Au début des années 1990, alors que je menais des expériences vocales adolescentes, je suis tombé sur un reportage à la télévision dans lequel un homme, asiatique, présentait une technique vocale étrange dans une démonstra-tion basée sur la mélodie de l’Hymne à la Joie de la 9e Symphonie de Beethoven. Fasciné par ce son, je l’appris en autodidacte, sans me préoccuper de savoir com-ment cela se nommait, ni d’où cela venait. Des années plus tard en 2003, après être entré à l’Université Rennes 2, et au moment de préparer une recherche pour le Master, je réalisai que mon nouveau tuteur, Tr1n Quang H2i, n’était autre que cette personne « vue à la télé ». Ce fut le début de nos rendez-vous réguliers au Musée de l’Homme, autour du sonagraphe, mais aussi des enregistrements d’archives dont il s’occupait. Depuis nos premières rencontres, par imprégnation, j’ai suivi son sillon. Si sa pensée ethnomusicologique m’a séduit, j’ai retenu de lui un esprit d’écoute et d’ouverture, un besoin de partager et diffuser son savoir ethnomusicologique le plus largement possible, la nécessité de transmettre de la façon la plus simple et accessible qu’il soit, et la capacité à utiliser le matériau « traditionnel » subtilement dans les processus de création. Même si mon contact intensif avec la Mongolie m’a forgé, la présence de Hai dans ma démarche est permanente. Et pour tout cela, je le remercie infiniment. Au moment où paraissent aux Etats-Unis deux ouvrages rétrospectifs sur ses principaux travaux (2018a et 2018b), puisse cet entretien lui rendre hommage à un tournant de sa vie.J.C.
Extrait de l’article de Johanni Curtet : Tran Quang Hai : P résenter Tr1n Quang H2i le temps d’un entretien n’est pas un exercice facile, tant les facettes de cet étonnant personnage sont nombreuses. Je n’abor-derai pas ici sa carrière de musicien, avec ses quelques 3000 concerts ; ni celle de compositeur, avec plus de 200 chansons vietnamiennes. Je ne m’attarderai pas non plus sur les raisons de son succès reconnu par des distinctions telles que la médaille de Cristal du CNRS (1995), le Prix Spécial du khöömii à Kyzyl en République de Touva (1995), le Prix du meilleur joueur de guimbardes de Molln en Autriche (1998) et la médaille de Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (2002). Je souhaiterais insister davantage sur la période qui a construit l’ethnomusicologue et musicien que nous connaissons, né le 13 mai 1944 à Linh Dong Xa au Viêt Nam.Au début des années 1990, alors que je menais des expériences vocales adolescentes, je suis tombé sur un reportage à la télévision dans lequel un homme, asiatique, présentait une technique vocale étrange dans une démonstra-tion basée sur la mélodie de l’Hymne à la Joie de la 9e Symphonie de Beethoven. Fasciné par ce son, je l’appris en autodidacte, sans me préoccuper de savoir com-ment cela se nommait, ni d’où cela venait. Des années plus tard en 2003, après être entré à l’Université Rennes 2, et au moment de préparer une recherche pour le Master, je réalisai que mon nouveau tuteur, Tr1n Quang H2i, n’était autre que cette personne « vue à la télé ». Ce fut le début de nos rendez-vous réguliers au Musée de l’Homme, autour du sonagraphe, mais aussi des enregistrements d’archives dont il s’occupait. Depuis nos premières rencontres, par imprégnation, j’ai suivi son sillon. Si sa pensée ethnomusicologique m’a séduit, j’ai retenu de lui un esprit d’écoute et d’ouverture, un besoin de partager et diffuser son savoir ethnomusicologique le plus largement possible, la nécessité de transmettre de la façon la plus simple et accessible qu’il soit, et la capacité à utiliser le matériau « traditionnel » subtilement dans les processus de création. Même si mon contact ntensif avec la Mongolie m’a forgé, la présence de Hai dans ma démarche est permanente. Et pour tout cela, je le remercie infiniment. Au moment où paraissent aux Etats-Unis deux ouvrages rétrospectifs sur ses principaux travaux (2018a et 2018b), puisse cet entretien lui rendre hommage à un tournant de sa vie.J.C
extrait de l’article de Johanni Curtet : “Tran Quang Hai: Explorateur de l’oralite”, Cahiers de l’ethnomusicologie n°32, Geneve, 2019
 Chirgilchin performing various styles of Tuvan Throat Singing.
Overtone singing – also known as overtone chanting, harmonic singing, or throat singing – is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the resonances created in the vocal tract, in order to produce a melody.
From a fundamental pitch, made by the human voice, the belonging harmonicovertones can be selectively amplified by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx, and pharynx. This resonant tuning allows singers to create more than one pitch at the same time (the fundamental and one or more selected overtones), while actually generating only a single fundamental frequency with their vocal folds.
Each note is like a rainbow of sound. When you shoot a light beam through a prism, you get a rainbow. You think of a rainbow of sounds when you sing one note. If you can use your throat as a prism, you can expose the rainbow – through positioning the throat in a certain physical way, which will reveal the harmonic series note by note.
It is thought that the art of overtone singing originated in southwestern Mongolia in today’s Khovd Province and Govi Altai region. Nowadays, overtone singing is found throughout the country and Mongolia is often considered the most active center of overtone singing in the world. The most commonly practiced style, Khöömii (written in Cyrillic as Хөөмий), can be divided up into the following categories:
Tuvan overtone singing is practiced in the Republic of Tuva (southern Siberia, Russia) and it’s called Khöömei.
The Tuvan way of singing overtones is based on appreciation of complex sounds with multiple layers or textures, which is how the Tuvans developed a wide range of rhythmic and melodic styles during the centuries.
Most of the styles are sung with “korekteer” (korek = chest, teer = to sing. Literally “to sing with chest voice”), and the main ones are:
Kargyraa (which also uses a second sound source made by false vocal folds. This technique is called “false-folds-diplophony”)
And other special sub-styles like:
Byrlang (a unique type of vibrato, mainly applied to khöömei and kargyraa styles)
The melodies are traditionally created by using the 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th and sometimes the 16th harmonics, which form the major pentatonic scale, so the 7th and 11th harmonics are carefully skipped.
The most peculiar melody, from Tuvan tradition, is “Artii Sayir”, mostly performed in kargyraa style.
Altai and Khakassia
Tuva’s neighbouring Russian regions, the Altai Republic to the west and Khakassia to the northwest, have developed forms of throat singing called “kai”, or “khai”. In Altai, this is used mostly for epic poetry performance, to the accompaniment of a topshur. Altai narrators (“kai-chi“) perform in kargyraa, khöömei, and 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 first well-known kai-chi was Kalkin.
TibetanBuddhist chanting is a subgenre of throat singing, mainly practiced by monks of Tibet, including Qinghai (Khokhonor) province in the Tibetan plateau area, Tibetan monks of Nepal, Bhutan, India, and various locations in the Himalayan region. Most often the chants hold to the lower pitches possible in throat singing. Various ceremonies and prayers call for throat singing in Tibetan Buddhism, often with more than one monk chanting at a time. There are different Tibetan throat singing styles, such as Gyuke (Tibetan: རྒྱུད་སྐད་, Wylie: rgyud skad) – this style uses the lowest pitch of voice; Dzoke (Tibetan: མཛོ་སྐད་, Wylie: mdzo skad), and Gyer (Tibetan: གྱེར་, Wylie: gyer).
On the island of Sardinia (Italy), especially in the subregion of Barbagia, one of the two different styles of polyphonic singing is marked by the use of throat singing. This kind of choir is called “singing a tenore“. The other style, known as cuncordu, does not use throat singing. Cantu a Tenore is practiced by groups of four male singers, each of whom has a distinct role; the ‘oche or boche (pronounced /oke/ or /boke/, “voice”) is the solo voice, while the mesu ‘oche or mesu boche (“half voice”), contra (“against”), and bassu (“bass”) – listed in descending pitch order – form a chorus (another meaning of tenore). Boche and mesu boche sing in a regular voice, whereas contra and bassu sings with the use of the false vocal folds, just like the Tuvan Khoomei and Kargyraa techniques. In 2005, Unesco classed the cantu a tenore as an intangible world heritage. The most well known groups who perform the singing a Tenore are from Bitti, Orosei, Oniferi, and Neoneli. Each town has usually more than one group, and their name is based on a specific place, or monument, and then their hometown: for example: Tenore Su Remediu(place) de Orosei(Town).
The Bashkirs of Bashkortostan, Russia have a style of overtone singing called özläü (sometimes spelled uzlyau; BashkortӨзләү), which has nearly died out. In addition, Bashkorts also sing uzlyau while playing the kurai, 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 resurgence of a once-dying Inuit tradition called katajjaq is currently under way in Canada. Inuit throat singing was a form of entertainment among Inuit women while the men were away on hunting trips. It was an activity that was primarily done by Inuit women, though men also did it. In the Inuit language Inuktitut, throat singing is called katajjaq, pirkusirtuk, or nipaquhiit, depending on the Canadian Arctic region. It was regarded more as a type of vocal or breathing game in the Inuit culture rather than a form of music. Inuit throat singing is generally done by two individuals but can involve four or more people together as well. In Inuit throat singing, two women would face each other either standing or crouching down while holding each other’s arms. One would lead with short deep rhythmic sounds while the other would respond. The leader would repeat sounds with short gaps in between. The follower would fill in these gaps with her own rhythmic sounds. Sometimes both women would be doing a dance-like movement such as rocking from left to right while throat singing. The practice is compared more to a game or competition than to a musical style. In the game, Inuit women sit or stand face-to-face and create rhythmic patterns.
Starting in the 1960s, some musicians in the West either have collaborated with traditional throat singers or ventured into the realm of throat singing 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 Collegium Vocale Köln (who first began using this technique in 1968), Michael Vetter, David Hykes,Jill Purce, Jim Cole, Ry Cooder, Paul Pena (mixing the traditional Tuvan style with that of American Blues), Steve Sklar, and Kiva (specializing in jazz/ world beat genres and composing for overtone choirs). Others include composer Baird Hersey and his group Prana with Krishna Das (overtone singing and Hindu mantra), as well as Canadian songwriter Nathan Rogers, who has become an adept throat singer and teaches Tuvan throat singing in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Paul Pena was featured in the documentary Genghis Blues, which tells the story of his pilgrimage to Tuva to compete in their annual throat singing competition. The film won the documentary award at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, and was nominated for an Oscar in 2000.
David Hykes, a pioneer in new music, contemplative chant and healing sounds, founded Harmonic Chant in New York in 1975, the year he also founded his legendary group, The Harmonic Choir, considered to be one of the world’s pre-eminent overtone ensembles.
Wolfgang Saus, from Germany, is considered one of the major teachers/performers of “polyphonic overtone singing” in Europe. Formerly trained as a classical baritone, his unique skills makes him instantly recognizable. He’s also a renowned composer and arranger of polyphonic overtone singing music for solo voice and choirs.
A cappella singer Avi Kaplan also exhibited overtone singing during his group’s (Pentatonix) performances. He merged throat singing together with a cappella dubstep.
The Overtone Choir Spektrum from Prague, Czech Republic, is unique among overtone choirs, particularly because it connects traditional choir singing with overtone techniques. It is the only one of its kind in the Czech Republic, and one of only a few in the world.
Sherden Overtone Choir was founded in 2016 in Sardinia by Ilaria Orefice and Giovanni Bortoluzzi. The choir combines Tuvan Throat Singing Styles with Sardinian Throat singing.
Contemporary multi-instrumentalist performer The Suitcase Junket employs a self-taught overtone singing, or throat singing technique in his live and recorded performances.
Several contemporary classical composers have incorporated overtone singing into their works. Karlheinz Stockhausen was one of the first, with Stimmung in 1968. Tran Quang Hai (b.1944), a French national of Vietnamese origin, created the composition “Ve Nguon” with the collaboration of Vietnamese composer Nguyen Van Tuong in 1975, in Paris. “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.
In 2014 German singer Anna-Maria Hefele went viral on YouTube with her “polyphonic overtone” singing. The Huffington Post has commented on her “amazing ability” and her singing being “utterly bizarre”. On 10 October 2014, she was number two on The Guardian’s Viral Video Chart, with one online video titled Polyphonic Overtone Singing, which features Hefele as she demonstrates and explains overtones. As of March 2018, this video has received more than 11 million hits.
Saus, Wolfgang (2004). Oberton Singen. Schönau im Odenwald: Traumzeit-Verlag. ISBN3-933825-36-9 (German).
Sklar, Steve (2005). “Types of throat singing” ““
Titze, Ingo R. (1994). Principles of Voice Production. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN978-0-13-717893-3 Reprinted Iowa City: National Center for Voice and Speech, 2000. (NCVS.org) ISBN978-0-87414-122-1 .
Titze, Ingo R. (2008). “The Human Instrument”. Scientific American 298, no. 1 (July):94–101. PM 18225701
Tongeren, Mark C. van (2002). Overtone Singing: Physics and Metaphysics of Harmonics in East and West. Amsterdam: Fusica. ISBN90-807163-2-4 (pbk), ISBN90-807163-1-6 (cloth).
The Harmonic kiss was conceived and developed by TRAN QUANG HAI some 40 years ago during his personal research on overtone singing .
One person makes the sound like a drone with rich harmonics while the second person creates the external resonator with strangulated throat to create a fixed resonator .The 2 mouths never touch to each other but they are very near (about 2 mm distance). With the variation of mouth cavity by saying A E I O U without making sound., the second person with created external resonator modifies the series of harmonics and the person who makes the sound can hear his (or her) own harmonics.
This method has been used for music therapy to solve the problem of marital conflict. Also it is used for the contemporary creation of harmonic kiss choir . Tran Quang Hai did experiment this method for a world premiere of collective harmonic kiss in France during his workshop in 2009.
14 877 vues•19 déc. 2013 1653PartagerEnregistrerados4k 6,24 k abonnés Tuvan throat singing segment frrom the October 1, 1993 episode of the Chevy Chase Show featuring Kongar ol Ondar (RIP) and Bady Dhorzhu Ondar. This is a repaired version of another video found on Youtube that is currently broken.
Space Sound Voice – Full Documentary about Overtone Singing and Harmonics
960 vues•30 nov. 2019 430PartagerEnregistrerVoid Visuals 1,43 k abonnés This documentary about overtone singing was published in 2010. Now for the 10 years anniversary it is available in full length here. ENJOY! Harmonic Singing (also known as overtone singing) has the power to move us deeply. It is an ancient form of singing, using our voice to produce two or more tones at once. But how does it work? And how can harmonic singing have such a profound effect on us? In the documentary “Space Sound Voice” filmmaker Minghao Xu takes us on a quest for the origins of harmonics, giving us insight in our own ability to sing harmonics. Not only a varied range of international overtone singers is introduced, but also the scientific side is well presented, resulting in an inspirig journey through the world of sound. This film documentation portrays seven musicians and tells the story of my personal fascination for ‘overtone-singing’ and the fractal geometry of sound. With: David Hykes Wolfgang Saus Christian Bollmann Danny Wetzels Hosoo & Transmongolia Jill Purce Mark van Tongeren The DVD with extra materials is available in English and German at the German publishing house https://www.traumzeit-verlag.de/ See my recent works in Animation and VFX on https://voidvisuals.com
When I began to delve into overtone singing around 1989 I was stunned to find out a few things:
1) how easy it was to sing a few overtones – and many more overtones as I kept on practising
2) how little there was to be found in all kinds of literature outside ethnomusicology, like books about the voice and vocal techniques, about sound and timbre, about perception and cognition of sound and music psychology
3) how often the few sources that did mention it presented it as something very esoteric, very diffciult, very hard to learn, etc. etc.
After my thesis on Tuvan throat singing (Xoomei in Tuva: New Developments, New dimensions, 1994) I decided to write a book about all kinds of overtone singing. When it came out in 2002 (revised edition, 2004), much of the above points 1) 2) and 3) still rang true.
I strongly believed that the principle of vocal harmonics should be part of any kind of basic sound education, whether focusing on the voice, on acoustics or hearing or music psychology, and that overtone singing was the most powerful way to get this method across. My book was well received, but difficult to obtain (read: to distribute) and overall I think I could say it failed to have the impact I thought such a book should have on educating at least professionals in music, sound and voice about this still-obscure vocal technique. Throughout the years, until now, I do get positive feedback from people who read it. I am now working on a revised and expanded edition).
Still, Overtone Singing: Physics and Metaphysics of Harmonics in East and West is the only book covering a very wide range of aspects of Overtone Singing, from singing and listening and contemplative aspects to old and new traditions. The CD that comes with the book is the most complete anthology of recordings available and includes several useful technical demonstrations of different techniques. A must-have for any serious overtone singer.
For those who cannot wait 1-2 years for the new edition to come out, I have good news. The second edition is on sale now, half the original price plus postage, available directly from Fusica, shipped from The Netherlands or Taiwan.
33 535 vues•11 févr. 2014 5536PartagerEnregistrerglobalmusiccentre 283 abonnés 10.-11.8.1999, Iskra, Republic of Tuva Video engineer: Riitta-Liisa Joutsenlahti Original recordings are in the library of folk music department, Sibelius-Academy, Helsinki, Finland