|Regional Distribution of KHOREKTEER and its typology|
The method of khorekteer itself is the basis for all archaic styles and therefore each kind of melodic singing is unthinkable without introduction based on this method.
They exist together with other styles as sub-styles and differ by subtle technical traits in performance. They do not force these styles out and become an integral part enriching their structure.
|These are five styles: khoomei, sygyt, kargyraa, ezengileer, and borbannadyr each of which include many sub-styles.|
Folk terminology reflected the timbre of these styles, both as independent timbres and in comparison with other means of sound-extraction.
bright sound, by its timbre, of a humming middle tessitura, is designated
in tales khoomei.
Khooledir khoomeileerge cher sirgeini bergen,
“during the humming of khoomei,
the earth trembled”.
According to our observations the style khoomei can be considered an initial or basic style. Khoomeizhis of old and young generations say that khoomei is the father of a forefather of khorekteer. The majority of musicians prefer this style because of its relatively convenient sound-extraction in the middle register. Deep sounds of khoomei, especially in lower register, resemble the unison of oboe and clarinet.
khoomei (old khoomei),
in the borbannadyr style
and has a more
sounds in khoomei are
“v”. This style
by schalmeis and trumpets. It
power, richness in
tone, and melodiousness.
In Tuvan heroic tales throat singing appears as a firmly established musical phenomenon. For example, “a bogatyr (an epic hero) performs khoomei with the force of a thousand people, his singing makes the earth and the sky shudder, and brings mountain tops crashing down”. Though the power of this singing is exaggerated to the extreme, the storyteller describes the force of sound emission very accurately. In connection with this we should give a delicate remark of B.I. Tatarintsev who investigated the place and role of throat singing in Tuvan epics. He wrote: “The traveling hero’s throat singing is characterized by stock epithets of one type yndynnyg, yiangylyg, syrynnyg “doleful, plaintive, drawling” which, apparently, characterize the uneasy emotional state of a hero”. The researcher gives an example from a variant of a lyric tale about Khan-Khulyuk. After singing the hero’s “pining chest expands and his crowded thoughts broaden”. Thus, Tatarintsev was the first to note this function of throat singing: to pass time and make oneself comfortable on journey.
At first glance it seems that it is impossible to think about a more recent origin of the khoomei style in comparison to other styles because I find the same principle of articulation in all the styles in the framework of the given traditional musical culture. However, if we delve deeper into the nature of khoomei, with its ways of intonation, the assumption the recent origin of khoomei is well supported. The style of khoomei, which holds a transitional position between ordinary and double-voiced singing often performs a utilitarian function as a lullaby song in the special style opei khoomeii (lullaby khoomei). When performing this style the performer accompanies his singing by a rocking of his body from one side to another. The performer uses clavicular breathing. He sings the words by moving his lips slightly. The movements of his lips are intermediate between speaking and singing. While lulling a baby, the performer sings through his nose. There are scarcely any overtone melodies in his singing. Before people the performer sings loudly, with a great support of the diaphragm and with a distinct pressure of pectoral resonators while alone in the yurt, lulling a baby, the performer sings quietly.
the designation of a high timbre, there existed the term of sygyt
cygyrtyrga kok deer ayazyp turgan
“during the piercing singing of sygyt,
the blue sky became clearer”.
in a high
similar to that of the piccolo
in the same register. The basic ostinato moves
between the middle tones of the Great octave throughout the piece from la
of the first octave to la of the third octave. In sygyt
not articulated and
the sounds, in contrast to those in
other styles, are
produced at an
The main feature distinguishing sygyt from any other style is in the technique of sound extraction: the root of the tongue is moved forward and the melody is mostly produced by the vibration of the uvula and its approaching the soft palate. In sygyt style the uvula is the main organ which regulates the stream of air. Double voice usually appears in low and high registers simultaneously. When one voice is produced the overtones are absent. Typical of the sygyt style are melodies ascending to high pitch sounds. For example, in kishteer performed by Tumat Gennady, one can hear a glissando ascending an octave up from the 10th and 12th overtones of the 2nd basic ostinato note. Additional overtone sounds occur as a tremolo between two sounds which also differentiates the sygyt style from other styles.
kaargyraalaarga khayaa dash kaanayndyr bustup badip turgan, “during the singing of kargyraa, the sheer cliffs vibrated, rumbled, and fell down”.
folk performers divide this style in sub-styles by
pitch. Khovu kargyraazy (steppe
kargyraazy) has a higher, lighter and
softer sound while
a lower, louder sound characterizes kozhagar
kargyraazy(mountain or cave kargyraazy). The main form of the
logical semantic connection of
sounds. It is based on ornamented melodies of wide breath. Timbre
distinguish different sub-styles.
Among these sub-styles khovu
kargyraazy (steppe kargyraa) is
one of the most popular sub-styles of kargyraa.
is characterized by drawling, soft, and broad sound. This
spaciousness of flat
steppes and mountains. An introduction
is usually sung. The basic
with a half-open mouth.
Overtones alternates with vowels. One of
the vowels а,
=, \ corresponds to
Dag kargyraazy (mountain kargyraa) is also popular. This style is
more stern. It expresses the power of the mountains. The timbre is more
dense, nasal, and dimly.
The third style is dumchuk kargyraazy (nasal kargyraa). A characteristic feature of this sub-style is a regular release of air with a sharp double inhalation and exhalation through the nose and mouth. The powerful vibration has a positive effect on performer’s lungs and body. According to my informants singing in this way makes it possible to relax and concentrate oneself spiritually. When singing, the performer does not feel any disharmony. The frequency range of the produced sound is quite wide. The sound is more velvet-like, and softer due to the use of nose resonator. This is a typical style of the traditional Mongun-Taiga performance school.
related to the khoomei
style in respect to
intonation. A melodious introduction
of lips (close
with the khoomei
style. Timbre norm, intonization with
narrow modal scale with short stable formulae, and ostinato
manipulations, rather than the
of the khoomei
style is a
borbannadyr style. The coexistence of
as a manifestation of
is characterized by an organic
relationship of melodic
expression. During a period of singing the tempo increases and the
melody becomes more complex, descending by
the twelfth to the seventh overtone, more
the eighth overtone. The ostinato
within the three
of the Great octave.
khoomei, the melodious
phrase of which is performed within one breath, the borbannadyr
style is always
interrupted, with the process of breathing plays a lesser role for
articulation. The performer
begins by reciting
of the words of
a song typical
only to the
style. Here is an
Bolur-daa bol, bolbas-daa
Whether it comes out or itdoesn’t
I shall sing borbannadyr anyways
more schematic. This
is the tendency
of the schematization of
ostinato repetition of
musical turn. Similarities in
of the khoomei
another. In the khoomei
style the lower voice
a sustained (ostinato) sound
select overtones (which create
while in the
words. The tune
on an intonization approximate to
onomatopoeia but this is, more likely, not a concrete but somewhat
generalized imitation. Therefore, the
are of a radically
in borbannadyr style.
if one compares the
peculiarities of the
styles of the above styles one
can get additional
a concrete style
In ensemble performance of khoomei, kargyraa, and sygyt styles (except onomatopoeic – ezengileer and borbannadyr styles) the singers seek to keep to basic forms, producing only slight additional tones which are mostly ornamental. The style borbannadyr is traditionally sung individually. This makes it possible for a performer of this style to introduce some individual traits in the form of his rhythmical intonization. This style is among the main independent styles because it has its own structure, a separate mechanism of sound extraction, and a characteristic timbre coloring. The performance of this style does not require the use of other styles. With regards to its tessitura, register, rhythm, and structure of melodies, borbannadyr style represents quite an independent artistic phenomenon which can be optionally synthesized in order to decorate the melody of other styles. For example, there are synthesized styles such as borbannadyr of sygyt, borbannadyr of kargyraa, or borbannadyr of khoomei.
also have their
own peculiarities of
rhythm, timbre, and intonation.
style of khorekteer.
old people, ezengileer style
The style itself, as assumed by some researchers, seems to be relatively recent in origin. The appearance of this style was possible not earlier than 1st millenium AD, that is, in the time when the appearance of stirrup in horse harness could have a perceptible influence upon Tuvan music.
is believed that the ezengileer
formed later than the sygyt
style but, undoubtedly,
it was formed on its basis and in a
If we compare ezengileer with sygyt it is not difficult to note that the performance of ezengileer differs from sygyt by its slow singing and distinct scancion. Another distinctive feature of the ezengileer style is the periodic release of air through the nose with a sharp double exhalation. The sound-formation of styles is preconditioned by aesthetic prerequisites, acoustic peculiarities of the means of sound extraction, and timber. The melodious introduction is absent in ezengileer style. Ezengileer style is represented a peculiar, independent phenomenon in function also and its performance is connected to horse riding. The timbre of this style is softer than that of the sygyt style. The overtone melodies appear usually on 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and 13th overtones from the low ostinato sound.
In the kargyraa style alone one can count more that five common freely interchanged motifs: khovu kargyraazy (steppe kargyraa), kashpal kargyraazy (hill kargyraa), dag kargyraazy (mountain kargyraa), kozhagar kargyraazy (mound kargyraa), oidupaa kargyraazy (kargyraa of the singer Oidupaa) and so on.