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.