Learning to Throat Sing

23 minutes

Throat singing is one of the world’s oldest forms of music. It’s practiced by indigenous groups in several parts of the world, including South Africa and the Canadian Arctic. But mostly when people talk about throat singing, they’re referring to the style performed in the remote Russian republic of Tuva, which the local people call khoomei. It’s an ancient practice created by the nomadic people of Central Asia who were trying to mimic sounds of nature like the songs of birds, a babbling brook, or even the growls of a camel. On this episode of Far From Home, I visit the city of Kyzyl in the Republic of Tuva to learn about traditional music and instruments, and to try to learn to throat sing myself.

Read more about my visit and see photos and videos of the Tuvan National Orchestra on my website.


On Far From Home, award-winning public radio journalist Scott Gurian documents fascinating stories from far-flung places like Iran, Chernobyl, and Mongolia. For more info, visit farfromhomepodcast.org

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