The Book Overtone Singing: Physics and Metaphysics of Harmonics in East and West

In Overtone Singing, ethnomusicologist and singer Mark van Tongeren provides a fascinating insight into the timeless and universal aspects of sound and vibration. Grounded in a decade-long study of Asian music, he draws upon various fieldwork experiences, interviews with eastern and western musicians, in addition to the work of numerous scholars. He presents a multidisciplinary vision on sound that runs from World and contemporary music to the science of acoustics and perception, to music philosophy and the spiritual dimensions of music. Written in a non-technical style, this book and accompanying audio CD is an indispensable guide to musicians and music lovers seeking a deeper understanding of the nature of sound. Read a fragment of the book! For the second edition many small improvements have been made. The last part of the book, Quintessence: The Great Realm, has been thoroughly rearranged and expanded and is more ‘quintessential’ than it was in the first edition. The bibliography contained only books quoted in the text, and now contains other relevant titles as well. CDs are now listed in a separate discography at the end of the book, and the index has been expanded.

The press about Overtone Singing

“Using overtone singing as both a music genre and a performance technique, Mark van Tongeren weaves a succesful musical ethnography that pivots on sound to engage in a cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary study of music”

“This book strategically intersperses ethnographic description with a personal field journal. Perhaps more importantly, the book brims with varying information drawn from van Tongeren’s experiences as both a researcher and a performer of overtone singing.”

“This book makes a significant contribution to interdisciplinary research and teaching in music. It is suitable for the music specialist who may like to use some ideas in class, and the interested lay reader who is intrigued by the expressive phenomenon of overtone singing.”