Tuvan throat singing is a unique vocal style practiced by people in Tuva. Certainly, what is typical of this fascinating use of the human voice is that singers manipulate their vocal cords and mouth to produce different sounds at one time. In other words, splitting the voice with pitches of different heights, Tuvan throat singers can sing multiple notes at the same time!
Who are the Tuvans?
The Tuva (Tyva) Republic lies among high mountain ranges, dry steppes, and coniferous forests, in the remote wilderness of southern Siberia.
Because of its isolation, Tuvan culture and traditions remain vibrant. A large part of the population lives around the capital, Kyzyl, but, in general, they have been traditionally nomadic hunters and herders of sheep, horses, camels, cattle, and reindeer. Do you know that Tuvans are considered as one of the friendliest people in Russia?
Where does Tuvan throat singing come from?
Tuvan throat singing has very old roots. In a land of vast steppes, impetuous rivers, and whistling winds, only the sounds of nature break the silence. Thus, peoples in this region identify the spirits of nature not only in shapes but in sounds as well. These are probably the source of inspiration for the ancient throat singing. Tuvan singers have tried not only to imitate these sounds but also to penetrate their essence. Besides, Tuvan throat singing serves as a way to communicate in the open landscapes of Tuva!
Are there any throat singing styles?
Yes, there are many varieties of throat singing! Here are the three basic styles:
– khoomei, a soft-sounding style with 2 or 3 harmonics above the main one;
– sygyt, similar to a whistling sound;
– kargyraa, the more deep and growling sounding style.
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