5 Exotic Musical Techniques

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5 Exotic Musical Techniques


Konnakol is the South Indian art of vocal percussion. It is a component of ‘solkattu,’ the language of drum syllables, along with ‘tala’ (or ‘taal’), the percussive part done with the hand on a ‘mridangam’ drum. Withtala, the meter is kept with waves, claps, and finger counts, while the musician simultaneously vocalizes thekonnakol.
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John McLaughlin, a British musician and guitar virtuoso who studied konnakol and other Indian techniques and styles, said of konnakol: ‘if you can understand Konnakol—the most superior system of learning rhythm in the world—you can understand any rhythm from any country on the planet.’

It even helps metal musicians to get better at their sense of rhythm.

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Eefing is a fast-paced Appalachian singing technique. Jennifer Sharpe, who profiled legendaryeefer Jimmie Riddle on NPR, described it as ‘a kind of hiccupping, rhythmic wheeze that started in rural Tennessee more than 100 years ago.’
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Eefing originated in rural farming communities in Tennessee whereeephers would imitate the sounds of their pigs and turkeys. Eephing had never seen much in the way of mainstream success, but got its 15 minutes of fame in 1963 when Riddle was featured on Joe Perkins’s single 'Little Eefin’ Annie.'
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Tuvan Throat Singing

Tuvan Throat Singing is one particular variant of overtone singing practiced by people in Mongolia, Inner Mongolia,Tuva and Siberia. Overtone singing likely originated in Mongolia, in the regions now known as Khovd and Govi-Altai. In Mongolian throat singing, the performer produces a fundamental pitch and—simultaneously—one or more pitches over that. The people of Tuva have a broad range of throat singing vocalizations and were the pioneers of six pitch harmonics. According to one of the classification schemes, there are three basic singing styles:khoomei,kargyraa andsygyt, while the sub-styles includeborbangnadyr,chylandyk,dumchuktaar,ezengileer andkanzyp.
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Keening is a traditional form of vocal lament for the dead. In Ireland and Scotland, it is customary for women to wail or keen at funerals. Keening has also been used as part of civil disobedience and protest. While generally carried out by one or several women, a chorus may be intoned by all present. Physical movements involving rocking, kneeling or clapping may accompany the keening woman (beanchaointe).
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Circular Breathing

Circular Breathing is a technique used by players of some wind instruments to produce a continuous tone without interruption. The technique was developed independently by several cultures and is used for many traditional wind instruments.
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The musician inhales fully and begins to exhale and blow. When the lungs are nearly empty, the last volume of air is blown into the mouth, and the cheeks are inflated with part of this air. Then, while still blowing this last bit of air out by squeezing the cheeks, the musician must very quickly fill the lungs by inhaling through the nose prior to running out of the air in the mouth. If done correctly, by the time the air in the mouth is nearly exhausted the musician can begin to exhale from the lungs once more, ready to repeat the process again.
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In 1997, Kenny G used circular breathing to sustain an E-flat on saxophone for 45 minutes and 47 seconds, setting a Guinness World Record. His record has since been beaten.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I use a technique called "edging". It's when u get very close to finishing a play through of a song but you re-start in order to master the entire song then once u nail it 100% u can finally play the last section and it's a major release
    C-C Beatroot
    I've loved this song "Parlor" by asa-chang & junray for years, it's interesting to find out now that Konnakol is the thing they do in it
    Unrelated to the topic, but I'm reading all kind of news elsewhere that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park has commited suicide. It has not been officially confirmed but I really hope it is not true :-( 
    Yeah( that's so sad ( linkin park were such a big part of my teenage years