Talk:Circular breathing

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This article has been classified as relating to the physiology of the respiratory system.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan[edit]

There is no source of the information on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan singing while circular breathing. For more, it is not possible to sing while just pushing air from mouth, because the air has to go through vocal cords. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Multimotyl (talkcontribs) 10:24, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan may be a great singer, but I am unaware of any recording of a continuous note, and this is the only place I've seen it claimed that he can "circular sing". As circular breathing has been explained to me, and with just a little anatomy, this seems impossible. He may be able to sing semi-continuously, melismatically, even "inwardly", but I think this claim is untrue. Mechanically, the only way is if he was compressing his intercostal muscles and dropping his diaphragm, and the two air currents would still meet in his larynx, breaking the vocalization. I'm removing this claim. -Nick

Di zi[edit]

I don't think it's accurate to say that circular breathing is an integral part of dizi playing any more than it is on any other wind instrument (though some modern players may use it now). The launeddas or didjeridu, however, must use it.


"moto perpetuo" was of course written for violin, and only transcribed for the trumpet in the 20th century. and Rahsaan Roland Kirk is known to hold the record attributed to kenny G, playing a note for over two hours.

As a result, perhaps this sentence should be rewritten, as the piece obviously did not require circular breathing when it was written, as it was originally for the violin... Tagith (talk) 21:40, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, arguably, it is only claimed that the transcription by Rafael Mendez for trumpet required circular breathing. But given that Rafael Mendez wasn't born until 1906, his transcription, whether it counts as a composition requiring circular breathing or not, cannot possibly be an exception to the claim that there was little call for circular breathing prior to the twentieth century. I'm rewriting the sentence, although, I also suggest that perhaps it should simply be deleted. (talk) 23:31, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


This article seems to be a Wikibook a whole lot more than a Wikipedia article, will anyone be making a Wikibook on Circular breathing? --Tahren B 08:07, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Maybe if you could explain what exactly a Wikibook is, people could know better how to answer this. Badagnani 18:53, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
As you request. Wikibooks is a Wikipedia-like project which hosts many textbooks on a range of topics. These textbooks are made to help people accomplish tasks or learn something new. This article seems to be closer to being a Wikibook than a Wikipedia article in that it is more about how to circular breathe rather than about circular breathing. --Tahren B 04:11, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Kenny G?[edit]

If the record was nearly doubled why mention Kenny G at all? He sucks... --—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

He was mentioned because he is the most famous person who uses circular breathing. (talk) 02:16, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Plus he set the original record. Before his record, there wasn't one. --Cdman882 (talk) 04:03, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


Circular breathing is an integral part of zurna playing, at least in Turkey, because the music at the weddings demands it, where zurna is typically played. Of course not all zurna players practice it but almost all do. I think this should be added. Actually that is the only kind of music I know which mandates this technique Ozkaplan 06:49, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Zurna is in the list. Most instruments in the zurna family also use circular breathing. Badagnani 06:58, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

other uses[edit] 20:30, 7 May 2007 (UTC) circular breathing isn't just for wind instruments, both martial artists and singers use the technique

How is it possible to sing with this? You can't keep singing with just the air held in your cheeks, can you? KenFehling (talk) 10:04, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Taoist Circular Breathing[edit]

In Taoist health breathing 'circular breathing' refers to breathing without a pause. That is to say taking a deep (abdominal) breath and exhaling without holding the breath. For further reference see Daniel Read's 'The Tao of Sex, Love and Longevity'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:02, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


The Kenny G page says that he held a note for just over 45 minutes (the reference states that it was 45 min. 47 seconds). This page says he held it for over 48 minutes; the reference doesn't seem to say anything about the record. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:20, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

2nd paragraph of Method[edit]

I would argue that the water fountain example isn't very good as in circular breathing, you are inhaling through the nose while exhaling through the mouth; while when drinking water you are both inhaling air through the nose and inhaling water (in this case, drinking), which is much easier. -- (talk) 06:11, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Integral to technique[edit]

I interpret this as meaning you cannot play the instrument in question properly without using a circular breathing technique. As such, saxophone and flute definitely don't qualify (no matter how important the technique may be to virtuosic players), and I don't know enough about some of these other instruments to judge. However, I suspect we could cull more of this list.

Of course, listing all instruments for which circular breathing is possible would be excessive and crufty. /ninly(talk) 16:06, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Musicians known for circular breathing[edit]

The Musicians known for circular breathing section specifies that it should only include players of instruments not listed in the previous section. I have therefore removed a few entries that mention only listed instruments. This is absolutely not meant as disrespect to non-Western music or musicians, but purely as an attempt to make the list honour its own stated criteria. I have also italicized the criterion itself for emphasis, to hopefully prevent this mistake from being made in future.

The entries I've removed are:

  • Djivan Gasparyan - He plays the duduk (or "tsiranapogh" literally "apricot horn"), a double reed woodwind instrument
  • Ferhat Erdem - Turkish kaval player at TRT
  • Rolf Harris - Painter, TV personality and player of the didgeridoo

There are at least two alternatives to the approach I've taken:

  • Add another subsection, for players of instruments that are usually circularly breathed
  • Simply remove the constraint, making it OK for players of all instruments to be included in one big list

Either of these would rather suit me, as there are a couple of didge players I'd like to add :-) Erics (talk) 13:36, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Removed the limbe players too, for the reason stated above:
  • Baldantseren Battuvshin- mongolian limbe player/flute/
  • Tserenbaljir Tsevegsuren- mongolian limbe player/flute/
  • Mahbal Lhagvagerel- mongolian limbe player/flute/
Erics (talk) 13:51, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi. I intend to remove most of the entries in that list soon, since most are not presented with verifiability, either inline or in the musician's article. --Ds13 (talk) 23:15, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Great Highland Bagpipes[edit]

Although the bag acts as a reservoir of air similar to the cheeks in circular breathing, the piper has no need to perform circular breathing and would gain no advantage from doing so. I am therefore removing Great Highland Bagpipes from the list of instruments with circular breathing integral to technique. John Link (talk) 16:54, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Add Bill Watrous, trombonist[edit]

Trombonist Bill Watrous has been teaching circular breathing since that late 1970's, at a minimum. I learned it from him at a clinic. There's plenty of evidence in a simple google search: [1] TheDudley (talk) 03:35, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Discuss tongue usage and placement in the Method section[edit]

The Method section does not discuss the use of the tongue when circular breathing. The blocks the back of the throat after the cheeks are full. This allows inhalation through the nose while the cheeks squeeze air into the instrument. The tongue returns to its normal position, unblocking the throat, when the lungs are full. TheDudley (talk) 03:35, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^