The Mongolian art of singing: Khoomei in Inner Mongolia , CHINA

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The Mongolian art of singing: Khoomei

When you are wondering along Inner Mongolia, the chance is that a high-pitching, penetrating and touching voice will sparkle your curiosity and spur your reverie.

Infectious and mysterious in character, it has concise yet elegant lyrics, euphonious melodies and diversified themes. It is Khoomei (Long-tune Song, Hooliin Chor, Throat Harmony or Throat Singing), the living fossil folk music of the Mongolian and one UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is teased by the Han Chinese as “The Wolf’s Cry ”.


Khoomei’s charm lies in its biphonic sound achieved through the tighten of throat and the manipulation of tongue, by the same person.
What is more incredible is that both follow different rhythms. The result is that you can hear two voice sung from the same person at the same time, one is low and melodious, which forms the background music, while the other is penetrating and high-pitched, which has lyrics and is the highlight. From some sense, it is  acrobatic performed through throat and tongue.

khoomei
As we know, whenever the Mongolian holds a banquet, it will last for three days and nights. No banquet and party will be complete without Khoomei, and there are so many songs that you wont hear a repeated one during this period.

By present, Khoomei prevails in Tuwa of Siberian, Mongolia, Russia, Altai of Xinjiang, Khakass and Inner Mongolia. In Gyuto and Gyume Monasteries of Tibet, lamas there also use throat voice to chant the prayers. For a Khoomei master, it is a piece of cake to sing their own ethnic songs, or the popular songs of the Han Chinese as well as any classic song of America and Europe.


“Khoomei” means “song of eternity”. It is a gem inspired by the spectacular grassland and the unrestrained nomadic lifestyle.
Over one thousand years ago, the Mongolian’s ancestors migrated westward from the dense forests of Black Dragon River to Mongolian plateau, with lifestyle shifting from hunting to animal husbandry. During this process, Khoomei emerged. The following years saw it replaced the narrative hunting song (Short-tune song) as the dominating sight. Epitomizing the Mongolian’s culture, philosophy, customs and religion, Khoomei exerts profound and lasting influence on every aspect of their life. Today, it is a short-cut for us to unravel this nationality’s legacy and heritage.  Khoomei is to the Mongolian just like Beijing opera is to the Han Chinese, the Kam Grand Choirs to the Dong people and Tibetan opera to the Tibetans. It has become a cultural identity and integral part of the Mongolian’s life. During Wedding Ceremony, holidays, religious festivals and especially the Naadam Festival, Khoomei is performed enthusiastically, which is one of the most eye-catching and expecting parts. As we know, whenever the Mongolian holds a banquet, it will last for three days and nights. No banquet and party will be complete without Khoomei, and there are so many songs that you wont hear a repeated one during this period.

 Khoomei can be performed in form of solo or chorus , with or without accompany music.  Highly spontaneous is its defining feature. The singer has ample room for on-site creation. Accompanied by Matou Zither(Horse Head Zither马头琴), the performers usually wear traditional gowns to sing Khoomei to mesmerize the audiences. The rhythm of Khoomei can be divided into the concise narrative tune, the prolonged and affectionate tune as well as the Nogula tune. Ornamental vibrato such as front appoggiaturas, back appoggiaturas, portamentoes and turns all abound.
khoomei
This infectious and mysterious sound that resonates between heaven and earth may be straight-ford and imposing at first impression, but as long as you listen contently, you will be spellbound by its appealing tunes and indescribable charm.

Dynamic and ever-changing in tune, Khoomei is profound in theme, which addresses almost all the elements typical of Inner Mongolia: the enticing landscape, the beautiful Mongolia ladies, the strong Mongolian men, their ancient heroes and vibrant daily labor life. The beauty of life, friendship and love are also eternal subjects. Judging from the different occasions it serves, Khoomei splits into Love Song, Departing Song, Homesick Song, Wine Toast Song, Banquet Song, War Song, Hunting Song, Warrior’s song and Mourning Song. Through Khoomei, the living environment and spirit world of the Mongolian are revived and revealed before us vividly.

According to a famous musician, Khoomei is a voice flows from the innermost corner of the Mongolian’s heart, a voice imbued with wisdom, philosophy and emotion. Hence, no matter you can understand the lyrics or not, this captivating music can tug your heartstring easily. The best way to enjoy Khoomei is to close your eyes and let the arresting song carry you away.

Khoomei has developed four variants in Inner Mongolian, with some intertwine with one another especially along the bordering area: Hulunbuire Khoomei, Xilingol Khoomei, Ordos Khoomei and Alxa Khoomei.

khoomei
Khoomei in western Inner Mongolian mirrors the balance of simplicity, archaic and religion. It is the celestial voice for those who want to seek console and serenity in this far-flug getaway to nature.

From east to west, the lush grassland gives way to hills and desolate deserts. In Hulunbuire and Horqin district, the eastern part of Inner Mongolian, the well-fed and happy nomads interpret Khoomei into a high-pitched, inspiring and passionate music with free form and concise lyrics. In Hulunbuire,the purity and sweetness of voice are valued, besides, the liberal use of ornamental vibrato bestows it with sumptuous beauty. Most Khoomei singers in Hulunbuir are women. Representatives songs include: The Expansive Grassland《辽阔的草原》. In Horqin, Khoomei is distinguished by its flowing, soothing and profound melody.

Moving westward, you can reach Xilingol, the political, economic and cultural center of Inner Mongolia since the 13th century. Xilingol has long been reputed an ideal pasture thanks to the mild weather and lush grass. Khoomei here adopts lingering melody, enlightening feeling, profound artistical effect, complete form and intricate structure. It is also notable for the broad range of voice, simplicity and sweet melancholy. Judging from tunes, lyrics, contents and artistic value, Xilingol Khoomei highlight the essence of Khoomei and become one of the top four representatives. Khoomei singers are mainly composed of men. Representative song include Little Yellow Horse《小黄马》.

Keeping advancing westward to Ordos and Alxa, you will notice the undulating grassland is replaced by barren landscape of Gobi and desserts. Life here is less colorful, so does Khoomei. With few ornamental vibrato, Khoomei here stays true to its original look and shows strong religious influence. Khoomei in Ordos has lively and dramatically-changing tunes, Khoomei in Alxa is calm, penetrating and overwhelming.

LI JINGJING: THE STIRRING ART OF MONGOLIAN THROAT SINGING, INNER MONGOLIA

The stirring art of Mongolian throat singing
Culture
By Li Jingjing
2017-11-23 22:50 GMT+8

Updated 2017-11-24 10:31 GMT+8

The capabilities of a human body are sometimes beyond a brain’s imagination.

For example, it’s hard for most people to believe the sound in the video above came from a human being rather than an instrument.

That is because the singer is able to produce a continuous bass and simultaneously produce one or more pitches through his/her throat.

That unique way of singing is known as khoomei, or hooliin chor (throat singing), an art of singing practiced by Mongolian communities in Inner Mongolia in northern China, Mongolia and the Russian republic of Tuva. It is also known as Tuvan throat singing in other cultures.

Through the throat singing band Alash’s performance in the video below, you may get a better idea of what this art form sounds like.

It is believed the Khoomei could be traced back to Huns, the nomadic people living between the 4th and 6th centuries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

Mongolians in ancient times imitated the sound of nature, such as waterfall, forest and animals, during nomadism and hunting as a way of connecting and showing respect to the nature.

This singing art was officially inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 2009.

Photo via g-photography.net

Once endangered

Life styles keep changing. Khoomei, the art that was born in certain geography characteristics and production mode, was on the verge of extinction for a while in history since less people were able to perform.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the art was flourished again along with the more frequent communications with neighboring countries.

57-year-old Hugejiletu, one of the most renowned inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage in China, wasn’t able to perform Khommei at all back in 1996.

Khoomei master Hugejiletu/Photo via China Youth Daily

When he traveled to Australia to perform traditional music and instrument for local audience, he was questioned by local reporter how come they didn’t bring Khoomei.

“There were so many of us, yet none could perform Khoomei. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t inherit the culture of my own people,” Hugejiletu told China Youth Daily in 2015.

At the age of 39, he embarked on a tough journey to learn this art. More Khoomei masters from different countries were also invited to Inner Mongolia to help re-boom the culture.

“As a Mongolian, it’s my responsibility to inherit and spread the music and art of our own people,” he said.

As the “living fossil” of Mongolian culture, Khoomei has drawn wide attention from international communities, including musicians, experts of sociology, anthropology and historians.

The Mongolian art of singing: Khoomei, INNER MONGOLIA

Zoom In  Zoom Out
Zoom In  Zoom Out

The Mongolian art of singing: Khoomei

When you are wondering along Inner Mongolia, the chance is that a high-pitching, penetrating and touching voice will sparkle your curiosity and spur your reverie.Infectious and mysterious in character, it has concise yet elegant lyrics, euphonious melodies and diversified themes. It is Khoomei (Long-tune Song, Hooliin Chor, Throat Harmony or Throat Singing), the living fossil folk music of the Mongolian and one UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is teased by the Han Chinese as “The Wolf’s Cry ”.


Khoomei’s charm lies in its biphonic sound achieved through the tighten of throat and the manipulation of tongue, by the same person.
What is more incredible is that both follow different rhythms. The result is that you can hear two voice sung from the same person at the same time, one is low and melodious, which forms the background music, while the other is penetrating and high-pitched, which has lyrics and is the highlight. From some sense, it is  acrobatic performed through throat and tongue.

khoomei
As we know, whenever the Mongolian holds a banquet, it will last for three days and nights. No banquet and party will be complete without Khoomei, and there are so many songs that you wont hear a repeated one during this period.

By present, Khoomei prevails in Tuwa of Siberian, Mongolia, Russia, Altai of Xinjiang, Khakass and Inner Mongolia. In Gyuto and Gyume Monasteries of Tibet, lamas there also use throat voice to chant the prayers. For a Khoomei master, it is a piece of cake to sing their own ethnic songs, or the popular songs of the Han Chinese as well as any classic song of America and Europe.


“Khoomei” means “song of eternity”. It is a gem inspired by the spectacular grassland and the unrestrained nomadic lifestyle.
Over one thousand years ago, the Mongolian’s ancestors migrated westward from the dense forests of Black Dragon River to Mongolian plateau, with lifestyle shifting from hunting to animal husbandry. During this process, Khoomei emerged. The following years saw it replaced the narrative hunting song (Short-tune song) as the dominating sight. Epitomizing the Mongolian’s culture, philosophy, customs and religion, Khoomei exerts profound and lasting influence on every aspect of their life. Today, it is a short-cut for us to unravel this nationality’s legacy and heritage.  Khoomei is to the Mongolian just like Beijing opera is to the Han Chinese, the Kam Grand Choirs to the Dong people andTibetan opera to the Tibetans. It has become a cultural identity and integral part of the Mongolian’s life. During Wedding Ceremony, holidays, religious festivals and especially theNaadam Festival, Khoomei is performed enthusiastically, which is one of the most eye-catching and expecting parts. As we know, whenever the Mongolian holds a banquet, it will last for three days and nights. No banquet and party will be complete without Khoomei, and there are so many songs that you wont hear a repeated one during this period.

 Khoomei can be performed in form of solo or chorus , with or without accompany music.  Highly spontaneous is its defining feature. The singer has ample room for on-site creation. Accompanied by Matou Zither(Horse Head Zither马头琴), the performers usually wear traditional gowns to sing Khoomei to mesmerize the audiences. The rhythm of Khoomei can be divided into the concise narrative tune, the prolonged and affectionate tune as well as the Nogula tune. Ornamental vibrato such as front appoggiaturas, back appoggiaturas, portamentoes and turns all abound.
khoomei
This infectious and mysterious sound that resonates between heaven and earth may be straight-ford and imposing at first impression, but as long as you listen contently, you will be spellbound by its appealing tunes and indescribable charm.

Dynamic and ever-changing in tune, Khoomei is profound in theme, which addresses almost all the elements typical of Inner Mongolia: the enticing landscape, the beautiful Mongolia ladies, the strong Mongolian men, their ancient heroes and vibrant daily labor life. The beauty of life, friendship and love are also eternal subjects. Judging from the different occasions it serves, Khoomei splits into Love Song, Departing Song, Homesick Song, Wine Toast Song, Banquet Song, War Song, Hunting Song, Warrior’s song and Mourning Song. Through Khoomei, the living environment and spirit world of the Mongolian are revived and revealed before us vividly.

According to a famous musician, Khoomei is a voice flows from the innermost corner of the Mongolian’s heart, a voice imbued with wisdom, philosophy and emotion. Hence, no matter you can understand the lyrics or not, this captivating music can tug your heartstring easily. The best way to enjoy Khoomei is to close your eyes and let the arresting song carry you away.

Khoomei has developed four variants in Inner Mongolian, with some intertwine with one another especially along the bordering area: Hulunbuire Khoomei, Xilingol Khoomei, Ordos Khoomei and Alxa Khoomei.

khoomei
Khoomei in western Inner Mongolian mirrors the balance of simplicity, archaic and religion. It is the celestial voice for those who want to seek console and serenity in this far-flug getaway to nature.

From east to west, the lush grassland gives way to hills and desolate deserts. In Hulunbuire and Horqin district, the eastern part of Inner Mongolian, the well-fed and happy nomads interpret Khoomei into a high-pitched, inspiring and passionate music with free form and concise lyrics. In Hulunbuire,the purity and sweetness of voice are valued, besides, the liberal use of ornamental vibrato bestows it with sumptuous beauty. Most Khoomei singers in Hulunbuir are women. Representatives songs include: The Expansive Grassland《辽阔的草原》. In Horqin, Khoomei is distinguished by its flowing, soothing and profound melody.

Moving westward, you can reach Xilingol, the political, economic and cultural center of Inner Mongolia since the 13th century. Xilingol has long been reputed an ideal pasture thanks to the mild weather and lush grass. Khoomei here adopts lingering melody, enlightening feeling, profound artistical effect, complete form and intricate structure. It is also notable for the broad range of voice, simplicity and sweet melancholy. Judging from tunes, lyrics, contents and artistic value, Xilingol Khoomei highlight the essence of Khoomei and become one of the top four representatives. Khoomei singers are mainly composed of men. Representative song include Little Yellow Horse《小黄马》.

Keeping advancing westward to Ordos and Alxa, you will notice the undulating grassland is replaced by barren landscape of Gobi and desserts. Life here is less colorful, so does Khoomei. With few ornamental vibrato, Khoomei here stays true to its original look and shows strong religious influence. Khoomei in Ordos has lively and dramatically-changing tunes, Khoomei in Alxa is calm, penetrating and overwhelming.

You can join our 5-Day Naadam Fair Tour in Inner Mongolia to listen to Khoomei, enjoy horse racing, wrestling and archery as well as to sample the delicious Inner Mongolia food.

The stirring art of Mongolian throat singing

The stirring art of Mongolian throat singing

Published on Nov 23, 2017

The capabilities of a human body are sometimes beyond a brain’s imagination. For example, it’s hard for most people to believe the sound in the video above came from a human being rather than an instrument. That is because the singer is able to produce a continuous bass and simultaneously produce one or more pitches through his/her throat. That unique way of singing is known as khoomei, or hooliin chor (throat singing), an art of singing practiced by Mongolian communities in Inner Mongolia in northern China, Mongolia and the Russian republic of Tuva. It is also known as Tuvan throat singing in other cultures. This singing art was officially inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 2009. Subscribe to us on YouTube: https://goo.gl/lP12gA Download our APP on Apple Store (iOS): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cctvn… Download our APP on Google Play (Android): https://play.google.com/store/apps/de… Follow us on: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChinaGlobalT… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cgtn/?hl=zh-cn Twitter: https://twitter.com/CGTNOfficial Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/CGTNOfficial/ Tumblr: http://cctvnews.tumblr.com/ Weibo: http://weibo.com/cctvnewsbeijing

Hanggai – My Banjo and I, Inner Mongolia

Hanggai – My Banjo and I
Sari8907
Published on May 4, 2010
This is the song “My Banjo and I” which is by the Mongolian band called Hanggai. I fell in love with their unique music when I was fortunate enough to be able to see them live when they came to play at my college, Northwestern Michigan College in TC, MI. I wanted to help get their music out there for more people to hear, and I hope that you enjoy them and their music as much as I do!

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not claim to own either the song or the photoo used in this video.

Hanggai – Xiger Xiger

Hanggai – Xiger Xiger
HanggaiBand
Published on Aug 5, 2010
A compilation video of Hanggai performing live on various stages around the world.
Category
Music
Music in this video
Learn more
Listen ad-free with YouTube Premium
Song
Xiger Xiger
Artist
Hanggai
Album
He Who Travels Far
Licensed to YouTube by
The Orchard Music (on behalf of World Connection BV / Times Square); Warner Chappell, and 9 Music Rights Societies