With Harmonics to Inner Harmony

overtone singing
as a path of the voice
is a chance
to be creative and it is
an artistic expression
you are
in contact
and involvement
with your inner side. Overtone singing -
of your voice
is a chance, to find
the inner core and harmony
of being and an invitation to rest
in pure and naked

Nine exercises for overtone singing

I. Humming

We begin to hum. Hovering slightly overlap your lips. The oral cavity is filled with sound, the sound itself flows out through your nose. The chin is tilted toward the sternum. Now we start with easy chewing. At the same time the tongue supports the movements while she tongue is moving through the oral cavity, even touches the hard palate, then again pushes forward or emigrated with her whole face on the palate along. The tongue changes the pressure and the contact surface on the palate and thus our mouth, the resonating body of the instrument, which we are ourselves. We suspect the first spoors of overtones, so called implicit overtones. While we are doing this, we feel our resonant cavities in the head and let move the vibrations above the spine into the soles of the feet. So we are beginning to be a space for vibration, pulsation and vitality.

II. Humming and body-borne sound

With the forefingers we close now our both ears and begin again to hum. We will hear our voice above the bone paths and thus as body-borne sound. While we hum, we scan with the tongue our palate and begin to move the sound chewing in the mouth back and forth. Bright, changing sound spectra arrive.

III. »nnhnn«

At the "nnhnn" the tip of the tongue touches to the front part of the palate up to the incisor teeth. The mouth is slightly open, while the sound itself is purely nasal. You can check this by the way if you go even holding your nose. We let flow the "nnhnn" continuously through the nose and bring the seat of the sound in the oral cavity far forward as possible. The brainpan begins to vibrate and the contact of the nasal bone with your fingers helps, to bring the seat of the sound even further forward. Again, we begin to move the tongue along the hard palate and thereby to and thereby to vary the pressure and contact surface on the palate. This gives rise to high and very fine overtones.


»Listening is an arbitrary, active action, which opens a human being to everything, for others as well as themselves. It also provides the ability, to go far beyond and to reach an extended connection with a whole across all borders, in which each human can understand himself as a vital part of the whole.

Listening, that means to experience, that someone is one of these particles, but also and above all, that someone belongs to the rest of the harking world as a particle in listening.

Listening is a manifestation of the continuing concern, which the human being offers even the slightest detail of creation. And to this life listening is directed«.

(Alfred A. Tomatis - Translated by Jens Mügge)


IV. »ng«

At the "ng" we close the pharynx, while the mouth itself is open. The "ng" can be found as the final sound in words like "gong" or "song". At first it seems very strange for us, to endure a "ng" singing. If there can be heard a vowel, we haven't closed the throat and the sound streams out from the mouth. Is the throat, however, quite close, the sound streams out from the nose. If we keep the nose thereby, the sound stops. Now we move the lips while our mouth is closed and open the lips a little bit, more or less - the mouth opens even wider, even more pointed. Here we can hear how very soft and fine overtones arise, as if they were floating in front of our lips. In a major sound the harmonics change and get on or off depending on the position of the mouth.

V. »ngo«

Now we can open and close the throat pulsed repeatedly, so that a "ngongongongongo ...." arises. as if we were sing the word "gong" again quickly after the other on a fundamental tone. We imagine that we have a small singing bowl in the mouth, which we strike with a small invisible clapper again and again. The "o" of "gong" shall sound like the "o" in "operator" or the word "hello". We continue, by changing the vowels with each new impulse for example "gongungangingö". The different brightness levels of the vowels bring different overtones. As with the previous exercises and also for the following exercises apply, articulate clearly, go the way gently and slowly, to choose a tone, which feels comfortably and pleasantly with the pitch, about the pitch of my speaking voice and understand singing as a transformation process of breathing in sound, that means, that you do not put your breathing under pressure, but rather to let the breath flow out completely solved.

VI. »noejoou«

As for "joy". Until the "e" increase the overtones on bright, at the german "j" begins the descent of the overtones. Then we run the sound gradually into the german "u". This exercise produces the so longed flute-like overtones. If possible, the lips don't move during the entire sequence of vowels, instead, the tongue is now very active in play. She floats with its tip at the "e" way ahead of the mouth between the upper and lower incisors and then pulling the darkening of vowels gradually downwards and backwards back into the mouth interior. If you have practiced this so the lips can support the sound still, by the lips pucker ever the darker the tone is.


»What we call music in our everyday language is only a miniature-like section of the music and the harmony of the universe acting behind everything and the source and origin of nature is. What draws us to music, is the fact that our being is music. Our minds, our bodies and the nature in which we live and which has made us, all that is above and below and around us: all this is music. Every human being is music, eternal music, sounding day and night.« (Hazrat Inayat Khan)


VII. »oh«

With the attitude of delighted amazement passes an "oh" out of our mouth, which massaging the dome of our palate with its oscillations slightly. The lips are formed round, the tongue floats freely in the oral cavity. The sound is completely withdrawn, as if you did not sing himself. Rather, it seems that the sound will flow into us and sing us. Begins the tongue to move in our mouth back and forth, there are subtle overtones.

VIII. »Me-You«

While you are singing "Me" the harmonics rise and while you are singing "You" the harmonics glide slowly down like on a rainbow. You can help the sound singing "Me" with a little smile - just smile if you sing "Me", at the path of the "You" the mouth is more and more pointed and round. We imagine that we push out the sound from the mouth forward to the foremost point of the mouth. The mouth is pointed and sharp. If we have reached the "u" of "You",the mouth is formed into a pout like a fish mouth. In process of this sound we tend our chin gradually sternum toward. This relaxes the cervical spine, fills them in a pleasant way with vibration and relieves the vocal tract.

IX. »...noijöhongangungaiiiööoohm ...«

We vary and combine now different vowel combinations and techniques. It is very helpful in singing harmonics to consider the following sentences: Choose a comfortable pitch. Usually the pitch of our speaking voice is well appropriate. It is helpful to begin with speaking, then continue in a kind of sing-song and at the end sing musicial notes. The breath flows easily from the mouth and transformed into sound. Each pressure takes away sonority. When singing overtones, we think of a large and wide space in ourselves. Even less we produce something, the room itself seems to sing in us, seems to sing into our body and mind. Overtones love slow, merging into each other transitions, which are accompanied with mindfulness. The important thing is not to arrive at a vowel, but rather like to move on a sound trail of change. Closed eyes enhance our response capability. The eye leads the people into the world, the ear leads the world into the people. Extends the breath for our lives, it is also sufficient for singing. Since we have no specified text, no melody and no rhythm, which gives our breath a structure like it is in usual singing, we have to organize this on our own. This results in some beginners that they think they are particularly short of breath. The encounter we can do if we do not sing until the last breath, but still feel breathing reserves in us. Inhalation is a more astonished admitting the breath from the lower abdomen, while keeping the shoulders relaxed. And now if space remains for enjoyment and pleasure that we swing, then we can find through that sound to our inner core and we can find with harmonics to inner harmony.