Sound Samples and Spectrograms
This page contains
sound samples and spectrograms of various Khoomei singers.
Click on the
spectrograms to download sound samples (aiff format).
1. Me singing
Sygyt: This image contains the frequencies from about 0-5300 Hz. You can see
the scooping of unwanted frequencies and the amplified harmonics of the melody.
2. Sygyt #
2: Also high in my range, this time with a little clearer sound.
3. Me singing
in Khoomei style. The sound is softer, and more diffused. If you listen carefully,
you can discern a 3rd pitch. It's located above the melodic harmonic, but sounds
softer (this is an illusion; the melodic frequency cluster is slightly quieter,
but the motion makes it more obvious). The frequency range is from about 0-5469
Hz, and the fundamental (very soft, and very faint visually) is at about 129
4. Yours truly
singing a bit o' Kargyraa (same frequency range). Notice the coarse, vibrating
quality; often, on recordings with either natural or artificial reverb, this
sound is smoothed out. I intentionally recorded these samples very dry (except
#1 above), to obtain more accurate spectrograms.
5. This is
an example of Chilandyk (named for the cricket), a combination of Kargyraa and
Sygyt styles. Same frequency range as above. If you can learn to sing both styles,
it's not too hard to combine them. The difficult part is to keep the Kargyraa
in tune when adding the sygyt.
I'll add some
more of my own samples, and samples of other singers as time permits.
Below are some
spectrograms and samples of some famous Tuvan singers, beginning with Kaigal-ool
Xovalyg of Huun-Huur-Tu:
of Kaigal-ool Xovalyg
by Steve Sklar, Minneapolis, 1997-98
Section 1. In
this section, click on the spectrogram to download the AIFF sound file. PLEASE
NOTE: These casual samples were not recorded under "studio conditions,"
and have not been equalized. The original samples were made on a PowerMac 8500/132
computer, using the computer's microphone, at 44.1Khz, then downsampled into
22.05Khz IMA compression AIFF Files. Together with the spectrograms, they do
provide a useful if not comprehensive look at the sound components of khoomei
The first two
Kargyraa spectrograms were made from the same sample, so you only have to select
one of them.
Kargyraa style : frequency range 0-5469 Hz
Kargyraa style : frequency range 0-2735 Hz
Sygyt: frequency range 0-5469 Hz fundamental about 334 Hz
Section 2. The
spectrograms in this section were made from solo tracks on Huun-Huur-Tu's first
Shanachie CD, 60 Horses in My Herd. These tracks are presented through
the generous cooperation of Shanachie
Records. Clicking these spectrograms will play high-quality (256 kbs) mp3s.
Khoomei solo from 60 Horses (track 6); frequency response 0-2735 Hz.
The fundamental (bottom line) is at about 108 Hz. There is another formant band
centered at about 3450 Hz that is similar in intensity to the upper band shown
The next 2 spectrograms
were also made from the same track, and again are simply two views with different
Kargyraa solo from 60 Horses (track 11); frequency range from 0-5469
(apologies for "crosshair" artifact)
Kargyraa solo from 60 Horses (track 11); frequency range 0-2735 Hz
Kaigal-ool Xovalyg is the lead singer and igil master of the reknowned Tuvan
ensemble Huun-Huur-Tu ("sun-propeller). He has performed around the world
with HHT, and with his multi-cultural group ethno-jazz Vershki da Koreshki.
He holds the title "Peoples' Singer of Tuva," and is especially well
known for his unique 3-4 voice Khoomei style, in which he can apply vibrato
to certain harmonics and not others! He has been my foremost teacher on the
I wish to express
my thanks to Kaigal-ool and Shanachie Records for allowing me to present these
recordings and images.