Overtone Cowboy
May 29, 2005 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Arthur Miles [mp3], the throat-singing cowboy, singing about the lonesome cowboy. Types of throat-singing, with tips, brought to you by the International Association for Harmonic Singing.
posted by kenko (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Illuminating link...I had no idea there were so many different techniques...I've heard some Tuvans live (and saw them step outside afterward to light up...everybody over there seems to smoke)....The Tibetans also do harmonic singing...is it also "throat singing?" I guess so. I'm sure the answer is in here somewhere. The Arthur Miles song is a gem.
posted by kozad at 11:59 AM on May 29, 2005

I learned overtones from this guy:

How to Sing Three Notes at the Same Time

It should be pointed out that the Tuvans are also cowboys, and indeed, their music has some cowboy feel to it. (I would say "indefinable" but that's just by me.)
posted by Aknaton at 12:34 PM on May 29, 2005

That Arthur Miles mp3 is wonderful, great yodel too.
posted by greasy_skillet at 1:31 PM on May 29, 2005

That Arthur Miles mp3 is wonderful, great yodel too.

Oh yeah, love it. I knew about the Tuvans, but I had no idea anyone else had accomplished throat-singing.

Great post.
posted by malaprohibita at 2:28 PM on May 29, 2005

Simply awesome.
posted by JGreyNemo at 4:47 PM on May 29, 2005

Thanks for this! I really enjoyed Genghis Blues "Tuva or bust"
( a blind american throatsinger/blues player,wins a pony!)
posted by hortense at 6:15 PM on May 29, 2005

I love the blues/throat singing on the Genghis Blues soundtrack, but not so keen on Arthur Miles. Cool post though ... thanks kenko!
posted by nomis at 8:51 PM on May 29, 2005

There is a Mongolian ensemble that uses a lot of throat singing that you can hear some samples of here (check out the "Altai Praise Song") with more info on them on the h2g2

It is quite fun to play for other people and have them try to guess just what the hell it actually is.
posted by The Bishop of Turkey at 10:03 PM on May 29, 2005

Oh, and make sure you listen to "Khoomii" which is pretty unbelieveable considering that that is a human singing that.
posted by The Bishop of Turkey at 10:05 PM on May 29, 2005

so very cool. thanks kenko.

i think some of the tibetan (and perhaps other) styles are actually undertones/subharmonics rather than overtones/harmonics.

however, they're all fascinating, and amazing to hear. thanks again.
posted by soi-disant at 3:33 AM on May 30, 2005

A human and a string bass or cello-like instrument, I hope. Or is it all human?
posted by kenko at 6:52 AM on May 30, 2005

In fact the mechanism of vocal undertones is completely different from that of overtones (harmonics). To produce a normal tone, you blow between your vocal chords, which flap flap flap transversally. If you "hold them loosely" then they may also jiggle longitudinally. Do it well, and you get audible undertones.

Do it long enough, and you can seriously damage your vocal chords, apparently. (Or so I've heard; no luck Googling.)

The guy I linked above, Bernard Dubreuil, flew some Tuvans to Canada to have them swallow laparoscopes and confirm the mechanism just described.
posted by Aknaton at 3:24 PM on May 30, 2005

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