Liner notes for the LP
"Pesni I Instrumentalie Melodii Tuvi"
Melodiya D030773-74, 1969
Recorded by Vyacheslav Shchurov.
(Translation from Russian, supplied by
Bernard Kleikamp, Pan Records).
Musical art of the Tuvans, people inhabiting the western Sayans in the Upper Enisey, is
notable for its big originality.
The Tuvan singing presents a special interest. The peculiarity of the art of the Tuvan
musicians lies in the fact that the singer simultaneously extracts by voice, two or even
three sounds. The solo two/three-voice singing emerges thanks to the simultaneous sounding
of the fundamental which has a gutteral timbre colouring and its upper overtones which are
caught and amplified by the head resonator. For all this the fundamental performs the
function of the bass pedal and the upper subsounds also carefully draw a crystal pure
melody on natural overtones in a high register. Sometimes a special additional subsound
joins the lower sound. In such cases this produces the effect of the solo three-voice
There exist a number of styles of the Tuvan throat-singing, sometimes a singer can
perform several styles. The styles differ by the pitch of the sound extraction and timbre
peculiarities of the phonation connected with it. Each style has its own distinctive
The highest, brightest style is 'sygyt' in which the highest register of the voice is
used. The head subsounds have a singing 'glass' timbre shade.
Songs in the 'khoomei' style sound somewhat softer. The timbres in the style are
Singing in the 'borbannadyr' style attracts by its velvet sound. The bass pedal in the
middle register has an additional subsound affecting the quint overtone over an octave, as
a result of that, there appears a peculiar three-voice singing.
Usually the performing of the melody with corresponding words foregoes an inclusion of
the head subsounds on the bass pedal. There are a lot of different songs that can be
performed in each style.
In a number of cases, the throat singing can be accompanied by an instrument, either
the stringed pizzicato - doshpuluur or the stringed bow - igil, byzaanchy.
In every-day life the throat singing songs are usually performed while a herder,
watching a flock of sheep, is having a rest, the throat-singing in the mountains can be
heard far away. According to a singer he is sending greetings with his song to his people
who are staying in a yurt far away from the pasture.
Diverse styles of the throat-singing are presented on Side 1 of our recording.
- Alash River ('sygyt' style). The song has a lyrical content. The beauty of the beloved
girl is compared to the beauty of a running mountain river.
- Bayan-Kol (name of a place in the mountains), performed in the 'sygyt' style to the
accompaniment of the doshpuluur. The song praises the native land, its nature.
- I won't give up my Khoomei ('khoomei' style), No trouble will make the singer forget his
- Manchurek ('khoomei' style), performed to the accompaniment of the doshpuluur. It is
devoted to the singer's beautiful country.
- My Brother, I'll Sing Borban (Lyrical song in the 'borbannadyr' style). The two songs
are performed by Khunashtar-ool Oorzhak, young herder from the Sut-Khol state farm,
- The song "My Beloved Girls Ear-Rings" is performed by a herder from Chadaana
Region, Ak-ool Kara-Sal to his own accompaniment on the igil ('sygyt' style).
- "The Tuvan Folk Tunes" are sung (without words) by a Tuvan throat-singing
master, Manchakay Sat.
- "Song of Khoomeizhi" ('khoomei' style), performed by a well-known Tuvan singer
- "Artyy Saiyr" (name of a place) D. Damba-Darzhaa sings in the 'kargyraa' style
to the accompaniment of A. Laptan on the byzaanchy.
On Side 2, different Tuvan folk songs and instrumental melodies are recorded.
"Fantasia on Tuvan Folk Songs". "Song about the Igil", three old
melodies, as well as instrumental pieces. "Dembildey" and
"Uzyn-khoyug" are performed by Ak-ool Kara-Sal to his own accompaniment on the
A Tuvan folk musician N. Olzey-ool plays a tune on the reed folk instrument -
temir-khomus. It is a bent metal plate with a chipped off lath vibrating when touched by a
Kara-kyz Munzuk sings a modern song "To Summer Pastures" to the accompaniment
of the instrumental trio (two chadagans and a chanzy). The song praises the happiness of