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Timo Kalmu









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Subject: “White voice” (Ukrainian: білий голос, Polish: biały głos)
WHITE VOICE SINGING
These Ukrainian Babas (бабусі/babusi) are singing in a traditional style called, “White voice” (Ukrainian: білий голос, Polish: biały głos) or “white singing” (Ukrainian: білий спів, Polish: biały śpiew). It is singing style done by women. This technique is based on the open throat and primarily exploits the chest register and is akin to controlled yelling or shouting. The vocal range is restrictive. This unique vocal technique was developed in rural Ukraine and is a part of the strong Eastern European tradition of open throat ritual singing. An old name for this performance is “Holosinnia” a ritual wailing performed by women. Having its origins in working in the field it emphasizes intensity, sometimes being referred to as “śpiewokrzyk" ("singing-cry"). It can take a form of polyphonic (the simultaneous combination of two or more tones or melodic lines) and monophonic (a single vocal melody). It is known as “white voice” or “white singing” because it gives the impression of brightness and it pierces space with its strong vibration.
This singing technique been practiced since ancient times among the rural population in Eastern Europe. Loud and clear singing originates from practicing in the open air while working in the field. The white voice has been used during such rites of passage as baptism, weddings, burials and annual rituals bound to rural year, khorovodes - an ancient style of circle dancing and chorus singing at the same time.
Best known contemporary bands that continue that style of singing are Bulgarian Voices Angelite, Svetlana Spajić from Serbia, Trys Keturiose from Lithuania that sing sutartinės, Południce from Poland, Narodnyj Prazdnik (Народний Праздник) from Russia and Guda from Belarus.

March 04, 2022 09:34AM
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