Listen To The Most Astonishing Musical Style Ever: Throat Singing

There is no question that the human voice is a remarkable musical instrument, but few singing styles hit that point home as well as overtone singing — commonly known as throat singing —does. And it’s incredible to hear and watch multiple pitches coming out of a single mouth.

Throat singing from Mongolia, where the style was born. The most popular style is called Khöömii.

Katajjaq, a form of throat singing among the Inuit people in some Nunavut communities, northern Canada. It is usually done by two people (mostly women)

The Tibetan Buddhist chanting, which has three main styles: Gyuke, Dzoke and Gyer

The Tuva people, a Mongol ethnic group, who live in southern Siberia, Russia, has some types of vocalizatons


Umngqokolo, a South African style, similar to the Tuvan Kargyraa

Altai and Khakassia, Russia, where it’s named “kai” or “khai”, similar to the neighboring Tuvan

Balochi Nur Sur, the style of overtone singing in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran

Cantu a tenore, a style of the Barbagia region of the island of Sardinia, Italy

The Chukchi people of Chukchi Peninsula, northeast Russia, who also can prove that it’s possible to dance to throat singing:

People of Karakalpastan, an autonomous republic of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

Rekuhkara, the almost extinct style of the Ainu people in Hokkaidō, Japan, which was played by a woman and a child together.

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Lady Commentariat

My first encounter with throat singing was via Bela Fleck & the Flecktones album Live at the Quick; Mongolian style performed by the amazing Kongar-ōl Ondar. A fabulous album all round and this video showcases Ondar’s singing and explains the three different types of throat singing he performs. I also love the intro he provides for A Moment So Close—Future Man + Victor Wooten + throat singing + the Flecktones? Awesomeness and one of my favorite tracks on an album of masterworks.