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Khoomei: Traditional Music of East Asia Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on October 6, 2012
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 1,114 words

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Below is an essay on "Khoomei: Traditional Music of East Asia" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Khoomei: Traditional Music of East Asia
Mongolia is a democratic country located in between China and the Russian Federation.   Historically the Mongolian Empire linked a multitude of nomadic tribes together under the rule of Genghis Khan.   Music is a profoundly integrated part of the Mongolian peoples’ lives, but the various musical practices and styles vary in accordance to the ethnic groups and locations they pertain to.   Different musical soundscapes encompass areas with people who share similar vocal styles, genres, and instruments.   Specifically, Eastern Mongolian music varies from Western Mongolian music.   Eastern Mongolian music shares similarities namely with Central Mongolia, Buryatia to the north, and Inner Mongolia to the south.   On the other hand, Western Mongols share musical practices and styles with: Xinjiang in China to the South, and part of the Russian Federation to the north including the republics of Tuva, Khakhassia, and Altai.   Khoomei is performed mainly by Western Mongolian groups and in Tuva, as well as neighboring groups including the Khakhassians and Altais.   This ancient art form is dated over 4000 years old.  
The Khoomei tradition is well known as overtone singing, or “Mongolian throat singing.”   The word khoomei is related to the Mongolian word for throat.   Throat singing has different sound sources.   Although the majority of pitches come from the throat, some come from the stomach, and others from the chest.   There are three general throat-singing styles, and a variety of sub-styles.   These styles differ in timbre, especially through a representation of different things.   Khoomei singers use their voices to replicate natural sounds such as the wind, birdsongs, and animals.   This replication strongly relates to the belief in animism, an important component of throat singing.   In this belief, the sound of an animal or object is strongly related to its spirituality, and reproduction of   “such sounds acquires a certain spiritual...

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