Khoomi Singing- The physics of Khoomi singing are still not completely understood, but it’s basic principles are known. Most natural sounds are composed of a base pitch (fundamental) plus many more tones at higher pitches (harmonics). Usually our ears zero in on the fundamental and that is the pitch that our mind assigns to the sound. The fewer the harmonics the “purer” the sound (e.g., a flute does not produce many harmonic tones), whereas the presence of more harmonics makes the sound “richer”. The human voice is rich with harmonics. By dividing the mouth into two cavities and modulating the resonant pitches of each, the Khoomi singer is able to suppress the fundamental or base pitch and amplify one or two harmonics so that our ears register them as separate tones rather than as one complex tone. It is almost as difficult to describe in writing what khoomi sounds like as it would be to learn khoomi singing from a set of instructions! The end result is that you are hearing one person sing in what seems to be two or three different tones or notes at the same time. It is eerie, and beautiful. As the singer’s rich bass voice sings the words, there will be a whistling overtone and sometimes a humming mid tone.
Morin Huur- Used in Khoomi singing and in other forms of traditional music, the origins of the Morin Huur lie with the Chinese two-stringed fiddle. With its typical horse-head carving crowning the instrument, the Morin Huur plays a major part in all classic Mongolian forms of music. To this day people of all ages play it.
Long Song- The Mongolian long song is a truly nomadic art form. It can be sung without any accompanying instruments and is very melodic, and the voices of good long song singers can carry over immense distances. Common themes include nature, family, animals, and epic tales.