What is Mongolian Throat Singing Called? Mongolian Tuvan Throat Singing

Mongolian Throat Singing

Mongolian’s wide-open spaces are a perfect landscape for the sounds of the Mongolia Tuvan Throat singing, as it carries the sounds of the singing over the beautiful hills and plains of Mongolian. Mongolian herders would practice their throat singing as they herd their sheep, goats, and other animals.

Insider's Guide to Mongolia - M...
Insider's Guide to Mongolia - Mongolia's Tradition of Singing

Mongolia has a long tradition of Mongolian Tuvan throat singing. This kind of singing is an overtone kind of cultural music where singers will sing more than one pitch at the same time. There are four types of throat singing like Khoomei, Khorekteer, Sygyt, and Kargyraa throat singing. Each type of throat singing has a unique sound. The Mongolian rock’n’roll band the Hu have combined the Mongolian throat singing and traditional Mongolian instruments with rock’n’roll. The Hu and their music continue to gain popularity as they perform together with some top rock’n’roll names.

Mongolian throat singing is a wonderful and enchanting form of musical singing. It is a mixture of a husky kind of chanting, and low growling sounds that all form together to produce a beautiful musical melody.

What is Mongolian Tuvan Throat Singing?

When people visit Mongolia, they may be surprised to hear a new kind of singing known as the Mongolian Tuvan Throat Singing. This kind of throat singing has these kinds of musical qualities:

  • Purposely overtone singing – The Tuvan throat singing is a variation of singing that purposely manipulates the resonances which are created by the vocal tract. They do this to produce a melody that can almost sound a bit off tone, but it is overtone singing in reality.
  • The shape of resonating cavities – In throat singing, the musical pitch is made by the human voice.
  • Singing more than a pitch at the same time – This kind of singing allows the singers to create more than one pitch at the same time

This singing is a traditional form of singing that is found mainly in Mongolia, but you can also hear it in Inner Mongolia (China) and Tuva (Russia), and Siberia (Russia).

Here is a video to show you some Mongolian throat singing. I recorded this woman singing in her Ger (Yurt) outside Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Insider's Guide to Mongolia - Mongolia's Tradition of Singing
Mongolian Throat Singing and other kinds of singing.

What are the Different Types of Mongolian Throat Singing?

If it is not hard enough for someone to really understand what Mongolia Throat Singing or Tuvan Throat singing is, are also different types of Mongolian Throat singing such as Khoomei, Khorekteer, Sygyt, and Kargyraa throat singing.

Khoomei Throat Singing

The Khoomei Throat singing is the most popular kind of Throat singing because it is a traditional and softer sounding style. This singing takes place with the singer’s low-mid to mid-range tones of the singer’s normal voice. This style of throat singing can sound like a type of whirling wind.

In the Khoomei style, the abdomen is fairly relaxed, and there is less tension in the larynx than in any other throat singing style. The singing pitch is also manipulated through a combination of lips, throat, tongue, and jaw.

Khorekteer Throat Singing

The Khorekteer Throat Singing is the chest voice of the throat singing as it can be used to refer to the combination of many of the different throat styles. Because of this, the Khorekteer throat singing is known to the throat singers as a chest voice.

Sygyt Throat Singing

The Sygyt style of throat singing is a whistling kind of throat singing that is strong and flute-like and is reminiscent of whistling, so it is called the whistling throat singing. Some have also described it as the gentle breezes of summer or the songs of birds.

To perform the Sygyt throat singing, the tongue will rise and seal behind the gums with the sounds going between the teeth. Similar a when you whistle.

Kargyraa Throat Singing

The Kargyraa Throat Singing is the deep sounding style of throat singing. This kind of throat singing has almost a growling sound to it. Because of the sounds that this kind of throat singing makes, it is sometimes called the howling winds of winter or the cries of a mother camel after losing her calf.

Gala Hu Band
Gala, A Throat Singer and Member of the Hu Band

The Hu Band – Throat Singing Today

The Hu is a Mongolian Rock Band that was formed in 2016. What is interesting about the Hu Band is they use traditional Mongolian instruments with the Mongolian throat singing to sing some amazing rock’n’roll.

The word hu stands for the Mongolian root word for a human being. The Hu call their style “Hunnu Rock,” which is inspired by the Hunnu, an ancient Mongolian empire known in the west as the Huns. The Huns were a nomadic people in the 4th and 6th century AD that roamed throughout Asia, Central Asia, and Europe. Because of this, many of the band’s lyrics include old Mongolian war cries and poetry.

Since their start in 2016, the Hu rock band has continued to gain international acclaim for their cultural musical style. If you want to find out more about the Hu or see their travel schedule, you can find out more about them by clicking here. As the Hu Band’s music and popularity continue to grow, they are touring worldwide, including the United States and Europe.

The video below is the Hu Band’s song of Wolf Totem. It shows the Hu Band’s great rock’n’roll style along with some great scenes of the Mongolian countryside and how the Hu uses traditional instruments and this traditional throat singing to produce a great rock’n’roll sound.

The song Wolf Totem has been such a viral hit on YouTube that it has over 21 million views and counting.

The HU - Wolf Totem (Official Music Video)
The Hu Perform Wolf Totem.

The Hu Band is bringing a new sound to rock’n’roll. Their new sound is an interesting combination of traditional and cultural music along with the rock’n’roll music style.

Hu’s cultural rock’n’roll style has gotten the attention of Jacoby Shaddix, the lead vocalist of the American rock band Papa Roach. In speaking about the Hu, Jacoby Shaddix has said:

“I’m honoured to be part of such a powerful new blend of rock’n’roll…the Hu are the real deal. Don’t sleep on this.”

Jacob Shaddix

The Hu has produced a song with Jacob Shaddix called The Wolf Totem Feat. This Wolf Totem feat song with Jacoby Shaddix continues to gain a lot of popularity for it’s new and interesting rock’n’roll sound.

You can listen to the Wolf Totem Feat song on the video link below.

The HU - Wolf Totem feat. Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach (Official Music Video)
The Hu Band and Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach perform Wolf Totem Feat

The Hu are continuing to join with other singers such as Danny Case, the vocalists from Ashes to New and also the Halestorm singer Lizzy Hale to collaborate on some new songs and music.

All of this teaming up of top artists with the Mongolian Rock’N Roll Band the Hu shows the impact the Mongolian throat singing and the Mongolian traditional instruments have on music today.

The Mongolian throat singing is a very unique and enchanting cultural singing style. When combined with today’s rock’n’roll, the singing gives the Mongolian throat singing a fresh new kind of cultural rock’n’roll that is admired by many of today’s top artists.

What are Other Names that Throat Singing is Called?

The Mongolian Throat Singing is also known as overtone singing, overtone chanting, and harmonic singing as the singers manipulate the resonances to create a melody.

When did Mongolian Throat Singing Start?

We are not really sure when or how throat singing started, but it is thought to have been developed during the 19th century.

Anita L Hummel

Hi, I live in Hanoi, Vietnam but spend time traveling the region. I love to share with you things I see and learn through my travels.

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