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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,freda Inuit (eskimo) throat singing (10) RE: Inuit (eskimo) throat singing 22 Jun 04


you can find out about inuit singing at this link:

www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/inuit.htm
some excerpts follow:

Inuit Throat-Singing

Inuit throat-singing is not singing per se. Ethnomusicologists suggest that it should be viewed as vocal games or breathing games more than anything else.
Inuit throat-singing is done the following way: two women face each other; they may be standing or crouching down; one is leading, while the other responds; the leader produces a short rhythmic motif, that she repeats with a short silent gap in-between, while the other is rhythmically filling in the gaps. The game is such that both singers try to show their vocal abilities in competition, by exchanging these vocal motives. The first to run out of breath or be unable to maintain the pace of the other singer will start to laugh or simply stop and will thus loose the game. It generally last between one and three minutes. The winner is the singer who beats the largest number of people.

Originally, the lips of the two women were almost touching, each one using the other's mouth cavity as a resonator1 . Today, most singers stand straight, facing one another and holding each other's arms. Sometimes they will do some kind dance movements while singing (e.g., balancing from right to left). The sounds used include voiced sounds as well as unvoiced ones, both through inhalation or exhalation. Because of this, singers develop a breathing technique, somewhat comparable to circular breathing used by some players of wind instruments. In this way, they can go on for hours.
Words and meaningless syllables are used in the songs. When words are used, no particular poetical meaning or regular meaning are assigned to them. These words can simply be names of ancestors, a word or name meaningful at the time the games are taking place, or other common words. The meaningless syllables generally portray sounds of nature or cries of animals or birds, or sounds of everyday life. These songs are generally identified by the first word, meaningful or not, of the game. In some regions, throat-songs may recount a story of some sort, though in Northern Quebec no stories are recounted, and may even include some improvisation... this article is much longer and goes into more detail.

as well, if you put Inuit and singing into google, you'll find masny other articles as well.
best wishes

freda


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