Beethoven “Ode to Joy” with Overtone Singing (MRI) – see what happens inside the mouth
The famous Ode to Joy (Freude schöner Götterfunken) in occidental throat singing style by Wolfgang Saus.
More information: http://www.oberton.org
What you see in this amazing dynamic MRI (MRT) is the tongue movement building up double resonances along the melody line of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. Overtone singing is based on bringing together the second and third resonance frequency of the vocal trakt (also referred to as “formants”) on one frequency to enhance the loudness of a single overtone in the vocal sound spectrum. The second formant is controlled by the root of the tongue together with the epiglottis. The third formant is ruled by the space under the tongue, which is bigger than it seems in the video. Overtone singing is a constantly fine adjustment of the two resonance cavities.
It’s not easy to record (and sing) sound in the very noisy environment of a MRT (MRI). The team in Freiburg developed highly specialized equipment for recording and filtering. Nevertheless, the sound is of course not HiFi.
MRT footage with kind permission and many thanks to:
University Medical Center Freiburg
Medical Physics Dept. of Radiology &
Institut for Musicians’ Medicine
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Richter
Prof. Dr. Dr. Jürgen Hennig
Prof. Dr. Matthias Echternach