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Mongolian Throat Singing - Khoomei


If you have ever listened to The Hu they sing in this throaty, rugged, and overtone way. It is a combination of singing with the Mongolian art of singing Khoomei.


Khoomei or more commonly know the Mongolian Throat Singing is a particular variant of Overtone singing. It has been inscribed in Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in 2009.


In Mongolian throat singing, the performer produces a fundamental pitch and—simultaneously—one or more pitches over that. The history of Mongolian throat singing reaches far back. Many male herders can throat sing, but women are beginning to practice the technique as well. The popularity of throat singing among Mongolians seems to have arisen as a result of geographic location and culture. The open landscape of Mongolia allows for the sounds to carry a great distance. Ethnomusicologists studying throat singing in these areas mark khoomei as an integral part of the ancient pastoral animism still practiced today. Often, singers travel far into the countryside looking for the right river or go up to the steppes of the mountainside to create the proper environment for throat-singing.


The animistic world view of this region identifies the spirituality of objects in nature, not just in their shape or location, but in their sound as well. Thus, human mimicry of nature's sounds is seen as the root of throat singing. An example of this is the Mongolian story of the waterfall above the Buyant Göl (Deer River in Tuvan), where mysterious harmonic sounds are said to have attracted deer to bask in the waters, and where it is said harmonic sounds were first revealed to people.


In Khoomei, the abdomen is fairly relaxed, and there is less tension on the larynx than in other styles. Pitch is manipulated through a combination of movements of the lips, throat, tongue, or jaw. Singing in this style gives the impression of wind swirling among rocks.


Copyright: © 2018 Dashka Productions


 

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