Updated: May 28
The longer I teach, the more I realize that the soundmaking found in Balkan folksinging is found not only in the Balkans. This past year I have been working with a student on how to safely sing rock and roll, and I find that the technique involved is very similar to what creates the bright sound we look for in Balkan folksinging. It's all about placement, that is, it's where the sound is resonating inside the singer. A bright sound is made by allowing the vibrating breath to fill the mouth, or really the skull, all the way to the front, encountering the teeth, the upper jaw above the teeth, and the nasal passages. The soundwaves bouncing around on all that bone get sharpened and amplified, making "white voice", Balkan voice, or rock belting able to just fall out of the open mouth. Placement must start forward, and stay forward, no matter the pitch, vowel, or consonant.