Ludwig van Beethoven’s most famous melody “Joy, beautiful spark of the gods” from his 9th Symphony in D minor op. 125 is completely contained in the overtones of a single tone. Beethoven never heard this melody himself, because he had already been completely deafened at the premiere.

The version for overtone singing is easy to sing, a good exercise to learn how to control overtones. Since the highest note should not exceed D7 (d4), the highest possible fundamental tone is g (G3). This is still an attainable vocal range for low female voices.

Because the ear can be guided by the familiar melody, it is usually automatically adjusted to the fundamental in places where the overtones deviate too much from the familiar. It is a good exercise to keep the intonation constant and hear the melody as a pure natural melody.

I am looking forward to comments, own edits and also sound files, which I will gladly publish here on request. You can also post links to your recordings in the commentary.

Sheet Music Download:

MuseScore file, for editing in an ingenious freeware note-writing software MuseScore:

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