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Microtonal singing is an toning technique that seems incredibly simple, and yet it can have astoundingly powerful effects. It can be similar to singing with vibrato, but is different. It can sound amazing in a way that makes your spine tingle, or out of tune, like a someone singing way off key, but either way, we have found it to be incredibly powerful and moving.
Microtonal singing has roots in North India's raga form music and uses the Solfeg or Solfeggio Musical Scale.
What is Microtonal Singing?
Microtones are the sounds between the notes. Although we normally only hear music in the west that is based on the 12 musical notes, there are actually "unmusical notes" that are the sounds between the 12 notes used in the Western Equal Tempered Musical Scale.
As many singers have discovered, singing these other "unmusical notes" can actually feel really good, even if everyone around us gives us a sour look and says we're singing "off key." The same holds true for musicians that play fretless instruments like the violin. They are not stuck with just the 12 musical notes, but actually have immediate access to the whole spectrum of sounds.
Getting back to the point, toning off key can be a powerful tool for bringing up emotions, and we believe even at balancing the voice. Most any toning can be done on or off key. We like to take microtonal singing one step further however, and suggest that you waver your voice up and down in a way that is similar to adding vibrato, but done intentionally. From what we understand vibrato is a somewhat natural effect. In this style of microtoning, we do not want to start automatically wavering with vibrato, but instead want to intentionally waver the voice up and down.
This intentional wavering will hopefully work to vibrate your body and being at frequencies that are normally deficient in your voice.
The Oneness Sound Assistant method of vocal analysis actually collaborates that this technique would be very powerful. In vocal analysis, we find that the volume of vocal output often varies greatly even in a very short pitch range. There, we think that this technique may be a way to naturally exercise the voice to create those missing frequencies.
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The information published on this web site is for entertainment purposes only and is in no way intended to dispense medical advice or opinion or to substitute for professional medical care, whether advice, diagnosis or treatment, by a medical practitioner. If you have a medical issue or feel ill, you should consult a health care professional.