Rentsendorj Ts, Enebish S, Juramt B, Uurtuya Sh, Ganchimeg P, Byambasuren L, Dorjsuren Ts, Erdembileg Ts, Amgalanbaatar D, Dagdanbazar B, Nyamdorj D. A study on structure and functions of organs involved in the formation of mongolian khuumii sound. Head and neck. Russian Journal. 2020;8(3):8–15
The authors are responsible for the originality of the data presented and the possibility of publishing illustrative material – tables, figures, photographs of patients.
Khuumii (throat singing) is a unique form of art derived from the nomadic population of Central Asia, producing two or more “simultaneous” sounds and melodies through the organ of speech. The aim of the study is to identify the anatomical structures involved in the formation of khuumii and the features and patterns of their functions and compare each type of khuumii as performed by Mongolian people. A total of 60 participants aged 18-60 years (54 men and 6 women) were selected by non-random sampling method using cross-sectional study. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 23 software using questionnaires, X-ray, endoscopy, sound research method, and general blood tests.
90.7% of the khuumii singers were male and 9.3% were female. The average height of the participants was 172.91±0.93 cm (arithmetic mean and mean error), average body weight was 77.53±2.46 kg, and body mass index was 25.93±5.31 respectively. Heart rate was 92.19±20.71 per minute prior to khuumii while 133.19±19.09 after performing khuumii and 85.81-98.56 at 95% confidence interval. In terms of ethnicity (ethnographically), the Khalkh were the largest ethnic group (72.1%), followed by Bayad, Buryatia, Darkhad, Torguud, and Oirat (2.3%), respectively. 60.5% of the participants were professional khuumii singers who graduated from relevant universities and colleges.
The process of Khuumii was recorded by X-ray examination, and laryngeal endoscopy evaluated the movement of true and false vocal chords, glottal volume, movements of epiglottis and arytenoid cartilage, and mucosa. Khuumii increases the workload of the cardiovascular system by 70-80%. Furthermore, the sound frequency is 2-4 times higher than that of normal speech, and sound volume is 0.5-1 times higher. 95.3% of throat singers did not have a sore throat, 88.4% did not experience heavy breathing, and 74.1% had no hoarseness. During the formation of khuumii sound, thoracic cavity, diaphragm, and lungs regulate the intensity of the air reaching the vocal folds, exert pressure on the airways and vibrate the sound waves through air flows passing through the larynx and vocal folds. Mouth-nose cavity as well as pharynx are responsible for resonating the sound. It is appropriate to divide khuumii into two main styles according to structural and functional changes in the organs involved; shakhaa and kharkhiraa. Khuumii, the “Human music” originating from the people of Altai Khangai basin by imitating the sounds of nature with their own voice in ancient times, spread all over the world from Mongolia. Keywords: throat singing; true vocal fold; false vocal fold; voice source; vibration mode; phoniatry
Conflicts of interest. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Funding. There was no funding for this study.