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Differences between kargyraa and the technique of "deep voice" of Tibetan monks

Very recently, send a question that I think is worth discussing and inquire about the difference between the kargyraa and the technique of "deep voice" of Tibetan monks. If you agree that we would like to conduct a dialogue about it.
Without any other particular.

Tags: deep, harmonic, kargyraa, monk, overtones, tibetan, voice

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Dear Javier, thank you for posting your question into the forum. Here is a topic related discussion I am not a kargyraa singer - I sing just with my deeper bass under- or overtones ( We call it in German Strohbass) ...
with my best regards, Jens
Ok, let's do this thing!

I suggest we start by listening to a couple of fine examples. The first is by my friend Thupten Dadak, former Gyuto monk. It's a good example, in that he chants solo (om mani padme hum), but with some reverb. The sound is quite different from that of a choir of monks, and also from overdubbed recordings such as that by Drepung Loseling monk Lama Tashi:


Thupten's recording features many typical aspects of Tibetan monk-style chant:

1. Low pitch, which may waver a bit, but usually not more than a step or two;

2. Occasional releasing of the ventricular folds, which produces the "hiccup" sound;

3. The disguising of the text (Tibetan chant often uses tantric syllables not generally understood by the lay Tibetan, and they even distort such a recognizable text such as this);

4. The aperture of the lips only adjusts sufficiently to allow the text, but doesn't really serve as a changing harmonic filter (remember that the aperture of the lips is the last harmonic and volume filter of the vocal system). Lips are barely open, extended, with round opening;

6. The larynx may be held low in the throat, lengthening the vocal instrument and helping to produce a low, deep tone.

7. Usually, the nasal port is closed, except when opening is dictated by closed-mouth consonants, though he does open and close them occasionally for tonal effects.

8. There is no attempt to produce melody or melodic phrases.

Next, a superb example of Tuvan kargyraa: http://www.khoomei.com/mp3s/sevekkarg.mp3

Keep in mind that this is one example of one style of kargyraa (dag, or mountain); there are many variants both generally and individually. Some are very low, even lower than the monks, some are much higher. This glorious sample, by Sevek Aldyn-ool of western Tuva, also uses the combine vocal/ventricular fold technique, with the ventricular folds vibrating with a fundamental half the speed of the vocal folds (same as monk chant).

1. While the means of sound production is the same as the monks, there is an obvious musicality and melodicism absent in tantric chant.

2. The main means of producing melody is by varying the aperture of the lips.

3. There is much more movement in the mouth and throat, shaping the tones.

4. There is more opening and closing of the nasal port for tonal effects (amount of nasal resonance/harmonic content). This is a common element, especially in many singers' mountain kargyraa.

5. Text alternates with sustained, varied non-textual tones. Text is not intentionally disguised.

Gotta go, hope that's a good beginning. I realize that it may be involved for non-native English speakers; perhaps if there is any interest/response someone can translate.


Thanks Steve! I can feature a discussion (like this one) but so sad that I can't feature a reply. Your reply is so helpful!!! (for me too because I know only a little bit about european overtone singing) Thank you again! I shared it on the Overtone Music Network fan page on facebook too ...

Heh, its not sad, Jens. We all have our talents and we use them. I've been most fortunate for my experiences and am happy to share it. You have great organizational energy and promotional skills in addition to your music, and do so much to help others. Win/win, right?


Hi Steve

... I should use a smiley emoticon - how it is possible on your http://khoomei.com/forum for the word "sad" ... you know like me that nothing is sad because everything is full joy. Everything - the greatest pain too - is full of joy. Sure we can't feel happiness if we are depressive ... and if we have pain in our body we can't feel the lightness of life. ... we have to meet us soon or later that you get to know that I have a special kind of (black) humor ... (if I write: "I can feature a discussion (like this one) but so sad that I can't feature a reply" ... that means only: great job!) By the way ... or not only by the way: thanks for your compliment and for sharing.


Hello Javier,

are you not satisfied with Steve's reply? Here are some other samples with a gutteral chant by a gyuto monk. I think you can hear the differences ... if you check various styles!

Jens, I do suspect that's no monk, rather an amateur trying to imitate one.

Hmmm... a month later and it seems even the original poster is disinterested...
Thanks for all brothers!!!!
The requests are very important and interesting!!!!
Only i search more information!!!
Thanks very much Steve!!! Thanks Jens!
Oh yeah, my audio setting of my PC suggested me it could be a monk. Let me say it's sang in qyuto monk style only - but just an imitation. But here is an original one ... wishing you a wonderful Sunday!

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