Applied Math Seminar | Christopher Bergevin, Overtone focusing in biphonic Tuvan throat singingExport this event to calendar

Thursday, November 14, 2019 — 2:30 PM EST

MC 6460<--break-><--break-><--break-><--break->

<--break->Speaker

Christopher Bergevin  | Department of Physics and Astronomy, York University 

Title

Overtone focusing in biphonic Tuvan throat singing

Abstract

Khoomei is a unique singing style originating from the Central Asian republic of Tuva. Singers produce two pitches simultaneously: a booming low-frequency rumble alongside a hovering high-pitched whistle-like tone. The biomechanics of this biphonation are not well-understood.n Here, we use sound analysis, dynamic magnetic resonance imaging, and vocal tract modeling to demonstrate how biphonation is achieved by modulating vocal tract morphology. Tuvan singers show remarkable control in shaping their vocal tract to narrowly focus the harmonics (or overtones) emanating from their vocal cords. The biphonic sound is a combination of the fundamental pitch and a focused filter state, which is at the higher pitch (1-2 kHz) and formed by merging two formants, thereby greatly enhancing sound-production in a very narrow frequency range. Most importantly, we demonstrate that this biphonation is a phenomenon arising from linear filtering rather than a nonlinear source.

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