kaigal-ool Khovalyg of HHT is part-time member
Mystical Arts of Tibet: Site for performing Tibetan monks that tour the world
Soundworks: Site of Lyz Cooper, of the British Academy of Sound Therapy
Chanting: Not necessarily harmonic, but interesting
Face Music: Swiss music site feature many types of music, including Central Asian. Info, CD sales, and more…
Umngqokolo Umqang This Xhosa throat-singing variant is perfomed by women, and sounds very deep and unique. There is very little documentation available, but I have seen a video by South African Ethnomusicologist David Dargie which if I recall correctly, mentioned shamanic connections. There is very little info currently available, mainly by Prof. Dargie. Here’s a MP3
Inuit “throat-singing” is a very different vocal art than the others included here, and is not multiphonic. However, it does sometimes use similar vocal timbres which often include the use of both the vocal and ventricular folds (I believe). And, as in the case of the Tibetan monks, it is not true “singing.” It sometimes involve the unsual technique of vocalizing on alternating inhalation/exhalations. Here is an article with an interview with Inuit throat-singer Evie Mark, and a video sample of Edie and Sarah Beaulne. I’m not sure if this tradition extends to other areas of the Arctic.
From Wikipedia: The Ainu of Japan had throat singing, called rekkukara, until 1976 when the last practitioner died. It resembled more the Inuit variety than the Mongolian. If this technique of singing emerged only once and then in the Old World, the move from Siberia to northern Canada must have been over Bering Strait land bridge some 12,000 years ago.
New World Terms: The name for throat singing in Canada varies with the geography:
• Northern Quebec – katajjaq
• Baffin Island – pirkusirtuk
• Nunavut – nipaquhiit
The Indians in Alaska have lost the art and those in Greenland evidently never developed it.
Inuit Throat Singing: When the men are away on a hunting trip, the women left at home entertain themselves with games, which may involve throat singing. Two women face each other usually in a standing position. One singer leads by setting a short rhythmic pattern, which she repeats leaving brief silent intervals between each repetition. The other singer fills in the gap with another rhythmic pattern. Usually thecompetition lasts up to three minutes until one of the singers starts to laugh or is left breathless. At one time the lips of the two women almost touched, so that one singer used the mouth cavity of the other as a resonator, but this isn’t so common today. Often the singing is accompanied by a shuffling in rhythm from one foot to the other. The sounds may be actual words or nonsense syllables or created during exhalation.
Rajasthan, India This is a very interesting example of a unique, peculiar and non-traditional development, as there is no such custom here. The anonymous singer learned to overtone sing by imitating the local double-flutes. MP3
USA – 1920s – The legendary and obscure Arthur Miles was an American cowboy singer who, apparently, also independently developed his own overtone singing style. He also sang in normal voice, yodeled, and played guitar. Almost nothing is know of him or his influences, but the dates of his recordings, believed to be about 1928-29, make him one of the earliest overtone singers ever recorded! Lonely Cowboy Part 1 Lonely Cowboy Part 2 Thanks to John (quaern from the Yahoo group)
Central Asia Landscapes Lots of great images, including many of Tuva. A few links are wrong, but the scenes are beautiful!
Google Search: “khoomei” Let’s make it easy on you…
Google Search: “singing” and “larynx” Just can’t get enough, can you?
Some Good Harmonics References:
The Harmonic Series A path to understanding musical intervals, scales, tuning and timbre by Reginald Bain – University of South Carolina. This is a great reference with lots of harmonic-related info, sounds, graphics, and links. Very cool!
Harmonic Series Rice College Summary: The harmonic series is the key to understanding not only harmonics, but also timbre and the basic functioning of many musical instruments. A good online lesson in harmonics and overtones.
Why two notes of the harmonic series sound well together Cool sound samples
Overtone Series: Time to brush up on harmonic theory?
Overtone Report: Interesting article on overtone singing
Links – Voice, vocal anatomy, etc.
Structures of the larynx Good site from Mythos Anatomy/Webmed, with interactive anatomy figures.
Singing and Anatomy Two articles on voice production
The Singing Voice: Anatomy More good info on the vocal anatomy. Lots of useful graphics, videos, and links. Don’t miss the section on Castrati, and remember that it may improve sygyt but at the expense of a good, deep kargyraa. Act accordingly.
Lots of cool links about the voice
A Basic Overview of Voice Production by Ronald C. Scherer, Ph.D. Lots off good definitions of vocal terms.
How the Larynx (Voice Box) Works Charles R. Larson, Ph.D. Good article with good graphics.
Well, that’s a start…. many of these sites have additional links… and so on… and so on…
Got a site that I should include? Drop me an email.
Last Updated 12-10-05