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Throat Singing

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So, yeah. I learned to do what

is doing today. As infinitesimally small as the chances may be, I'm wondering if any people here have heard of these techniques, applied them in composition, or learned to perform them themselves. I'm especially curious about how these techniques might be applied to supply a lower register for vocal singing, down to about A1 or lower.

If anyone is curious about throat singing of any kind, try these links. 1 - 2 I managed to learn the kargyraa style from these sources in less than a day! Though I have no control of overtones at the moment...

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I learned about Tuvan throat singing (and, of course, throat singing in general) a while ago, though, with the exception of being able to sound multiple harmonics simultaneously, it didn't really interest me enough to pursue learning it, let along employing it in composition. Still, I fit one of the three criteria for posting in this thread, so I thought I'd just let you know. =0

Maybe you could look up David Hykes if you haven't already, though probably already have.

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I studied this for a bit in college (gotta love New Music Ensemble...), and it can be painful if not done correctly.

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I too have heard Tuvan throat singing several times, and it's mesmerising. Naturally, as a vocalist it's an interesting technique to me. I probably wouldn't have any use for in any of my work as a composer or singer, though.

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I learned about Tuvan throat singing (and, of course, throat singing in general) a while ago, though, with the exception of being able to sound multiple harmonics simultaneously, it didn't really interest me enough to pursue learning it, let along employing it in composition. Still, I fit one of the three criteria for posting in this thread, so I thought I'd just let you know. =0

Maybe you could look up David Hykes if you haven't already, though probably already have.

I hadn't heard of David Hykes, surprisingly. I've got one of his pieces on right now, and as far as I can tell on a first listen, he's using the Western style. That one interests me less than the Tuvan, Tibetan and Mongolian styles, if only because it's just normal singing with overtones. It lacks the alien newness of sygyt or kargyraa. Great stuff though!

I studied this for a bit in college (gotta love New Music Ensemble...), and it can be painful if not done correctly.

True. It's also painful if done correctly for too long at a stretch. There have been cases of burst blood vessels, apparently.

I too have heard Tuvan throat singing several times, and it's mesmerising. Naturally, as a vocalist it's an interesting technique to me. I probably wouldn't have any use for in any of my work as a composer or singer, though.

Interesting. I think it might be usable in the context of a choral piece for a "What the crap was that?!" moment. Imagine writing a pleasant sort of inoffensive intro, then switching into dissonant chords in the low kargyraa register with no warning! But there aren't that many people learning it, I assume.

Also, like I mentioned, I'm hoping I can find a way to use this technique for choir. I know there are Russian basses (and even one or two Christian barbershop-type basses) who can sing down to the lower 1 octave, and arguably into the 0 octave. They're obviously using some kind of throat singing or vocal fry (which is related). If I manage to make it happen, perhaps I'll put up a video of myself. That oughta get me a choral gig..... :P

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Yeah, there's a bunch of styles. Kargyraa (KAR-gear-RAH) is the low Buddhist chant-sounding one. Then there's khoomei (khoo- MEI; where the 'kh' is like a subtler Jewish 'ch' in the throat), which sounds kind of like that "creaking door" noise kids make, but louder, with overtone control. (I personally think it's the sound a Buddhist monk would make if he was having a hard time taking a crap...at least when I try it. :P) Then there's sygyt (sig-GOOT where the 'oo' is like in 'book'), which is basically a type of khoomei that has really piercing, easily audible overtones. The performer uses his tongue and lips to create an extra resonating chamber and can select overtones by changing both the position of the tongue and the vowel shape of the lips. There's also chylandyk (chill-LAND-dick.....:laugh:), which is basically sygyt over the kargyraa fundamental.

I find this all fascinating. I'm thinking I might whip out the kargyraa in choir tomorrow and scare some of the freshman in to crying fits. Not like that's hard or anything.

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I'm trying to learn that khoomei one to start with. I got an okay sound I thought, but I'm already feeling the after effects of not doing it properly. I'll let you know how it turns out if I don't kill myself. Thanks for the links, I always wondered how people made these sounds, especially the Kargyraa... which I hope I can figure out eventually. :w00t:

That Sygyt is very cool - I've heard anything like that before. :blink:

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I've known about the Tuvan one, I've been trying to learn it, and use it in my compositions, for a pretty long time, and I'm unable to do either... But I still try.

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Well, I learned a rough sort of kargyraa in a day. After I figured out how to make the sound at all, I went out in the woods and made all sorts of loud, awful bleating-ruminant beast noises. The initial learning involved a lot of coughing and throat-clearing sounds. It made my throat hurt at first, but now I can do it fairly easily.

A few things that might help:

1) The exercises on the sites I provided above.

2) Eating spicy food or chewing ginger root and garlic clove. I don't use the garlic because I don't want to smell like a roomful of Italian mobsters. But the ginger helps a lot.

3) Make sure you support the sound, and relax the throat. That's quite important, as you might hurt yourself. Once you get the basic sound, some tension at the base of the tongue helps the sound, but don't worry about that for now.

4) Try different tones. If you sing too low, it's physically impossible to get kargyraa. Your ventricular folds just can't vibrate at those low frequencies (at least not in a kargyraa fashion). If you sing too high, you'll probably be too tense, the sound you'll get will be more like a bad khoomei than kargyraa.

Overall, just be willing to sound like a demonic cow with indigestion. That'll help. :D

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I don't think it's that hard. You just have to be willing to sound like you've got half a macaroon stuck in your throat for a while. Just like picking up any other instrument or foreign technique. Apart from the analogy.

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I've always been fascinated with throat singing, and after practicing it in the shower for a few months I figured it out, to an extent. I can definitely create the audible overtones, but my range is limited and it's difficult to maintain during anything but the simplest melodies.

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I have to do this stuff for a concert coming up. We're doing a piece called "Past Life Melodies" by Sarah Hopkins. Its got me scared and I can't wait till its explained to us.

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So I've been working on this on and off ever since I ran across this thread and saw the videos... this is what I can do so far:

voice.mp3 - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage

Skip about half way in... sorry, the first half is "normal" singing.

Let me know what you guys think... I'm not quite sure what technique I'm using, but I know I definitely have some audible overtones. It's close... no cigar I don't think.

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