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Mongolia

Hoomii

Throat Singing


Mongolia_A03_Hoomii


Among the various types of Mongolian arts since ancient time, Hoomii should be specially stressed. The guttural or laryngeal Hoomii sounds with the help of speech organs (throat and tip of the tongue) become a musical instrument.


Reasons for selection

Among the various types of Mongolian arts since ancient time, Hoomii should be specially stressed. The guttural or laryngeal Hoomii sounds with the help of speech organs (throat and tip of the tongue)become a musical instrument.


Area where performed

Western part of Mongolia (Chandmani sum of Hovd province is the main center of the Hoomii )


Essential elements of the performing art

Music


Detailed explanation

The Mongols have an original art which is called Hoomii or overtone singing - a unique vocal style using the throat. (The name literally means throat music.) In Hoomii the melody is formed by changing the shape of the mouth cavity as the resonating body for the vibration of the vocal cords, which at the same time makes it easy to emphasize the tone of the melody by strongly producing vowels. It is said that Hoomii is as old as nature itself, beginning when man made the first melodies imitating the murmur of streams or the echoes in the mountains. Hoomii is most common in the west of Mongolia, and this style is also known among some of the peoples of Central Asia, especially the Tuvin, the Khaka and certain ethnic groups in the Altai mountains; it was formerly found also among the Bashkir in the Urals.

There are different techniques of performing the Hoomii overtones, using the nose, throat, chest, or abdomen. Only men perform it because it needs much physical strength, though there is no particular taboo against its practice by women.

Among the most popular throat singers are Chimeddorj, Sundui, Ganbold, Tserendavaa, and J. Bazarvaani.


Publication and textual documentation

Badraa. J.
1998 Mongol ardiin khogjim The Mongolian folk music .
Ulaanbaatar.

Sampildendev. Kh.
1987 Mongol ardiin Zan uiliin holbogdoltoi aman zokhiol.
Ulaanbaatar.


Audio documentation

already available


Visual documentation

Badraa. J., Khishigt. D., Tuya. Ts.
1996 Mongol Hoomii, Documentary film.


Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

exists


Data provider

Mr. YUNDENBAT Sonom-Ish
Executive Director
Mongolian National Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage
Address: Baga toiruu 22, Ulaanbaatar 46, P. O. Box 46/660, Mongolia