With the exception of academic papers and as yet untranslated books from Russia, there are only two books available on this subject.
Jonathan Goldman :
Healing Sounds -The Power of Harmonics Element Books 1992.
A guide to vocal harmonics concentrating on their use in healing, in shamanism, in the occult and in tantric practice. There is a guide to the use of vowel sounds in toning and a chapter on overtoning.
Overtone Singing – a study guide
This is the only truly practical guide available to overtoning. It is suitable both for beginners and those who already know the basics. It is comprehensive, covering the history and the theory as well as being a step by step guide to the technique. Included is a CD which has over 90 vocal exercises which are musically notated in the book; an added bonus for those who can read music. Full review by James D’Angelo in Caduceus #40
Book with CD £20 + £1-42 p&p available from
Cryptic Voices Productions
BCM – Rachele
London WC1N 3XX
Tel 07000 78 55 65
Song of the Harmonics
Award winning video produced by Trân Quang Hai and Hugo Zemp in 1989. It runs 38 minutes and is designed for the general public as well as for the specialist. Includes realtime x-ray footage of lip and tongue movements and spectrographic footage of Mongolian, Tuvan and Tibetan overtone singers.
There is an English version in PAL format (as well as a French version in SECAM). For individuals the cost is 150 FF, for institutions it is 250 FF.plus 15 FF p&p
An order form is available from :
1 Place Aristide Briand,
92195 Meudon Cedex
Tel 00 33 1 45 07 56 86
Fax 00 33 1 45 07 58 60
Courses, Teachers and Healers
Teaches overtone singing and runs voice and sound exploration workshops. Is also available for individual overtone tuition and Reiki healing sessions.
34 Marchmont Cresent
Edinburgh EH9 1HG
Tel 0131 667 9657
Uses overtoning in his Exploring Sacred Sound workshops as part of the process of self-healing.
Greenlands, Gasper, Stourton,
Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 6PY
Tel 01747 840 391
Fax 01747 840 824
Teaches overtoning based on the work of Jonathan Goldman as part of her workshops in the North East of England and the London area.
1A Railway Cottages
Pinchinthorpe, nr Guisborough
Tel 01287 636 350
Michael is at present the only teacher of authentic Mongolian xöömii in the UK, his work having been accepted by the Mongolian xöömii masters Gereltsogt and Tserendaava. He gives individual lessons and runs workshops on the techniques of Mongolian and western style overtoning.
Tel 0181 291 1089
One of the first to start teaching overtones in the UK after studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen and still one of the longest established.
8 Elms Avenue
London N10 2JP
Tel 0181 444 4855
The foremost teacher in the UK for western style overtoning with a direct, practical approach which he delivers with great enthusiasm. Based in Wiltshire, he also gives workshops and teaches in London.
Cryptic Voices Productions
BCM – Rachele
London WC1N 3XX
Tel 07000 78 55 65
Works with overtone singing as part of her therapeutic work which includes colour healing, zero balancing and voice work. She also runs courses in overtone singing, chanting and breathing.
The Calcite Centre
The Old Malthouse
Westwood, Bradford on Avon
Wilts, BA15 2AG
01 225 864 905
Gives concerts and seminars using overtoning and Tibetan singing bowls
Institute of Art and Sound
Deventerweg 63, 7203 Zutphen AD
Tel + 31 5750 40378
Runs courses in overtone singing in the Paris area.
Pommereau, 41240 Autainville
Tel + 33 254 72 82 10
Fax + 33 254 72 82 12
Runs workshops and intensive courses on the healing use of sound including overtoning technique mostly in the United States.
Sound Healers Association
PO Box 2240
Boulder CO, 80306 USA
Tel + 1 303 443 8181
Fax + 1 303 443 6023
Teaches overtone singing in Switerland. Also teaches sound healing for therapists. Uses also gongs and Tibetan Singing bowls. Instrument builder: makes monochords and monochord tables.
Das Tessiner – Klanghaus
CH 6661 Loco
Tel 00 41 91 797 2005
Trân Quang Haï
Based in Paris where he runs courses in overtone singing and voice technique. Also carries out research work into voice pathology.
Département d’ethnomusicologie – Musée de l’Homme
75116 Paris – France
Tel 00 331 47 04 58 63
Fax 00 331 53 70 99 82
Teaches overtoning in Germany (North Bavaria). Does healing with colour, light and sound. Teaches healing.
D – 96126
Tel 00 49 95 32 15 74
Recommended Recordings of Mongolian Music
Most of the recordings mentioned here should be available from record shops in the UK. We have also included contact addresses for producers and UK distributors where appropriate. Wilde Ones at 283 Kings Road, London SW3 5EW has a good selection and they do mail order. Tel 0171 351 7851
Virtuousos from the Mongol Plateau.
Contains examples of long song, some xöömii and some praise songs including the amazing voice of Norovbanzad, recorded when she was in her sixties.
World Music Library. King Records. KICC 5177
Mongolie: Chamanes et Lamas (Shamans and Lamas)
Long tracks with extracts from shamanic seances and Buddhist prayers
Ocora Radio France C560059
Mongolia: Vocal and Instrumental Music
Good selection of short tracks including good examples of xöömii, also examples of long song, praise songs, morin khuur (horse head fiddle). Liner notes in French and English.
Inedit. Maison des Cultures du Monde. W260009
Jargalant Altai : Xöömii and other vocal and instrumental music from Mongolia
The best available record of contemporary Mongolian xöömii singers including some archive tracks from the sixties and seventies. Plus good liner notes.
Pan Records. PAN2050CD
Mongolia: Living Music of the Steppes
Instrumental Music and Song of Mongolia
Recordings from Mongolian Radio with a good variety of the vocal and instrumental traditions including long song, praise songs, morin khuur and jew’s harp solos as well as xöömii. Multicultural Media MCM3001
Mongolia: Traditional Music.
Not strong on xöömii but including a good selection of long songs, short songs and instrumental solos for morin khuur (horse head fiddle), tobshuur (2 stringed lute) transverse flute, jew’s harp.
UNESCO Auvidis D8207
Recommended Recordings of Tuvan Music
Huun-Huur-Tu : 60 Horses In My Herd
Master xöömii singer Kaigal-ool Khovalyg and his group perform very listenable folk music from Tuva on this studio produced album. A good introduction.
Shanachie SH 64050
Tuva: Voices from the Center of Asia
Recorded in Tuva in 1987 by Ted Levin of the Harmonic Choir, a highly-acclaimed and authentic recording. featuring numerous performers. A sampler of styles rather than a collection of songs. Excellent scholarly liner notes.
Smithsonian Folkways CD SF 40017
Tuva: Voices from the Land of the Eagles
Featuring soloists from the folk ensembles of Tuva.
Pan Records PAN 2005 CD
Tuva: Echoes from the Spirit World
Includes recordings made on tour in 1992 as well as older recordings from Soviet radio. Good liner notes explaining many ideas and terms.
Pan Records PAN 2013 CD
Deep in the Heart of Tuva : Cowboy music from the Wild East
A compilation of the best of Tuva. Includes collaborations such as Huun Huur Tu singing with the Bulgarian women’s choir and also a piece by Sainkho Namchylak a Tuvan woman singer whose free improvisations using extended vocal techniques include xöömii. Includes fascinating 64 page booklet produced by “The Friends of Tuva”.
Ellipsis Arts ELLICD – 4050
distributed in the UK by Sterns
Recommended Recordings of Tibetan Tantric Chanting
Incorrectly referred to as overtone chanting, the Tibetan “one voice chord” is more accurately referred to as Tantric chanting. There are two styles, the Gyuto and the Gyume.
Gyuto Monks : Tibetan Tantric Choir
Long tracks. An excellent recording of this particular style of singing.
Windham Hill WD 2001 (1987)
Gyuto Monks : Freedom Chants from the Roof of the World
First two tracks of Buddhist chanting are excellent recordings. Last track is more of a response to this style of music from musicians such as Kitaro,
Micky Hart and Philip Glass
RykoDisk RCD 20113
Sacred Music, Sacred dance for Planetary Healing and World Purification: Tibetan Buddhist Monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery.
A good one according to Frank Perry.
Music and Arts CD 736
Sacred Ceremonies : Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery
Gyume Chant in a ritual from a monastery in Dharamsala, Nepal recorded digitally by David Parsons. Each singer produces a chord containing two or three tones through the manipulation of overtones. The use of Tibetan drums, cymbals, horns and oboes make this an exhilarating album.
Distributed by Celestial Harmonies
Sacred Ceremonies : Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery Vol 2
Distributed by Celestial Harmonies
Tibet, The Heart of Dharma : the music and lives of exiled Tibetan monks.
A very unusual form of Gyuto chanting. Recorded in 1987-8. Dramatic and haunting album. Plus 64 page booklet with good photographs and information.
Ellipsis Arts ELLICD 4050
Distributed in the UK by Sterns
Sacred Healing Chants of Tibet: Monks of Gaden Shartse monastery
From a Tibetan Buddhist colony in S. India.
East West Music EW 7635
Good recording of Gyume Chanting
Recommended Recordings of Western Overtoning
Jonathan Goldman : Angel of Sound
A “sonic environment” that invokes the energies of sacred sound using Tibetan Overtone Chanting, bells, bowls, Native American Flute, Vocal Harmonics and Drums. Each side of this cassette is the same
Spirit Music JSG 44007
Tape £8-25 plus £1-95 p&p from Susan Lever
Jonathan Goldman – Trance Tara
A trance inducing musical offering to Tara, the Tibetan Goddess of Compassion and Protection. Uses Tibetan Overtone Chanting, Singing Bowls and drumming.
CD 77007 and Cassette from Spirit Music
Available from Wilde Ones.
David Hykes & Harmonic Choir : Hearing Solar Winds:
The first album by Western harmonic singer, David Hykes and his choir who create harmonically related chords that are hypnotic and enchanting to hear. An undisputed classic
Ocora 558607 (1983)
David Hykes & Harmonic Choir : Current Circulation
On this album the singers create new melodies and chords by simultaneously moving both the
harmonic and fundamental notes, sometimes in converging directions, or by holding the high harmonic while varying the fundamental. The result is shimmering and timeless.
Celestial Harmonies 13010-2 (1984)
David Hykes & Harmonic Choir : Harmonic Meetings
Recorded in Le Thoronet Abbey and based on the sacred art of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The chants includes sacred words “Hallelujah” and “Kyrie” chosen for their harmonic content. This is a double album.
Celestial Harmonies 14013-2 (1986)
David Hykes & Harmonic Choir : Windhorse Riders
David Hykes, voice, tanpura, jews harp, samples; Djamchid Chemirani, zarb;
Zameer Ahmed, tabla; Eric Barret, voice
A collaboration with master percussionist Djamchid Chemirani, based on the connections between Harmonic Chant, melody and rhythm
New Albion NA024 (1989)
David Hykes with Djamchid Chemirani : Let the Lover Be
Harmonic Chant plus poetic texts with Rumi translations and poems by Hykes.
Auvidis A 6169 (1991)
David Hykes : True to the Times (How to Be?)
David Hykes, voice, windharp, organ, keyboard; Peter Biffin, dobro; Bruno Caillat, zarb, daff; Tony Lewis, tabla
On this album Hykes’ intention is to develop Harmonic chant into “a unified field joining chant, mode, text and rhythm”.
New Albion NA057 (1993)
David Hykes & Harmonic Choir : Earth to the Unknown Power
A live album which brings the extraordinary acoustic of the Thoronet Abbey in France to The Kitchen, New York City by telephone link. Includes Le Souffle du Seigneur, Sufi poems about Christ.
BMG Classics/Catalyst (1996).
David Hykes & Harmonic Choir : Breath of the Heart
The latest album from David Hykes.
Fonix (October 1997)
All David Hykes’ albums are also available from the Centre Harmoniques (address above under Courses and Teachers – Overseas) Alternatively phone Teri McKenzie + 1 253 473-3933 or email on email@example.com
Nigel Charles Halfhide : Movements of Mind
Entrancing overtone singing as intercultural music with Halfhide accompanied by tambura and harmonium. Jecklin Disco JD 615-2
Nigel Charles Halfhide : Colours of Silence
Nigel sings beautiful overtones, accompanying himself on tambura and harmonium.
Jecklin Disco JD 634-2
Frank Perry: Infinite Peace
A long overtoning track “Golden City of Peace”.
Mountain Bell BL002
Cassette. Plus now available on CD direct from the composer. Reviewed in Caduceus issue 41 .
Frank Perry: Belovodye
Primarily a singing bowl album but Including an impressive track of Tibetan tantric chant with didgeridoo.
Isis Records CD IS03
CD and cassette from the composer
Rollin Rachele : Sound Reflections
Solo virtuoso overtoning album.
Cryptic Voices CD 001
Rollin Rachele : Whistling Pastimes
Overtone singing using Indian ragas and tambura drone.
Cryptic Voices CD 002
Rollin Rachele : Harmonic Divergence
Breaks new ground in the field of overtoning using multitracking, imaginative and original instrumental backings – even a choir of frogs.
(to be released summer 98)
Giacinto Scelsi : Canti del Capricorno
Michiko Hirayama sings these 20 songs with different accompaniments by Giacinto Scelsi, a classical composer whose style went beyond traditional compositional methods and in this case used overtoning.
Karlheinz Stockhausen : Stimmung (1968)
Singcircle version of the earliest piece of classically composed music to use overtoning.
Hyperion CDA 66115
Karlheinz Stockhausen : Stimmung
Paris version in two recordings on two CDs
available on the Stockhausen Verlag Complete Edition Vol. 12.
Michael Vetter : Overtones in Old European Cathedrals – Senanque
Michael Vetter studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen and also lived as a monk in Japan for 11 years. His music has a pure and meditative quality. Many of his other albums are more instrumental but these two are the best for showing what he can do with overtoning.
Wergo SM 1078 – 50
Michael Vetter : Overtones in Old European Cathedrals – Thoronet
Wergo SM 1080 – 50
Recordings for learning overtoning
Jonathan Goldman : Harmonic Journeys
An instructional tape with exercises designed to accompany the book “Healing Sounds”
Tape £9-50 plus £1-95 p&p from Susan Lever
Jill Purce : Overtone Chanting
This 60 minute cassette starts with a ten minute radio interview with Jill Purce and some of the people who have studied with her followed by a sound meditation with solo and group overtone chanting.
Cassette £6-95 plus 60p p&p
Available only from Inner Sound
Jill Purce : The Healing Voice
A lecture and demonstration of overtoning given by Jill in Prague in 1992.
Cassette £6-95 plus 60p p&p
Available only from Inner Sound
Rollin Rachele : Overtone Singing – a study guide
Book (fuller details above) plus CD £20 + £1-42 p&p available from
Addresses of Record Companies and Distributors
Most ofl the recordings referred to should be available from record shops but if you have any problems here are details of the record companies and/or their UK distributors.
Susan Lever “Harmony”
Maison Des Cultures Du Monde,
Music and Arts Programs of America Inc
Ocora Radio France
Wergo is published by
Windham Hill Records
Mongolian and Tuvan Overtone singing
Mongolian Arts and Culture
A general site from the Soros foundation, a page of links on Mongolian culture. including info on newsgroups, an FAQ on the yurt (traditional nomadic home) a guide to publications about Mongolia and the Mongolian language.
Introduction to Mongolian Art, Folk Tradition and Music
Includes a section on folk song, folk instruments and a de……ion of the various techniques of xöömii (throat singing).
Ulan Bator Foundation
This is the homepage of a company that runs tours to Mongolia. It includes a section on Mongolian Music.
Throat Singing Society
From Japan we have a student society whose site (in English) has a downloadable clips of Mongolian and Tuvan throat singing (xöömii), with online instructions on how to do it plus other info on Mongolian music such as the horse head fiddle.
Friends of Tuva on the World Wide Web
Richard Feynman, the physicist was fascinated by Tuvan throat singing and was in the middle of negotiations with the Soviet authorities to travel out there when he died. This page which is part of the site dedicated to his work, includes a good set of links on Tuvan, Mongolian and Siberian music
Greetings from Mongolia
This is the website of the Golomt Center for Shamanist Studies, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It includes an online course on Mongolian Shamanism and some delightful myths from Mongolian and other Siberian peoples.
The Last Siberian Shamans
Part of the website of the Novosibirsk Regional Studies Museum. It has good photographs of Siberian Shamans and their rituals.
Western Overtone singing
The home page for Jonathan Goldman’s record label Spirit Music, including information on his training in the use of sacred sound and information on the Sound Healers Association.
David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir
David Hykes’ home page includes a biography, a list of albums a gallery of images and a calendar of concerts and workshops all over the world.
Home page (in German only, I’m afraid) I’m sure giving lots of information on Vetter’s philosophy of healing and music.
Trân Quang Hai
Homepage (in English and French). You can find many articles written by Trân Quang Hai in English and French, and a very long list of websites concerning every aspect of throat singing in the world. The most updated listing on overtones so far !
Caduceus would like to thank Michael Ormiston, Rollin Rachele, Judi Smith Rachele, Frank Perry and Trân Quang Hai for their help in the preparation of this guide. We have checked the information to the best of our ability but cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. If you find any please let us know.