Khoomii is a traditional form of song which comes from deep in the throat. It is most extraordinary in that a well-trained voice can produce two or even threenotes simultaneously. Khoomii in Mongolian literally means pharynx, and is sung only man.
Mongol khoomii needs a guttural voice and a very special way of breathing, using the throat as an instrument rather than a way of singing, hence it is sometimes also called throat singing. The best khoomii performers come from certain areas with a tradition of the art. They include especially Khovd aimag where a large number of the best-known khoomii performers were born.
When being sung, one note comes out as a fluting, whistle like sound, the result of locked breath in the chest being forced out through the throat in special way, while at the same a bass note seems to come from deep in the stomach. The various type of note in khoomii depend on the direction of air breathed out. Some types are:
Kharkhiraa khoomii: under strong pressure of the throat, air is breathed out, producing a bass sound.
Bagalzuryn (laryngeal) khoomii: locked breath is exhaled, squeezed from the larynx.
Tagnainy (palantie) khoomii: locked breath is exhaled while squeezed through the palate.
Hoolian (guttural) khoomii: locked breath is exhaled past the end of the tongue.
Hamryn (nasal) khoomii: locked breath is let out through the nose.