Mongolian Khöömii Singing Papers, Singers and Recordings

Mongolian Khöömii Singing Papers, Singers and Recordings

There have been many explanations of khöömii that I have come across over the years. I will attempt to point to the main contributors and sources. My own studies brought me to Mongolia in 1993/4/7 and 2000/5/6 and I have interviewed attended and set up workshops with Gereltsogt (London 1993) and Tserendavaa (Europe 2002) that gave me further insight. This page is still under construction and will be updated as I find time to put more information on. If you would like to send me any information regarding Mongolian khöömii and if any Mongolian khöömii singers would like their own page on this site then please email me at

Carol Pegg’s articles on Khöömii
Khöömii nomination extract for UNSECO Intangible Cultural Heritage 2010
Scientific American Article September 1999
The Chöömij of Mongolia A Spectral Analysis of Overtone Singing by Ronald Walcott 1974
Original Research and Acoustical Analysis in connection with the Xöömij Style of Biphonic Singing
Tran Quang Hai and Denis Guillou, Paris 1980
A Two Voiced Song With No Words by Lauri Harvilahti circa 1981
Tuvin Folk Music by A. N. Aksenov, Tuvinskaia Narodnaia Muzyka (Moscow, 1964)
Analysis of Acoustical Features of Biphonic Singing Voices Male and Female Xöömij and Male Steppe Kargiraa
By Takeda, Shoichi and Muraoka, Teruo
Why Do We Perceive Two Tones Simultaneously In Xoomij Mongolian Traditional Singing? By MasashiYamada
Synthesis of the laryngeal source of throat singing using a 2×2-mass model
Ken-Ichi Sakakibara, Hiroshi Imagawa, Seiji Niimi, Naotoshi Osaka
Physical Modelling of the vocal tract of a Sygyt singer by Chen-Gia Tsai
Perception of Overtone Singing by Chen-Gia Tsai
Kargyraa and meditation by Chen-Gia Tsai
Growl Voice in Ethnic and Pop Styles
Ken-Ichi Sakakibara, Leonardo Fuks, Hiroshi Imagawa, Niro Tayama 2004
False vocal fold surface waves during Sygyt singing: A hypothesis
Chen-Gia Tsai, Yio-Wha Shau, and Tzu-Yu Hsiao
False Vocal Fold Surface Waves During Sygyt Singing: a theoretical study by Chen-Gia Tsai
The Effect of the Hypopharyngeal and Supra-Glottic Shapes on The Singing Voice
Hiroshi Imagawa, Ken-Ichi Sakakibara, Niro Tayama, Seiji Niimi, 2003
The Laryngeal Flow model for Pressed-Type Singing Voices
Ken-Ichi Sakakibara, Hiroshi Imagawa, Seiji Niimi, Naotoshi Osaka 2006
Observation of Laryngeal Movements for Throat Singing. Vibrations of two pairs of folds in the human larynx
Ken-Ichi Sakakibara, Tomoko Konishi, Emi Zuiki Murano, Hiroshi Imagawa, Masanobu Kumada, Kazumasa Kondo, and Seiji Niimi
December 2002
Altai Khangai Ensemble info on Khöömii from the net
Zulsar on Khöömii from the Net

Page one of some Mongolian CD’s Featuring khöömii with track listings and liner notes

Page two of some Mongolian CD’s Featuring khöömii with track listings and liner notes

Page three of Some Mongolian CD’s found on the net

An Incomplete List of recorded Mongolian khöömii singers
A to F G to R S to Z

Magic of Tone and the Art of Music by the late Dane Rhudyar
This is a very interesting extract about the Harmonic series from the now out of print book

Some Khöömii, Khoomei, Overtone Singing Links and Related Sites

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INGE R. TITZE : From Aerosmith to Pavarotti — How Humans Sing

INGE R. TITZE : From Aerosmith to Pavarotti — How Humans Sing

From Aerosmith to Pavarotti — How Humans Sing
How Does The Singer’s Voice Produce Those Amazing Sounds?

By Ingo R. Titze

inge titze

The Human Instrument
How Instruments Make Music

Although the human vocal system is small, it manages to create sounds as varied and beautiful as those produced by a variety of musical instruments. The question is: How can singers produce all those remarkable sounds?
All instruments, including our singing voices, have a sound source, a resonator that reinforces (amplifies) the basic sound and a radiator that transmits the sound to listeners. In people, the source is vibrating vocal folds (vocal cords) of the larynx or voice box; the resonator is the sound-boosting airway above the larynx; and the radiator is the opening of the mouth.
The human voice can create an impressive array of sounds because it relies on non-linear feedback by which a small input can result in a disproportionately large output. One of the voice’s more effective nonlinear mechanisms is inertive reactance, whereby singers create special conditions in their vocal tract to amplify sounds generated by the vocal folds.
To better understand the complex phenomena that produce the incredible sounds acclaimed vocalists demonstrate in the following sound clips and elsewhere, take a look at my article—The Human Instrument—in the January issue of Scientific American.
SOUND CLIPS Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler, lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith, is celebrated for his ability to scream tunefully. Here, he produces several interesting vocal effects. Tyler first uses some inharmonic (noise-like) sounds to match the timbre of his voice to percussive instruments. He also demonstrates a “flip” into falsetto register, but later employs a bright vowel on the word “same” to continue his belt-like voice (as in “belt” it out) into a high pitch.

Georgia Brown
Georgia Brown is a Brazilian pop singer who is noted for her wide vocal range (eight octaves) and is thus classified as a full dramatic coloratura soprano. In this example, she is likely using inertive reactance in her vocal tract to reinforce a very high-pitched whistle voice that she creates with her vocal folds. No vowels are heard because the pitch sits above the first two vocal-tract resonances that define (perceptually) what a vowel is.

Rollin Rachele
Rollin Rachele is one of the world’s foremost overtone singers, a technique in which a person vocalizes two notes simultaneously. Overtone singing and related techniques are most widely recognized in the Tuvan, Mongolian and Tibetan cultures. Rachele never uses the fundamental frequency to change pitch. Rather, he maintains the fundamental frequency as a constant drone, then applies varying vocal tract shapes to resonate a single harmonic of this drone at any one time. By skipping from harmonic to harmonic he can play a tune with these high frequencies, also known as overtones.

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Joan Sutherland
Dame Joan Sutherland, the renowned Australian operatic soprano, knew instinctively that some vowels cannot be used when singing certain pitches. In this case, she uses a less open mouth shape in her middle pitch range than she does in her high pitch range. One vowel, for instance, sounds more like “oh” in the middle and “ah” at the top. Sutherland alternates between an inverted megaphone (horn-like) shape and a megaphone shape in these vowels to reinforce the sonic energy produced at the vocal folds.

Ethel Merman
On stage, Broadway musical star Ethel Merman belted out songs with precise enunciation and pitch so audiences could hear her even without amplification. Here, she uses bright vowels with high first-resonance frequency to make optimal use of inertive reactance. Pay particular attention to the vowels she uses in “everything,” “roses,” “for” and “me.” The vowels all suggest that she employs the horn-like megaphone vocal-tract shape. But unlike Joan Sutherland, Merman uses the megaphone shape in the middle of her pitch range to reinforce the second harmonic. Sutherland, in contrast, makes use of the megaphone shape only on very high notes to reinforce the first harmonic. Neither female vocalist sings true speech-like vowels.

Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti, the recently deceased Italian operatic tenor, is famed for the brilliance and beauty of his tone. In this example, he uses a vocal production in his high notes that is similar to that which Ethel Merman uses in her mid- to high-pitch range. The male high voice has a strong second harmonic as does the female belt voice. But Pavarotti widens his pharynx (the airway above the larynx) more, producing an additional ring in the voice, while downplaying the more typical twanging sound. As far as timbre is concerned, ring sounds match better with bowed string and woodwind instruments, whereas twanging sounds match better with brass and percussion instruments.

Audio file manifest ETHEL MERMAN – Female belt voice
Clip 1: Minutes 1:35 to 1:51
APA style ref: Styne, J., Sondheim, S. (1959). Everything’s Coming Up Roses [Recorded by E. Merman, S. Black, London Festival Orchestra & Chorus]. On Merman Sings Merman [CD]. London, England: Decca (1972, reissued 2004)
Clip 2: Minutes 2:25 to 2:47
APA style ref: Styne, J., Sondheim, S. (1959). Everything’s Coming Up Roses [Recorded by E. Merman, S. Black, London Festival Orchestra & Chorus]. On Merman Sings Merman [CD]. London, England: Decca (1972, reissued 2004)

Clip 3: Minutes 1:50 to 2:22
APA style ref: Porter, C. (1934). I Get a Kick Out of You [Recorded by E. Merman, S. Black, London Festival Orchestra & Chorus]. On Merman Sings Merman [CD]. London, England: Decca (1972, reissued 2004)
JOAN SUTHERLAND – Female operatic voice
Clip 1: Minutes 5:30 to 5:50
APA style ref: Bellini, V. (1831). Casta diva [Recorded by J. Sutherland, R. Bonynge, London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus]. On Joan Sutherland: The Greatest Hits [CD]. London, England: Decca (1998)
Clip 2: Minutes 4:03 to 4:24
APA style ref: Gounod, C. (1859, Rev. 1869). O Dieu! Que de bijoux! …Ah! je ris de me voir si belle (Jewel song) [Recorded by J. Sutherland, F. Molinari-Pradelli, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden]. On Joan Sutherland: The Greatest Hits [CD]. London, England: Decca (1998)
STEVEN TYLER – Male rock voice
Clip 1: Minutes 3:24 to 3:45
APA style ref: Aerosmith (1973). Dream On. Aerosmith [CD]. New York: Columbia Records
Clip 2: Minutes 0:56 to 1:22
APA style ref: Aerosmith (1989). Janie’s Got a Gun. Pump [CD]. New York: Geffen Records
LUCIANO PAVAROTTI – Male operatic voice
Clip 1: Minutes 1:45 to 2:06
APA style ref: Verdi, G. (1851). La donna e mobile [Recorded by L. Pavarotti, A. Toscanini, Symphonic Orchestra of Emilia Romagna]. On Luciano Pavarotti in concert [CD]. New York: CBS Records
Clip 2: Minutes 1:20 to 1:35
APA style ref: Verdi, G. (1851). Questa o quella [Recorded by L. Pavarotti, A. Toscanini, Symphonic Orchestra of Emilia Romagna]. On Luciano Pavarotti in concert [CD]. New York: CBS Records
ROLLIN RACHELLE – (Male) Overtone singing (improperly referred to as “throat singing”)
Clip 1: 20 seconds long
APA style ref: Rachelle, R. (1995). Track 18. Overtone Singing Study Guide [Book/CD]. Amersterdam, Netherlands: Cryptic Voices Productions
GEORGIA BROWN – (Female) Whistle voice (not a person whistling!)
Clip 1: Seconds 0:08 to 0:21
Ref: Recording of Georgia Brown: sound clip (link to last accessed 12/05/07.
Clip 2: Minutes 0:54 to 1:00
Ref: Recording of Georgia Brown: sound clip (link to last accessed 12/05/07.

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Tran Quang Hai : Metodo per Imparare il Canto Armonico di Stile KHOOMEI

Metodo per Imparare il Canto Armonico di Stile KHOOMEI
Tran Quang Hai (Francia)
Negli ultimi 40 anni si sono prodotte un numero considerevole di ricerche riguardo questo peculiare fenomeno vocale, in particolare sulle modalità con le quali esso è praticato in Mongolia e a Tuva.
In mongolo e tuvano la parola KHOOMEI significa faringe, gola e KHOOMEILAKH è la tecnica di produrre armonici vocali. Questa tecnica piuttosto insolita, che porta la voce umana ai suoi limiti, comporta la produzione simultanea di due suoni: un suono grave o fondamentale che è ricco di armonici e la reminiscenza dello Jew’s harp[1] (motivo per cui questa tecnica è anche chiamata “ Jew’s harp voice”). Secondo i cantanti della Mongolia questa tecnica è molto faticosa. L’esecutore deve tendere i muscoli e gonfiare le guance. Variando la pressione dell’aria attraverso le corde vocali, il volume del cavo orale e la posizione della lingua, vengono ottenuti suoni diversi. In questo modo, armonici di diverse frequenze vengono prodotti formando melodie. La fondamentale viene prodotta nel retro della gola, passando attraverso il cavo orale e attraverso l’eccitazione delle labbra leggermente divise e in misura minore attraverso il naso.
La ricerca può essere eseguita in molti modi: dai sistemi di osservazione degli esecutori nativi dopo una o più visite nei paesi che interessano, o attraverso una pratica strumentale e un addestramento vocale che mirano ad una migliore comprensione della struttura musicale assunta dalla popolazione studiata.
La mia ricerca non appartiene a una di queste due categorie in quanto non sono stato in Mongolia e non ho imparato lo stile KHOOMEI (canto armonico) da un insegnante Mongolo.
Quello che ora vado descrivendo è il risultato dei miei propri esperimenti che abiliteranno chiunque a produrre due note simultaneamente in maniera simile allo stile Mongolo e Tuvano di canto armonico.
La maniera con la quale viene tradotta la parola Mongola o Tuvana non è uniforme: HO-MI, HÖ-MI (Vargyas, 1968), KHOMEI, KHÖÖMII (Bosson, 1964: 11), CHÖÖMEJ (Aksenov 1973: 12), CHÖÖMIJ (Vietze 1969: 15-16), XÖÖMIJ (Hamayon 1973; Tran Quang Hai 1980: 162).
Ricercatori francesi hanno altri termini per descrivere questa peculiare tecnica vocale come per esempio CHANT DIPHONIQUE o BIPHONIQUE (Leipp 1971), Tran Quang Hai 1974, Gilles Leothaud 1989, VOIX GUIMBARDE, VOIX DEDOUBLEE (Helffer 1973, Hamayon 1973), e CHANT DIPHONIQUE SOLO (Marcel-Dubois 1979).
Per convenienza, io ho impiegato il termine “OVERTONE SINGING[2]” per descrivere uno stile di canto eseguito da una singola persona che produce contemporaneamente una fondamentale che continua e un altro suono più acuto tra quelli della serie delle parziali o armoniche, che ricordano il suono del flauto .
Come sono giunto al “Canto Armonico” (“overtone singing”)
Nel 1970, al Department of Ethnomusicology (Musee de l’Homme), il Prof. Roberte Hamayon mi fece ascoltare le sue registrazioni fatte in Mongolia nel 1967 e nel 1969. Fui sorpreso dalla natura straordinaria e unica di questa tecnica vocale.
Per molti mesi compii ricerche bibliografiche negli articoli dove era trattato questo stile di canto nel tentativo di ottenere informazioni sulla pratica del Canto Armonico, ma ricevetti piccole soddisfazioni.
Spiegazioni meramente teoretiche e alcune volte di natura ambigua non fecero nulla di meglio che creare e incrementare la confusione col il che la mia ricerca fu abbandonata. A dispetto della mia completa ignoranza sul metodo impiegato per imparare il Canto Armonico praticato dai Mongoli, dai Tuvani e da altre popolazioni della Siberia, non mi scoraggiai minimamente per i risultati negativi ottenuti all’inizio dei miei studi dopo mesi di sforzo. Io lavorai interamente solo brancolando a mio modo nel buio per due lunghi anni, ascoltando frequentemente dalle registrazioni effettuate da Roberte Hamayon depositate nel Sound Archives del Department of Ethnomusicology del Musee de l’Homme. I miei sforzi non portavano risultati. Nonostante la conoscenza della tecnica dello scacciapensieri, il lavoro all’inizio fu difficile e scoraggiante.
Provai anche a fischiare mentre emettevo un suono grave con la voce come fondamentale. Comunque all’analisi spettrografica si vedeva che non era simile alla tecnica Xöömij dei Mongoli. Alla fine del 1972 mi resi conto che ero ancora molto lontano dalla mia meta.
Poi, un giorno, nel novembre del 1973, mentre cercavo di calmare i miei nervi nella terrificante congestione del traffico di Parigi, accadde che feci vibrare le mie corde vocali nella faringe con la bocca mezzo aperta recitando a memoria le lettere dell’alfabeto. Quando arrivai alla lettera “L”, e la punta della lingua stava quasi per toccare la cima del palato, sentii improvvisamente un suono armonico chiaro, puro e potente. Ripetei molte volte l’operazione ottenendo lo stesso risultato; tentai poi di cambiare la posizione della lingua sul palato mantenendo il suono di base. Una serie di palatali risuonò come un disturbo nelle mie orecchie. All’inizio trovai gli armonici dell’accordo perfetto. Lentamente, dopo una settimana di addestramento intensivo, slittando verso l’acuto o il grave con la fondamentale scoprii da me stesso il mistero del canto armonico, il cui stile appariva vicino a quello praticato dai Mongoli e dai Tuvani.
Dopo due mesi di “ricerca” e dopo numerosi esperimenti di vario genere, riuscii a creare una breve melodia di armonici. Questa è la mia “ricetta” per aiutare chiunque a fare questo primo passo per cantare gli armonici.
1. Intensificare la produzione vocale con una voce di gola
2. Pronunciare le lettere “I” e “U” collegandole insieme e ripetendo molte volte in un fiato.
3. Si faccia un suono nasale con la punta della lingua in posizione bassa.
4. In questo modo è possibile mettere a fuoco la linea degli armonici superiori sia in ordine ascendente che discendente.
Questa è la prima tecnica, quella che io chiamo “tecnica a una cavità”. Ciò è piuttosto facile da fare e chiunque può ottenere due suoni simultanei nel giro di un minuto di pratica.
La seconda “ricetta” aiuterà a produrre gli armonici chiari alla maniera dello stile Mongolo e Tuvano. Io chiamo questa “tecnica a due cavità”.
1. Si emetta il suono vocalico “E” più lungo possibile.
2. Si pronunci la lettera “L”. Mantenere la posizione con la punta della lingua che tocca il palato. In questa posizione la bocca è divisa in due cavità, una davanti e una dietro.
3. Si pronunci prima “LAANG” per diverse volte (primo esercizio) e poi “LOONG” per altrettante (secondo esercizio). Quando gli armonici sono udibili si canti tenendo la lingua contro il palato e contemporaneamente cambiando la forma della bocca come per pronunciare le vocali da “A” a “O” e successivamente da “O” a “A” eseguendolo molte volte in un fiato.
4. Si faccia un suono nasale.
5. In questa maniera si può produrre chiaramente la serie di armonici in stile Mongolo.
Per i principianti gli armonici dell’accordo perfetto (Do, Mi, Sol, Do) sono facili da ottenere.
Comunque, un allenamento particolarmente duro è necessario per ottenere scale pentatoniche. Ogni persona ha la sua altezza favorita che l’abilita a produrre una maggiore gamma di parziali. Questa fondamentale favorita varia secondo le qualita della voce del singolo cantante.
Altri esperimenti dai quali ho appreso che è possibile ottenere due suoni simultaneamente in tre diversi modi:
1. nel primo modo la lingua è abbassata o leggermente curva, senza mai toccare in alcun modo il palato, e solo le labbra muovono il cavo orale. Con questa modalità del cavo orale, questa volta diviso in un’unica cavità, è possibile udire le parziali ma deboli e gli armonici più acuti non superano i 1200Hz.
2. La tecnica di base del secondo metodo è descritta sopra. Comunque, invece di tenere la bocca mezzo aperta è tenuta quasi chiusa con le labbra tirate indietro e molto strette. Perché le parziali siano molto chiare, la posizione delle labbra deve variare allo stesso tempo della lingua. Quando le parziali sono molto chiare e distinte allora la tecnica è esaurita. Gli armonici acuti possono arrivare alla zona dei 2600 Hz.
3. Nel terzo metodo la lingua è abbassata, e i denti stringono la lingua mentre si cantano le vocali “U” e “I”, con la contrazione dell’addome e dei muscoli della gola. Gli armonici più acuti possono giungere a 4200Hz.
Altri nuovi esperimenti che ho iniziato a mostrare è che io posso mantenere l’armonico allo stesso livello di frequenza usato come “nota tenuta” e cambiare la linea delle fondamentali (per esempio Do, Fa, Sol, Do). Sono anche riuscito a creare una linea di fondamentali e una di armonici che muovono contemporaneamente in direzioni opposte. In altre parole io produco una linea fondamentale ascendente e, allo stesso tempo, una linea discendente di armonici. L’effetto armonico è piuttosto inusuale ed eccezionale.
Nel 1989 io e il dottor Hugo Zemp abbiamo realizzato un film intitolato “THE SONG OF HARMONICS” che mostra una ripresa ai raggi X e una spettrografica, in tempo reale e con il suono sincronizzato, di brani di canto dei diversi paesi. Questo film prodotto dal CNRS –Audiovisivi e dalla French Society for Ethnomusicology, ottenne due premi (Grand Prize and Best Music Prize) al International Festival of Visual Anthropological Film in Estonia Ottobre 1990, un premio (Special Prize for Research) al International Festival of Scientific Film in Palaiseau (France) nel Novembre 1990, e il Grand Prize del International Festival of Scientific Film in Montreal (Canada) nel1991.
Nella musica contemporanea occidentale gruppi di cantanti sono riusciti ad emettere due note contemporaneamente e sono stati creati brani di musica d’avanguardia e nell’ambito della musica elettoacustica. David Hykes con il suo Harmonic Choir, fondato a New York nel 1975, usa il canto armonico per collegarsi con l’universo cosmico nelle sue composizioni. Demetrio Stratos (1945-1979) ha usato il canto armonico per creare una relazione tra la voce e il subconscio. Nelle mie composizioni – improvvisazioni io raccomando sempre di investigare gli armonici per arricchire il mondo dei suoni. Altri esecutori di canto armonico sono i tedeschi Michael Vetter, Christian Bollmann, Michael Reimann, l’italiano Roberto Laneri, l’olandese Rollin Rachele, l’australiano Josephine Truman, i francesi Les Voix Diphoniques , Thomas Clements, Iegor Reznikoff, Tamia, tutti costoro hanno utilizzato il canto armonico nei loro lavori.
Il canto armonico è praticato anche da numerosi gruppi (Oirat, Khakass, Gorno-Altai, Bashkir, Tuvin, Kalmuk) etnici al confine tra la Repubblica Russa e la Mongolia. In Rajasthan (India), in Taiwan presso il gruppo etnico Bunun, in Tibet presso i monaci dei monasteri Gyuto e Gyume, in Sud Africa presso la popolazione degli Xhosa, la pratica del canto armonico è nota e ovunque registrata.
Io spero che dopo questa breve introduzione al mondo degli armonici, si possa avere un’idea riguardo l’esistenza del canto armonico in differenti aree del mondo e la possibilità di sapere come ottenere armonici vocali.
AKSENOV, A.N. 1973: “Tuvin Folk Music”, Journal of the Society for Asian Music 4(2):7-18, New York.
HAMAYON, R. 1980: “Mongol Music”, New Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians 12: 482-485, Stanley Sadie (éd), MacMillan Publishers,Londres.
LANERI, R. 1983: “Vocal Techniques of Overtone Production”,NPCA Quarterly Journal 12(2-3): 26-30.
LEIPP, E. 1971: “Considération acoustique sur le chant diphonique”, Bulletin du Groupe d’Acoustique Musicale 58: 1-10, Paris..
LEOTHAUD, G. 1989: “Considérations acoustiques et musicales sur le chant diphonique”, Le chant diphonique, dossier n° 1: 17-43, Institut de la Voix, Limoges.
TRAN QUANG HAI & GUILOU, D. 1980: “Original Research and Acoustical Analysis in Connection with the Xöömij Style of Biphonic Singing”, Musical Voices of Asia : 162-173, The Japan Foundation (éd), Heibonsha Ltd, Tokyo.
TRAN QUANG HAI & ZEMP,Hugo. 1991: “Recherches expérimentales sur le chant diphonique”, Cahiers de Musiques traditionnelles : VOIX vol.4: 27-68, Ateliers d’ethnomusicologie /AIMP, Genève.
TRAN QUANG HAI, 1975: “Technique de la voix chantée mongole: xöömij”, Bulletin du CEMO (14 & 15): 32-36, Paris.
TRAN QUANG HAI, 1983: “Note à propos du chant diphonique mongol”, Catalogue de l’exposition Mongolie-Mongolie, Musée de l’Homme (éd), Paris.
TRAN QUANG HAI, 1989: “Réalisation du chant diphonique”, dossier n°1 Le Chant diphonique : 15-16, Institut de la Voix, Limoges.
TRAN QUANG HAI, 1990: “Les Musiques vocales”, L’Esprit des Voix, C.Alès (éd), La Pensée Sauvage: 43-52, Grenoble.
TRAN QUANG HAI, 1991: “New Experimental About the Overtone Singing Style”, (Nouvelles Expérimentations sur le chant diphonique), Nouvelles Voies de la Voix, 1ère partie, Bulletin d’adiophonologie 7(5&6): 607-618, Besançon.
TRAN QUANG HAI, 1995: ” Le chant diphonique: de……ion, historique, styles, aspect acoustique et spectral”, EM, ANnuario degli Archivi di Etnomusicologia dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, 2:123-150, Rome.
TRAN QUANG HAI, 1995: “Survey of overtone singing style”, EVTA (European Voice Teachers Association, Dokumentation 1994 (actes du congrès): 49-62, Detmold
[1] Nome inglese dello scacciapensieri o maranzano.
[2] In Italiano utilizzeremo “Canto Armonico”.

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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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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WIKIPEDIA : List of overtone musicians

List of overtone musicians

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This is a list of musicians utilizing some form of overtone singing. The groups they work with should be listed after.


These are musicians using a traditional method of overtone singing: Overtone singing originates among the people in the Urankhai region of Siberia, who have historic links to Mongols (although they might speak Turkic languages, like Tuvans).

Tuvans and Mongols

Rest of the World


See also




  1. “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-07.




tran quang hai overtone singing



Research can be done in many ways: by means of obervation of native performers after on or more visits to the country concerned, or by means of practising instruments and vocal training aimed at a better understanding of the musical structure employed by the population being studied. My own research does not belong to either of these two categories since I have never been to Monglia and I have never learned the KHOOMEI style (Overtone singing) from a Mongolian teacher.

What I am going to describe for you here is the result of my own experiments which will enable anyone to produce two simultaneous sounds similar to Mongolian and Tuvin overtone singing.

The Tuvan vocal phenomenon Khöömei (literally Throat) since the last ten years has thrilled World music audiences around the world from the USA to Holland, from Canada to Germany, Sweden, from France, Spain to Japan, Australia.

In 1969,I started my overtone research with Mongolian xöömij style which was very closed to Tuvan Sygyt style.Then, I wrote an article on my “discovery” of this split-tone singing style” on the acoustical point of view, in cooperation with Denis Guillou in a book published by Japan Foundation in 1980. Another important article with Hugo Zemp on my experimental research on overtones was published in Geneva in 1991. The film the Song of Harmonics, made by Hugo Zemp in 1989 with me as co-author was released in 1989 in Paris.

Only in 1977 I heard the Tuvan overtones for the first time from the LP edited by Melodia GOCT 5289-68 “Pesni i Instrumentalnye Melodii Tuvy “ (Songs and Instrumental Melodies of Tuva) with the cover notes by G.Tchourov.

Throat Singing in Central Asia

The most well-known area for overtone singing is found in Central Asia, more specifically Western Tuva and Northwestern Mongolia. A great number of singers practice overtone singing, a tradition going back to the time of the Silk Road trade, according to some references in Tuvan songs. There is a rich culture of overtone singing, as demonstrated by many different styles, the great regional and even personal differences and the number of singers. In Tuva five basic styles exist: called sygyt, khoomei, kargyraa, borbannadyr, and ezengileer. Borbannadyr was called in some regions, but the latter indicated in orther regions the general term for overtonesinging. Nowadays, it still has this function, but khoomei can at the same time be the name for a separate style, apart from borbannadyr. In addition to these styles some sub styles exist, such as folk and middle sygyt, steppe and mountain kargyraa, and the “stil Oidupa”. The latter is a substyle of kargyraa named after the singer who invented it , and it is considered as the first city style. The parametres for this emic – or folk classification, seem to be the melody of the fundamental, the melody of the overtones and the sound colour or over all sound.


The Mongols did not have a traditional, general classification of their styles of overtone singing. The late folklore specialis Badraa and the singer Tserendavaa attempted to make such a classification of Mongolian xoomij. Their results seem to be based on two criteria: the places of origin and the palce of resonance in the body when singing xoomij. They came up with six different styles: uruulyn (labial) xoomij, tagnain (palatal) xoomij, xamryn (nasal) xoomij, bagalzuuryn (glottal or throat)xoomij, tseejiin xondiin or xevliin (chest cavity or stomach) xoomij and xarxiraa. The latter style is somewhat controversial, since different singers have different opinions about what constitutes it, and whether or not it is xoomii.

In addition to Tuvan and Mongolian styles Khakassian “xaj” and Gorno-Altaian “kaj” overtone singing, usually accompanying epic songs, should be mentioned. while Tuvan and to a lesser extent Mongolian musicians travel around the world performing their xoomej, little is known about other Central Asian styles.

A special case is the “uzliau” or “tamak kurai” of Bashkirs, who live in the european part of Russia, some few thousand kilometers from Tuva. It is the name for their overtonesinging, with melodies similar to those of ordinary folksongs. The Baskirs are a Turkic people, who moved from Central Asia or Saiano Altai in the first millennium. Wainshtein advanced the opinion that they could have taken with them this peculiar singing style when moving westward from Central Asia. If this is so, he writes, then xoomej existed before their migration, i.e. in the second harl of the first millennium.


The manner in which the Mongolian and Tuvin word is transcribed is by no means not uniform: HO-MI, HÖ-MI (Vargyas, 1968), KHOMEI, KHÖÖMII (Bosson, 1964:11), CHÖÖMEJ (Aksenov, 1973:12), CHÖÖMIJ (Vietze 1969:15-16), XÖÖMIJ (Hamayon 1973; Tran Quang Hai, 1980:162). French researchers have used other terms to describe this peculiar vocal technique such as CHANT DIPHONIQUE or BIPHONIQUE (Leipp, 1971); Tran Quang Hai, 1974; Gilles Leothaud, 1989), VOIX GUIMBARDE, VOIX DEDOUBLEE (Helffer, 1973; Hamayon, 1973), and CHANT DIPHONIQUE SOLO (Marcel-Dubois, 1979). Several terms exist in English such as SPLIT-TONE SINGING, THROAT SINGING, OVERTONE SINGING, and HARMONIC SINGING. In German, it is called ZWEISTIMMIGEN SOLOGESANG. In Italian, it is called CANTO DIFONICO ou CANTO DIPLOFONICO.

For convenience, I have employed the term „OVERTONE SINGING“ to describe a style of singing performed by a single person producing simultaneously a continuous drone and another sound at a higher pitch issueing from a series of partials or harmonics resembling the sound of the flute.

In Mongolia and Tuva, thee word KHOOMEI means pharynx, throat, and KHOO- MEILAKH is the technique of producing vocal harmonics. This most unusual technique, which takes the human voices to its limits, entails the production of two sounds simultaneously: a drone or fundamental that is rich in harmonics and reminiscent of the jew’s harp (the reason why this technique is also known as „jew’s harp voice“). This technique is strenuous for the performer according to Mongolian singers. The performer must tauten his muscles and swell his cheeks. Different sounds are obtained by varying the air pressure across the vocal folds, the volume of the mouth cavity, and tongue placement. In this way, variable pitch harmonics are produced to form the melody. The fundamental is produced in the back of the throat, passing through the mouth, and exciting throught the slightly parted lips and to a lesser extent through the nose.

Five Styles of Overtones in Tuva

It is necessary to have a clear idea about the five basic vocal styles of Tuvan overtone singing before analyzing the different items recorded in these 2 compact discs reviewed in this paper.

Khoomei is a vocal style which enables the singer to produce two sometimes three simultaneous voices: one fundamental with low sound considered as a drone, and the other(s) with overtones giving one or two formantic melody (ies). In acoustics, harmonics are sounds the frequencies of which are integral multiples. If the singer sings the fundamental pitch of 200Hz (written H1=200Hz), harmonics 2 (written H2) will be 400Hz, H3=600Hz, etc…In this paper, whenever I mention H2, H3, that means overtone 2, overtone 3.

Khoomei is the common term for overtone singing, the origin of all styles. It means literally „throat, pharynx“. It is considered as the oldest style by many Tuvan singers. It sounds like the sygyt style with high pitch fundamental, but less tension, softer overtones in the mouth. The use of rhythmic ornamentation accentuates the beat of the song. Nowadays khoomei is often faster and louder. Grace notes become tremolos as in borbannadyr style (after Mark Van Tongeren).

Sygyt (also written Sigit ) is a high overtone singing sounding like a flute, a whistle, mostly combined with text. The term sygyt means „whistle“. Songs in sygyt style start without overtones. At the end of a line, the melody ends with a sustained fundamental on which the singer surimposes a second melody with overtones (generally H9,H10 and H12, sometimes with H8,H9,H10,H12,H13). The best singers in Sygyt are Mongush Mergen, Tumat Kara-ool, Chuldum-ool Andrej.

Borbannadyr is sung from a fundamental in bass or baritone range. It is characterized by a pulsating asymmetrical rhythm and is not normally sung with text. The term is derived from the verb borbanna (to roll over). The singer employs the tremolo of overtones, and can create the triphonic effect with the fundamental , the first overtone level in fifth parallel (harmonic 3 : one octave + a fifth higher), and the second overtone level which gives the melody. This style is sung in a higher register than the one used in kargyraa with more nasal resonance. Mikhail Dopchun, Tumat Kara-ool, Anatolii Kuular are the best exponents of this style.

Ezengileer is produced by rapid vibrations of the lips, and is sung over a low fundamental. It creates soft shimmering overtone melodies.Both the high (nasal) and low (throat) sounds are important. The alternation of the two different sounds seem to define the style. It is characterized by a pulsating galloping asymmetrical rhythm which suggests riding on horseback. Ezengi means strirrup the metal parts of a bridle. Songs in ezengileer style were usually sung when riding on horseback. To-day the ezengileer style is rarely performed and is considered rather difficult. Mongush Mergen and Ondar Marzhymal are the best singers of this style.


Kargyraa is a very low overtone, singing with long breath and open vowels (u, o, ö, a ) used in songs in which texts are sung. The term kargyraa is a homonym of the onomatopoetic verb kargyraa which means „to expectorate“. The pitch of the fundamental varies from 55 Hz to 65 Hz.

Apart from the five main styles, we can find other sub-categories: Opei-khoomei is a lullaby khoomei, similar to the rhythm of rocking a baby to sleep. It is sometimes called tönmes khoomei (never ending khoomei).

Khovu-kargyraa is a steppe kargyraa practised when riding a horse on the steppe with the wind blowing at the right angle into the mouth with lips curled. The wind amplifies overtones (this style can be heard in the compact disc Tuva – Voices from the Center of Asia – Smithsonian Folkways CD SF 40017, track 1).

Dag-kargyraa is a mountain kargyraa, practised in the mountains, producing an echo and singing with it. Tempo and timbre have a different rhythm than khovu-kargyraa.

Chelbig-kargyraa is a fan kargyraa, sung while continuously moving a fan in front of the mouth. The air circulation produced by the fan genereates different kargyraa effects.

Sygytting borbannadyr is sygyt singing in borbannadyr style, also known as the Gennadi Tumat style because he has developed it.

Chilandyk is a combination of sygyt and kargyraa alternating between high and low registers. It is named after the chilandyk (cricket) which produces the same sound.

Dumchuktaar (from the nose) means khoomei singing through the nose, with mouth almost or completely closed. It can be combined with other styles such as kargyraa, sygyt, khoomei with nasal character.

Kangzyp is a special kind of overtone singing for someone who is depressed or sad. The word kangzyp is probably derived from the verb kangzyyr which means „to wail“ (like a dog) or figuratively „to annoy“.

Xörekteer (xörek means breast). It refers to singing with the breast of the melody before or in between actual overtone singing style. It is sung with words. If it is sung in the lower register, it is called xörekteer . Gennadi Tumat has sung it. Lebedinskij ,in 1948, wrote : „It is unnatural for a person to be able sing two

notes at the same time. The timbre is alreasy unnatural, not to mention the principal notes and the harmonics, or overtones, and what is downright unnatural is the length of time the breath is sustained „. Aksenov, the first Russian researcher, wrote an important article on Tuvin Folk music in 1964 (an English version was published in Asian Music Journal – New York, USA, in 1973).

Since the years of Perestroika and with the disparition of the USSR at the end of the ’80s, Tuva has rebuilt the traditional music and Tibetan Buddhism. The „cultural rebirth“ has started since. Competitions, Khöömei Song Concerts were organized in 1992 and 1995 in Kyzyl, capital of Republic of Tuva. By chance I was invited in Tuva in 1995 and was nominated as President of the 2nd International Symposium and Festival of Throat-Singers from 19 to 21June 1995.

The Tuvan singers generally use overtones from 6th to 13th. Renowned singers can reach overtone 18. During the Russian domination, throat singing was not encouraged by the Soviet authorities, but it survived. In the ancient time, overtone

Polyphony in One Throat


singers specialized in a single style or two related styles. Nowadays, it is frequent to see singers perform several styles arranged in short segments.If an overtone singer cannot master the five basic styles (khoomei, sygyt, borbannadyr, ezengileer, kargyraa ), he is not considered a good singer. Young singers like combining throat singing with rock, pop, punk and disco music. National Khoomei competititons have been taking place for severel years, in which often more than thirty to forty singers take part. Young talent is discovered like the 11year old Schaktar Schulban has taught himself throat singing by listening to Khoomei singers on radio and Television since he was five. He can sing kargyraa style with 70Hz as fundamental pitch and changes to sygyt style (H1=240Hz) during the same song and raises his overtones to H12= 2880Hz (it is very difficult for an adult throat singer to reach that overtone pitch). Onda Mongun-Ool (17 years old) is a virtuoso of sygyt style, and Bujan Dondak (20 years old) is a specialist of kargyraa style.

How Did I Come to the Overtone Singing

In 1970, at the Department of Ethnomusicology (Musee de l’Homme), Prof. Roberte Hamayon let me listen to her recordings made in Mongolia in 1967 and 1969. I was surprised by the extraordinary and unique nature of this vocal technique.

For several months, I carried out bibliographical research into articles concerned with this style of singing with the aim of obtaining information on the practice of overtone singing, but received little satisfaction. Explanations of a merely theoretical and sometimes ambiguous nature did nothing so much as to create and increase the confusion with which my research was surrounded. In spite of my complete ignorance of the training methods for overtone singing practised by the Mongolians, the Tuvins and other Siberian peoples, I was not in the least discouraged by the negative results at the beginning of my studies after even several months of effort. I worked entirely alone groping my way through the dark for two whole years, listening frequently to the recordings made by Roberte Hamayon stored at the Sound Archives of the Department of Ethnomusicology of the Musee de l’Homme.

My efforts were however to no avail. Despite my knowledge of Jew’s Harp technique, the initial work was both difficult and discouraging. I also tried to whistle while producing a low sound as a drone. However, checking on a sonagraph showing that this was not similar to the Mongolian Xöömij technique. At the end of 1972, I got to the state that I was still a long way from my goal.

Then, one day in November 1973, in order to calm my nerves in the appalling traffic congestion of Paris, I happened to make my vocal folds vibrate in the pharynx with my mouth half open and while reciting the alphabet. When I arrived at the letter L , and the tip of my tongue was about to touch the top of the palate, I suddenly heard a pure harmonic tone, clear and powerful. I repeated the operation several times and each time, I obtained the same result; I then tried to modify the position of the tongue in relation to the roof of the mouth while maintaining the low fundamental. A series of partials resonated in disorder in my ears. At the beginning, I got the harmonics of a perfect chord. Slowly, after a week of intensive training, by changing the fundamental tone upwards and downwards, I discovered by myself the mystery of the overtone singing style which appeared to be near to that practised by the Mongolians and the Tuvins.


About my Overtone Training Method

After two months of „research“ and numberless experiments of all kinds, I succeeded in creating a short overtone melody. Here is my „recipe“ to help anyone to get this first step of overtone singing.

  1. Intensify the vocal production with the throat voice;
  2. Pronounce the 2 vowels I and U linked together and repeat it several times in one breath;
  1. Make a nasal sound and tip of the tongue in a down position;
  2. In this way, it is possible to obtain both the drone and the upper harmonic line in descending and ascending order.

This is the first technique what I call „technique of one mouth cavity“. This one is easy to do and anyone can produce the effect of 2 voices in one throat after one minute of practice.

The second „recipe“ will help you to produce clear overtones in the Mongolian and Tuvin styles. I call it „technique of two mouth cavities“

  1. Emit a throat sound of the vowel E` as long as you can;
  2. Pronounce the letter L. Maintain the position with the tip of the tongue touching the roof of the palate. In this position, the mouth is divided into 2 cavities, one at the back and one at the front;
  1. Say „LAANG“ for the first exercice, and say „LONG „ for the second excercice.

When you succeed in making the harmonics come out of the mouth, you keep the tip of the tongue to the palate while you sing , and at the same time you modify the mouth cavity by saying from A to O and from O to A several times in one breath;

  1. Make a nasal sound;
  2. In this way, you can produce clearly thé drone and a series of harmonics in the Mongolian style.

For the beginners, the harmonics of the perfect chord (C, E, G,C) are easy to obtain. However, a considerable amount of hard work is necessary especially to obtain a pentatonic anhemitonic scale. Each person has his favourite note or pitch which enables him to produce a wide range of partials. This favourite fundamental varies according to the tonal quality of the singer’s voice.

New Experiments about Overtone Singing

Other experiments which I have been carrying out indicate that it is possible to obtain two simultaneous sounds in three different ways:

  1. In the first method, the tongue is either flat or slightly curved without actually at any stage touching the roof of the mouth, and only the mouth and the lips move.

Through such varieties of the mouth cavity, this time divided into a single cavity, it is possible to hear the partials but faintly and the highest harmonics cannot reach beyond 1200Hz.

  1. In the second method, the basic technique described above is used. However, instead of keeping the mouth half open, it is kept almost shut with the lips pulled back and very tight. To make the partials audible, the position of the lips si varied at the same time as that of the tongue. The partials are very clear and distinctive, butthe technique is rather exhausting. The highest harmonics arrive at the zone of 2600Hz.


  1. In the third method, thé tongue si down, and the teeth bite the tongue while singing the vowels U and I with the contraction of muscles at the abdomen and the throat. The hightest harmonics can be heard at thed zone of 4200Hz

Other new experiments I have tried to show that I can maintain the same selective harmonic level which is used as a drone while changing the pitch of fundamentals (e.g. C, F, G, C). I have succeeded in creating the fundamental line and the harmonic line in the opposite direction. In other words, I arrive to sing the fundamental line in ascending order, and at the same time, I create the harmonic line in descending order. This harmonic effect is quite unusual and exceptional.

In 1989, Dr. Hugo Zemp and I made a film called „THE SONG OF HARMONICS“ showing X-ray and spectrographical pictures in real time ans synchronous sound about the overtone singing practised in different countries. This film produced by the CNRS – Audiovisual and thé French Society for Ethnomusicology, obtained 2 prizes (Grand Prize and Best Music Prize) at the International Festival of Visual Anthropological Film in Estonia in October 1990, a prize (Special Prize for Research) at the International Festival of Scientific Film in Palaiseau (France) in November 1990, and a Grand Prize of the 2nd International Festival of Scientific Film in Montreal (Canada) in 1991.

In Western contemporary music, groups of singers have also succeeded in emitting two voices at the same time, and vocal pieces have been created in the context of avant garde music and of electro-acoustical music. David Hykes with his Harmonic Choir, created in New York in 1975, use the overtones to link with the cosmic universe in his compositions. Demetrio Stratos (1945-1979) used the overtones to create the relationship between voice and subconscious. In my compositions for improvized music, I recommend the investigation of overtones to enrich the world of sound. Other overtone singers like Michael Vetter, Christian Bollmann, Michael Reimann, Wolfgang Saus, Miroslav Grosser from Germany, Roberto Laneri from Italy, Rollin Rachele, Mark Van Tongeren from the Netherlands, Josephine Truman from Australia, Les Voix Diphoniques , Thomas Clements, Iegor Reznikoff, Tamia from France have also used the overtones in their works.

Overtone singing is also practised by a number of ethnic groups (Oirat, Khakass, Gorno-Altai, Bashkir, Tuvin, Kalmuk) of the republics of Russia bordering on Mongolia.

In Rajasthan (India), in Taiwan among the Bunun ethnic group, in Tibet among the monks belonging to the Gyuto and Gyume monasteries, in South Africa among the Xhosa population, the practice of overtone singing style is known throughout recordings. The Dani tribe in Aryan Jaya (Indonesian part of New Guinea) also practise the overtone singing .

I hope that after this short introduction to the overtone world, you will have an idea concerning the existence of the overtones in different areas in the world, the possibility of obtaining the know how of singing overtones.

Tran Quang Hai



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Dossier n°1 Le Chant diphonique : 11-13, Institut de la Voix, Limoges, France .Polyphony in One Throat


Pegg, C. (1992). Mongolian Conceptualizations of Overtonesinging (xöömii ). The British Journal of Ethnomusicology (1) : 31-53, London, United Kingdom

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Tisato, G. (1989). Analisi digitale dei suoni multifonici. Proc. of III CIM (Colloquio di Informatica Musi- cale): 107-128, Padova, Italy

Tisato, G. (1989). Il canto degli armonici. Nuove tecnologie et documentazione etnomusicologica , Cultura Musicali n° 15 & 16, Italy

Tongeren, M.Van (1994). Xöömij in Tuva: New Developments, New Dimensions. M.A Dissertation, supervised by Dr. Ernst Heins, Ethnomusicologisch Centrum „Jaap Kunst“, Universiteit van Amsterdam,september 1994, The Netherlands .

Tongeren, M.Van (2002). Overtone Singing / Physics and Metaphysics of Harmonics in East and West. 271pages, 1 CD, FUSICA (ed), Amsterdam, the Netherlands .

Tran Quang Hai & Guillou, D. (1980). Original Research and AcousticalAnalysis in Connection with the Xöömij Style of Biphonic Singing. Musical Voices of Asia : 162-173, The Japan Foundation (éd),Heibonsha Ltd, Tokyo.

Tran Quang Hai & Zemp,Hugo. (1991). Recherches expérimentales sur le chant diphonique (Experimental researches on the overtone singing). Cahiers de Musiques traditionnelles : VOIX vol.4: 27-68, Ateliers d’ethnomusicologie /AIMP, Genève.

Tran Quang Hai, (1975). Technique de la voix chantée mongole: xöömij. Bulletin du CEMO (14 & 15): 32-36, Paris, France

Tran Quang Hai, (1990). Les Musiques vocales. L’Esprit des Voix, C.Alès (éd), La Pensée Sauvage: 43-52, Grenoble, France .

Tran Quang Hai, (1991). New Experimental About the Overtone Singing Style (Nouvelles Expérimentations sur le chant diphonique). Nouvelles Voies de la Voix, 1ère partie, Bulletin d’audiophonologie 7(5&6): 607-618, Besançon, France.

Tran Quang Hai, (1995). Le chant diphonique: description, historique, styles, aspect acoustique et spectral. EM, Annuario degli Archivi di Etnomusicologia dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, 2:123-150, Roma.

Tran Quang Hai, (1995). Survey of overtone singing style. EVTA (European Voice Teachers Association, Dokumentation 1994 (congress report): 49-62, Detmold, Germany

Tran Quang Hai, (1997). Recherches introspectives sur le chant diphonique et leurs applications’.Penser la Voix, La Licorne (ed.) :195-210, Poitiers, France .

Tran Quang Hai, (1998). Survey of overtone singing style. Die Ausdruckswelt der Stimme: 77-83, 1-Stuttgarter Stimmtage/Horst Gunderman, Hüthig (ed), Stuttgart, Germany.

Tran Quang Hai, (1999). Overtones used in Tibetan Buddhist Chanting and in Tuvin Shamanism.Ritual and Music: 129-136, Lithuanian Academy of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology (ed),Vilnius, Lituania

Tran Quang Hai, (2000). Some Experimental and Instrospective Researches on Xoomij Overtone Singing. Proceedings WESTPRAC VII (october 2000): 593-598, University of Kumamoto, Japan .

Tran Quang Hai, (2001). Chant diphonique. Science et Conscience, 2: 42-44, Luxembourg.

Tran Quang Hai, (2001). Voix d’autres cultures. Cinq Sens dans un corps, 284: 36-37, Paris, France


Tran Quang Hai, (2002). A la decouverte du chant diphonique. Moyens d’Investigation et Pedagogie de la Voix chantee: 117-132, Symetrie (ed), Lyon, France

Vargyas, L. (1968). Performing Styles in Mongolian Chant. Journal of the International Folk Music Council : 70-72, Kingston.

Vlachov, E. (1985). Recherches Vocales contemporaines: chant diphonique. Maîtrise à l’Université de Paris VIII-Saint Denis, supervised by Daniel Charles, 90 pages, Paris.

Walcott, R. (1974). The Chöömij of Mongolia – A Spectral Analysis of Overtone Singing. Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology 2 (1): 55-59, UCLA, Los Angeles.

Zarlino, G. (1558). Institutioni harmoniche, Venise. (cf. Tisato, G.).

Zemp, H & Tran Quang Hai, (1991). Recherches expérimentales sur le chant diphonique (cf. Tran Quang Hai & Zemp, Hugo).

Discography only in CD


  1. Epics and Overtone Singing. Central Asia, Siberia: Touva, Chor, Kalmouk, Tadjik, vol.1 , Paris (France) Maison des Cultures du Monde W 260067 (1996).
  2. Shu-De. Voices from the Distant Steppe , London (United Kingdom)Realworld CDRW 41 (1994).

3.TUVA/ Tuvinian Singers and Musicians ,Frankfurt: World Network 55.838 (1993).

  1. Huun -Huur-Tu /Old Songs and Tunes of Tuva , New Jersey (USA): Shanadie 64050 (1993).
  2. TUVA- Echoes from the Spirit World, Leiden (Holland): Pan Records PAN 2013 CD (1992).

6 Tuva. Voices from the Land of Eagles , Leiden (Holland): Pan Records PAN 2005 CD (1991).

7.Ozum / Sprouts / Young Voices of Ancient Tuva, Amsterdam (Holland): Window to Europe SUM 90008 (1991).

  1. Tuva – Voices from the Center of Asia, Washington DC (USA): Smithsonian/Folkways CD SF 40017 (1990).


  1. White Moon / Tsagaan Sar/ Traditional and Popular Music from Mongolia , Leiden (Holland): Pan Records PAN2010CD (1992)

10.Mongolie / Musique vocale et instrumentale , Paris (France): INEDIT / Maison des Cultures du Monde W 260009 (1989)

11.Mongolie / Musique et chants de tradition populaire , Paris (France): GREM G7511 (1986).

  1. Mongolian Music, Hungaroton, HCD 18013-14, collection UNESCO, Budapest, Hongrie, 1990.
  2. Folk Music from Mongolia / Karakorum , Hamburgisches Museum für Völkerkunde, Hambourg, Allemagne, 1993.

14.Vocal & Instrumental of Mongolia , Topic, World Series TSCD909, Londres, Grande Bretagne, 1994.

15.Jargalant Altai/-Xöömii and other vocal and instrumental music from Mongolia , Pan Records PAN 2050CD, Ethnic Series, Leiden, Hollande, 1996


16.Uzlyau ; Leiden (Holland): Pan Records PAN 2019CD (1993)

  1. Voices of the World , Paris (France): Le Chant du Monde CMX 37410-12, set of 3CD, bilingual booklet (188p), collection CNRS-MUSEE DE L’HOMME (1996). Grand Prize of the Academy Charles Cros (1997), Diapason d’Or of the Year 1997.