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N. Sengedorj of Mongolia Demonstrates khöömei (Throat-singing) at 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Throat-singing, a guttural style of singing or chanting, is one of the world's oldest forms of music. It is predominantly practiced in rural areas of Central Asia, where it is called khöömei. The herder/hunter lifestyle in rural Central Asia, with its reliance on the natural world and deeply felt connection to the landscape, is reflected in this vocal tradition. Throat-singers often imitate sounds of the natural surroundings—animals, mountains, streams, and the harsh winds of the steppe.