This incredible vocalist teaches you how to sing two notes at the same time

29 October 2021, 16:22

Anna-Maria Hefele overtone singing
Anna-Maria Hefele overtone singing. Picture: YouTube / Anna-Maria Hefele

By Kyle Macdonald

It might sound like a vocal impossibility, but you can actually sing two notes at once – and the result is one of the most amazing things we've heard.

One singer, one voice, one note, right? After all, we only have one mouth and one voicebox. But prepared to be amazed...

German singer Anna-Maria Hefele shares the – frankly – mind-bending possibilities of overtone singing, where one person sings two notes at the same time. The polyphonic qualities are possible when a vocalist is able to manipulate the natural resonances of their vocal tract.

Read more: The incredible sound of a father and daughter’s Mongolian throat singing duet

As our vocalist explains, multiple notes are possible when the singer sustains a low note while simultaneously singing a high-pitched scale. The result is both enthralling and haunting.

We’ll let Anna-Maria walk you through it...

polyphonic overtone singing - Anna-Maria Hefele

Anna-Maria's YouTube demonstrations of this technique have really ( resonated with viewers, and people wanting to discover more about this fascinating ability. To date, her videos have had over 20 million views.

It is thought that the art of overtone singing originated in Mongolia. The technique is found in the vocal characteristics of Tibetan Buddhist chanting, Kurdistan, and throughout central Asia. It’s also thought to be similar to a now-lost style of Japanese throat singing called rekuhkara.

The musical traditions of Sardinia, Italy also utilise overtone singing.

Back to our practitioner, Anna-Maria – here’s a great visual representation of what’s happening harmonically...

polyphonic overtone singing - explained visually