Khoomei Corpus: A Singing Voice Audio Database

My Online Ethnomusicology ‘fieldwork’ during Covid-19

From April to May 2021, I study with renowned Mongolian artist/educator ts. tsogtgerel in one-to-one online tutorial sessions. From this experience, I collected rare and first hand audio samples.

Speech, Music, Qiang

The limitless charm of human voice is an inspiration to experimental music: interaction between speech and music, and the functioning of human voice, phonetics and tones, had been my interests when I tried to explore novel singing styles during the recording of my first album Turn Right. In traditional Chinese music, Qiang 腔体 (“tone-pitch” contour) studies such topics, and Music linguistics is another aspiring interdisciplinary field. Charles Dodge, the pioneer of synthesis music, whose work also explore the interaction.

Studying singing voice adopts methods from phonetics, speech and music theory.

Experimental vocals needs constant studies of styles from world music. This thought inspires me to start an ongoing project, collecting audio samples of Khoomei, the unique mongolian singing style, for the use of music generation and recognition in the future.

Listen to Aphasia-Won’t Speak:

my experiment with Speech, Music linguistics, Phonetics, Khoomei with Electronic music.

My Throat Singing Teacher

ts. tsogtgerel: if you’re interested in studying with him, please do email me.


Tsogtgerel Tserendavaa

Born in 1990, year of the horse in Chandmani district in Khovd province, Tsogtgerel lives in Ulaanbaatar. He started learning khöömii when he was 13 years old, from his father Tserendavaa in the pastoral life. Moving from 5 to 6 times a year between the Mount Jargalant Khairkhan and Khar-Us lake and keeping the family herd, Tsogtgerel listened and imitated his father and gradually mastered his overtone techniques. At the age of 16, Tsogtgerel was sent by his father to the University of Culture and Arts in Ulaanbaatar to learn khöömii with another master, Odsuren Baatar. Tserendavaa wanted his son to go beyond enriching what he learnt from him, but above all, to get a professional degree of overtone singer to ensure himself a good career.
Tsogtgerel also plays horse head fiddle morin khuur, flute tsuur, lute tovshuur and mouth harp tumur khuur. He first learnt the fiddle with his father, and then with Duvchin, one of the last teachers kept the Western style of play of this instrument in Mongolia. Tsogtgerel currently works as an overtone singer at Mongolian National Song and Dance Academic Ensemble in Ulaanbaatar. Despite his intense soloist activity, he is regularly invited in Inner Mongolia (China) to teach khöömii.

Discography Tsogtgerel
  • Tserendavaa et Tsogtgerel : Chant diphonique de l’Altaï mongol (N01, Coulaines: Routes Nomades, exhausted, limited to 400 copies, 2006)
  • Tserendavaa & Tsogtgerel, chants diphoniques de l’Altaï mongol (3017742, Paris : Buda Musique, coll. Musiques du monde, 2008)
  • Ts. Tsogtgerel, Mongolian Throat Singing (Ulaanbaatar : autoproduction, 2010)

The Dataset can be used to research:

  1. What is the lower-level representation and interpretation of Khoomei as respectively, speech?
  2. What is the frequency components?
  3. Visualization of Khoomei live performance and recordings (Wave, spectrogram, MFCC, mean-spectrogram, FFT)
  4. Generation and acousmatic use in Electronic music
  5. Recognition of subgenres: Sygyt/Kargyraa..
My practice of Khoomei
Examples in the Database.

Selected Examples in the Database: A Student of My teacher