kiva

New forum! Overtone Singing - Let's get started.

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This is a new forum, for which I have been asked to be available as an expert.

I'd like to begin by asking for your opinions on the awareness of overtone singing and throat singing today. We all know it has been around in the west for quite a long time, but the rest of the world has been very slow in coming to know about it, much less understand it.

Recently, one of my colleagues, Austrian Anna Maria Hefele posted a brief demonstration of polyphonic overtone singing on Youtube. (Meaning a moving fundamental, not simply a drone). She is quite skilled at it. It very quickly reached over 7 million views. This was unprecedented. It even seemed to have a trickle down effect for others in the field. She then started posting a series of 'how to' vids.  I look forward to her future postings, to see where this all leads. Definitely a lot more awareness going on.

That being said, there are loads of short instructional videos out there. Many of them give the impression that mastering this art can be done in about 10 minutes or less. I'd love to hear what you think of the training that is available, what is valuable information and what is not.

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Welcome Kiva!

 

It is so great to have you here as a member of our Subject Matter Expert team.. and with it, introduce the beautiful art form of overtone singing to our community. I know that the overtone singing community and regular singers will both benefit greatly by the cross-educational benefits. There is a lot we regular singers can learn about the harmonics of singing, the articulators and other things yet to be discovered. 

 

On behalf of myself and the entire community here at TMV World Forum, we open our door with hospitality and joy to have overtone singers come and join us! Thank you for being their inspirational leader.

 

 

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Hi all,

Thanks Kiva for the invitation. Been years since I've been here. I'm technically on the other side of the tracks, having focused for over 20 yearsmainly on the traditional Tuvan/Mongolian techniques although my own expression varies. I have lessons available at http://khoomei.com and you can check out my music at the URL below.

All the best,

Steve Sklar
http://skysongpro.com

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Jabroni, I believe so. That would be very tribal. It is possibly similar to the Tuvan/Mongolian techniques Steve is mentioning above? But we would need to defer to Kiva and Steve I think. But generally speaking, Yes.  

 

And yet, I have come to realize that regular singers are also overtone singers. :huh:  When regular singers tune formants and shade in and out of singing vowels, using our articulators, it is overtone singing with less precision of the articulators and bigger vocal tract movements. Its not quite as articulate, but the physics of the acoustics behind it are much the same in regards to the objective having to do with tuning and/or amplifying individual harmonics.

 

 

Overtone singing focuses specifically on the play of the overtones inside of F1,F2,F3. It seems to be strong on melody.

 

Formant tuning with regular singing is more about tuning fatter harmonics, all sound colors blending in a homogenous amplification, it is strong on harmony.

 

Kiva, Steve... what are your thoughts regarding such a notion?

 

I found this video, it was funny in addition to being fascinating to watch.

 

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Is overtone singing being applied at 0:10 of this song?

 

...

Jabroni, yes, that's overtone singing. It's a verticular fold singing technique (similar to the Tuvan singing technique "kargyraa") in combination with overtone singing. The ventricular fold singing technique is one of the two subharmonic or undertone singing techniques. Here I am comparing strohbass with ventricular fold technique:

 

Steve Sklar published a beautiful video of his Tuvan kargyraa style:

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Thats Great!  

 

Welcome Wolfgang, its great to have you here. Meet Kiva and Steve, who are also overtone singing professionals. 

 

Please invite your students, friends and colleagues to join us here.

 

How long have you participated in overtone singing?

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Robert, you're right, every singer produced overtones. I define overtone singing as a singing technique that intends to make the overtones audible as separate tones with their own musical purpose. But there is indeed more about that in classical singing. My new complete "singing phonetics" will be published shortly. It's related to what you say. Recently I presented my "choral phonetics", which is part of the more comprehensive singing phonetics, at the International Stuttgart Voice Days. Find a short version on my website (you'll find an english pdf at the bottom of the page):
http://www.oberton.org/chorphonetik/

 

At the 5th International Conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing in Stockholm 2010 I presented the two main differences between classical formant tuning and overtone singing:
1. in formant tuning the singers are usually not aware of individual harmonics,
2. in overtone singing you combine two formants to build a double-resonator in order to separate a single overtone acoustically.
Find more here (use Google translate for now, I am working on translation of my whole website):
http://www.oberton.org/obertongesang/was-ist-obertongesang/

If you're interested in the benefits of overtone singing in classical singng I'd be happy to introduce you to the fascinating world of overtones that I am exploring scientifically and artistically since 30 years. (BTW, Anna-Maria presents in her video some of my advanced singer's exercises, and the software used for visualizing is Overtone Analyzer, which I developed together with Bodo Maass).

 

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... Meet Kiva and Steve, who are also overtone singing professionals.

 

...How long have you participated in overtone singing?

Thanks, Robert. Kiva, Steve and me know each other since many years. There are not so many experts in this topic :)

I started overtone singing as a classical baritone in 1983. I developed polyphonic overtone singing - singing two independent melodies with fundamental and harmonics simultaneously - in 1984. I interrupted my singing career for 10 years working as a physico chemist and came back to music in 1994, now a full time overtone singer, vocal researcher and teacher.

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Now this is a technique I am very interested in. Thank you so much for coming here. I have incredibly little knowledge about this subject and would love to learn about it. I've always been suspicious that some singers hit the right fundamental but may have a dissonant overtone.

 

For people who can train this skill, can you hit a minor 2nd/Semi tone interval? That's usually the most dissonant interval in the 12 tones.

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Robert, you're right, every singer produced overtones. I define overtone singing as a singing technique that intends to make the overtones audible as separate tones with their own musical purpose. But there is indeed more about that in classical singing. My new complete "singing phonetics" will be published shortly. It's related to what you say. Recently I presented my "choral phonetics", which is part of the more comprehensive singing phonetics, at the International Stuttgart Voice Days. Find a short version on my website (you'll find an english pdf at the bottom of the page):

http://www.oberton.org/chorphonetik/

 

At the 5th International Conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing in Stockholm 2010 I presented the two main differences between classical formant tuning and overtone singing:

1. in formant tuning the singers are usually not aware of individual harmonics,

2. in overtone singing you combine two formants to build a double-resonator in order to separate a single overtone acoustically.

Find more here (use Google translate for now, I am working on translation of my whole website):

http://www.oberton.org/obertongesang/was-ist-obertongesang/

If you're interested in the benefits of overtone singing in classical singng I'd be happy to introduce you to the fascinating world of overtones that I am exploring scientifically and artistically since 30 years. (BTW, Anna-Maria presents in her video some of my advanced singer's exercises, and the software used for visualizing is Overtone Analyzer, which I developed together with Bodo Maass).

 

 

Yes, I was checking out overtone analyzer earlier today.

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Thanks, Robert. Kiva, Steve and me know each other since many years. There are not so many experts in this topic :)

I started overtone singing as a classical baritone in 1983. I developed polyphonic overtone singing - singing two independent melodies with fundamental and harmonics simultaneously - in 1984. I interrupted my singing career for 10 years working as a physico chemist and came back to music in 1994, now a full time overtone singer, vocal researcher and teacher.

 

Wolfgang, that is super cool... 

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Wolfgang, that is super cool... 

 

Agreed. It's like a whole new world to me. It's really beautiful too. I'd never heard a classically trained overtone singer, so I never had the privilege of hearing you guys. I'd heard more of the throat singing varieties which were cool, but sounded like they had more limited application. This sounds like it has a lot more diversity in how it can be applied to the arts.

 

This is groundbreaking for the general public to even have access to hearing this sound, much less having experts having an open platform to discuss it. And thanks to you Rob, for taking extra steps in 'opening' up the forum to the world with this new revision.

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... For people who can train this skill, can you hit a minor 2nd/Semi tone interval? That's usually the most dissonant interval in the 12 tones.

KillerKu, the diatonic semitone is part of the harmonic series, it lies between 15th and 16th harmonic. It is usually not in the controlled formant area, only in the low bass range. If you want to tune a semitone in just intonation you usually build on other harmonic relations.

You can download a chart of the harmonic series with all intervalls in the formant range here (English and German version available):

http://www.oberton.org/obertongesang/die-obertonreihe/#intervalle

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I really don't understand why overtone singing is still not known in the classical world. There are quite some published compositions:
http://www.oberton.org/obertongesang/werke/

Though there are some great pioneers in the US - like David Hykes and The Harmonic Choir, Baird Hersey & Prana, Stuart Hinds - the main development of composed occidental overtone singing seems to happen in Europe right now. Listen to Nordic Voices, Latvian Radio Choir, Düsseldorfer Obertonchor, European Overtone Choir, Vox Clamantis...

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Yes, Ive noticed there seems to be  an interest in Germany with overtone singing. 

 

So in our regular vocal technique world, we often deal with vocal training products and systems that teach students how to train and get stronger for singing. I have one such program... 

 

Are there any good overtone singing home study programs; book, CDs, etc...?

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Yes, Ive noticed there seems to be  an interest in Germany with overtone singing. 

 

So in our regular vocal technique world, we often deal with vocal training products and systems that teach students how to train and get stronger for singing. I have one such program... 

 

Are there any good overtone singing home study programs; book, CDs, etc...?

 

I've written a comprehensive instructional book about practice and scientific background of western overtone singing. It's well known in German speaking countries. It is scheduled for translation into English and Czech for 2015.

Oberton Singen, 132 pages, audio CD included.

http://www.amazon.com/Oberton-Singen-Lern-CD-Wolfgang-Saus/dp/3933825369/

 

I also published a detailed step-by-step instructional DVD. It has English subtitles. The publisher unfortunately only produced the PAL version. But it has no copy protection, so you can easily convert it.

http://www.traumzeit-verlag.de/verlagsprogramm--shop/gesamtverzeichnis/der-oberton-workshop---lern-dvd-mit-wolfgang-saus.php

 

Stuart Hinds published sheet music for advanced polyphonic overtone singers.

http://www.amazon.com/Oberton-Erfahrung-Overtone-Experience-Wolfgang-Stuart-Hinds/dp/3933825733

 

I also recommend Steve Sklar's Tuvan khöömej lessons available at

http://khoomei.com

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Yes, Ive noticed there seems to be  an interest in Germany with overtone singing. 

 

So in our regular vocal technique world, we often deal with vocal training products and systems that teach students how to train and get stronger for singing. I have one such program... 

 

Are there any good overtone singing home study programs; book, CDs, etc...?

I have an online course. It's for beginners through to advanced polyphonic singing, 12 video lessons (3.5 hours total), mp3s, exercises, special notation, downloadable materials, original composition excerpts for all voices with guidance, variations, etc.

It can be found here:

www.kivasimova.com/overtone-singing

 

Also, you may find 8 free downloadable scores of my original works for overtone choir there.

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Jabroni, I believe so. That would be very tribal. It is possibly similar to the Tuvan/Mongolian techniques Steve is mentioning above? But we would need to defer to Kiva and Steve I think. But generally speaking, Yes.  

 

And yet, I have come to realize that regular singers are also overtone singers. :huh:  When regular singers tune formants and shade in and out of singing vowels, using our articulators, it is overtone singing with less precision of the articulators and bigger vocal tract movements. Its not quite as articulate, but the physics of the acoustics behind it are much the same in regards to the objective having to do with tuning and/or amplifying individual harmonics.

 

 

Overtone singing focuses specifically on the play of the overtones inside of F1,F2,F3. It seems to be strong on melody.

 

Formant tuning with regular singing is more about tuning fatter harmonics, all sound colors blending in a homogenous amplification, it is strong on harmony.

 

Kiva, Steve... what are your thoughts regarding such a notion?

 

I found this video, it was funny in addition to being fascinating to watch.

 

Yes, regular singers are also overtone singers, whether they realize it or not! With overtone technique, the vocal tract movements become very microscopic, especially towards the higher end of the harmonic series. One learns to make these tiny adjustments by a combination of 'memorized' physical control and finely tuned harmonic hearing perception. By 'memorized', I mean that gradually the adjustments become automatic and intuitive. Like riding a bicycle, sort of.

Generally, in reading polyphonic scores (moving fundamentals), there are 2 ways to proceed. The first is paying attention vertically to the numbers of the overtones in any given part. The second, is to focus on the horizontal melody created by the overtones. Both approaches are very important to master, though with practice, a skilled overtone singer usually pays more attention to the melody, and doesn't need to think in such a complex manner while singing. The 2 voices move along intuitively.

Of course, you can say that overtone singing places more of the emphasis on melody since single overtones are isolated (particularly with lower fundamental pitches, accessing more of the series). As for managing 'fatter harmonics' in regular singing, I suppose that is one way of looking at it. Especially desirable when blending vowels with other voices, and a certain warmth is desirable.

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Oh my. A few years ago I thought that this has to be impossible. Now I see that I was wrong! That's so awesome.

 

Seems hard, but I tried it with a tutorial online and I managed to get the overtone very audible in about two minutes. Controlling it though is a totally different story. I will have to work on that.

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Hello alltogether,

I´m new in the forum and it´s quite astonishing for me to read about overtone and throatsinging here. The first time I heard of tuvinian throat and overtonesinging was in 1997 on a video of the band Huun HuurTu with Kaigal-ool Khovalyg singing overtone AND thoratsinging at once. From then on I have tried to learn it myself and ave been quite successful although for me it is only a short vocal effect (some seconds) which makes me hoarse. Searching for other throat singers I found Tibetan Monks singing the Yamantaka-Ritual, which is absolutely amazing although kind of frightening. Here is an example:

 

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Referring to the former posts, I must say that it took more than a year for me to get overtones that could really be heard loudly. I had no possibility to lear it from youtube or other media as I didn´t have a computer then and the internet was far away in time to be used by everyone. All I had was actually a video of a concert of Huun Huur Tu looking concentrated on the movements of the singers´ larynx (as far as it can be seen on the outside). Getting throatsinging was even more difficult, as I had nothing I could learn of. It was nothing but trial and error. Was a cool feeling when the first "growl" appeared and it was worth some pain!

Keep on singing!

Robert

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And another post! I had the chance to watch Huun Huur Tu 1998 or 1999 in my hometown Passau, Germany and it did sound really, really cool. Although, talking to a technician, it was quite difficult for him to mix the the instruments of this foreign culture which are very native and as he told me did make only very silent sounds so he had to amplify them very strongly. Not for the voices, they were mindblowing!

Robert again

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