Polytonic Overtone Singing: This is Really Cool

During my four years at university I was part of various music ensembles. Vocal ensemble, wind ensemble, the new music ensemble. I was a music student, so while I enjoyed those classes, they were a part of my required course load. There were plenty of different techniques that I learned — and then used whenever I could because I thought they were hilarious. One thing I never learned to do was overtone singing.

Sure, I learned about overtone singing, also known as throat singing. It was fascinating to learn about, but my classmates and I never learned how to actually do it. Most of the videos we watched in class were of Inuit throat singing, the type of overtone singing that I’m sure most people in Canada are familiar with.

Something I never learned about Overtone singing was that a singer could be able to sing two melodies at once. It might not seem possible, but it is! In a YouTube video, Wolfgang Saus sings both the bass and the soprano parts of Pachelbel’s Canon in D at the same time. This technique is called polyphonic overtone singing.

Talk about talent!

If you want to know how polyphonic overtone singing works, here’s a cool video explaining it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.