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.
Click the link for information on how to order.