Tidbit #3 – Overtone Singing

Today’s tidbit – overtone singing!

Overtone singing is a fascinating art which can be achieved by manipulating certain resonant cavities so you can sing two notes at the same time. Here’s a slightly technical explanation, courtesy of Wikipedia: “Overtone singing is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the resonances created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out of the lips to produce a melody. The harmonics of a sound wave made by the human voice can be selectively amplified by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx and pharynx. This resonant tuning allows singers to create apparently more than one pitch at the same time, while actually generating only a single fundamental frequency with their vocal folds.”

So in essence, only one vibration is the source of the two notes. By changing the “resonant cavities” of the mouth, a person can form two notes out of one vibration. But it’s hard to understand this concept just by reading about it, so here’s a video demonstrating and explaining a little more about overtone singing.

~ Maggie and Cammi


4 thoughts on “Tidbit #3 – Overtone Singing

  1. Gee willakers gals….I would have bet there was a flute being played in that video! Incredible any single person could do that with their voice.
    Since I cannot even carry a single note in a shopping bag, I simply believe it was real and am awed by that video!
    Keep up the postings of the oddities, underdogs, unusual contributers, and of course all the greats in music…love it.


    • You are so right, Gramps! It’s amazing what overtone singers can do! Not to mention all the hours of training they’ve put in to get to such a level of mastery. Overtone singing is such a fascinating art!
      ~ Maggie and Cammi


  2. That was different and beautiful at the same time. I’m wondering how do you apply that to a song?? I don’t think she can actually sing, star spangled banner?? Beautific sounds though, she could be an instrument for a orchestra. Lol!
    Good work girls!


    • Yes, it’s a very interesting sound! That’s a good question about singing two-part harmony for the Star-Spangled Banner. I think it’s possible; the fundamental part and the overtone part seemed quite independent.
      Thanks for commenting! 🙂
      ~ Maggie and Cammi


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