world music- throat singing

world music- throat singing - Kristin McGuire World Music...

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Kristin McGuire World Music 11/19/10 Multiphonic Singing Humans have an innate desire to create; it is what separates us from animals. Music, in particular, engages us in the human spirit and is a primary tool of expression and communication. It creates a catharsis and reveals what it truly means to be human. This need is deeply imbedded in our history, as it helps us to celebrate, practice tradition, and exercise a belief system. It is imperative that one studies the diverse history of music in order to understand the culture of a society. This often yields an increased understanding of their value system. Our ears are trained to recognize certain scales and pitches, so it takes a different kind of understanding to appreciate music outside of one’s cultural comfort. For example, when one first encounters throat singing, it is quite difficult to believe that just one person alone is producing the distinctive sound. It may even be hard to believe that these sounds, resembling growling and whistling, are created by a human being, as the singing sounds more animalistic than anything. At In Western cultures, one rarely encounters such a genre of music. But after further attention is paid to the music, one can appreciate the complexity of the technique the singing requires. Additionally, the study of the history of throat singing yields valuable results and affords one the opportunity to learn about a set of people he/she may never encounter. It is believed that multiphonic singing originated in Tuva, a small republic in central Asia, although the date of origination is unknown. Historically, Khoomei, as throat singing in called in Tuva, is typically studied by men. However, women in Tuva have recently begun to learn the technique. Nowadays, Tuvan throat singing is studied formally at the Tuvan School of Art, but it is also taught casually between friends and family. In terms of spirituality, Tuvans tend to focus on the natural, specifically sounds that occur in nature. It is thought that the original intention of
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this distinctive type of singing was to emulate the sounds of birds or wind swirling around rocks. Multiphonic singing is often used in their Shamanistic rituals. Additionally, the music is popular for entertainment purposes. In Tuva alone, there are a couple of variations of throat singing. Khoomei, kargyraa, and sygyt are just three styles existing in Tuva. “Sygyt” translates as whistling, and this particular technique has a higher pitch than the traditional Khoomei. “Kargyraa,” on the other hand, means undertone. This variation of throat singing creates an undertone sound through vibration of the vocal chords. Up to three pitches can be produced concurrently when the mouth is shaped in
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2011 for the course MUSC 120 taught by Professor Mattdaniels during the Fall '09 term at MO St. Louis.

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world music- throat singing - Kristin McGuire World Music...

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