History of Khoomei, CHINA

History of Khoomei


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According to the records, the history of Khoomei dates from Hun’s time. The art of Khoomei was created by the time Mongolian nation formed at the latest. The ancestors living in the Mongolian plateau imitated the sound from the nature piously when they were hunting and herding. They believed that it was an important way to communicate and get along harmoniously with the nature and the universe. Thus, some substantial of the human vocal organs was developed, allowing one person to create “harmony” when he was imitating the sound of waterfalls, mountains, forests and animals, which was the embryo of Khoomei. There is not abundant repertoire of Khoomei, limited by its specific singing techniques. The first basic category is the singing of the beauty of nature. The second one is the conveying and mimicking the lovely images of wild animals, such as Cuckoo which retains the music played during the hunting age. The third category is the praising of fine horses and grasslands.

The main musical style of Khoomei is short-tune songs; however, a few brief long-tune songs are available. Judging from the story about its origin and the subject matter of repertoire, the throat-singing is believed to be an outcome of the hunting culture of the Mongolians.

Khoomei – Sounds of Nature from the Grasslands

Khoomei - Sounds of Nature from the GrasslandsKhoomei (Overtone singing, also known as overtone chanting, or harmonic singing) is a magical art of singing created by Mongolians

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Author: tranquanghai1944

Ethnomusicologist, composer and vietnamese traditional musician

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