Traditional music instruments

The instrument is frequently used in accompaniment, occasionally also as a solo instrument. In former times it was made of bamboo or wood, nowadays mostly of plastic, particularly those imported from China. These flutes (transverse flutes) are closely bound up with the nomads of Central Asia.
The length of this instrument is approx. 64 cm, with nine holes, whereof one is the blowhole and two others are reserved for the tuning. It is often played with circular breathing*. The sound reflects what is heard in the nature or the sounds of the natural and social environment.
- *Circular breathing (bituu amisgal): one note is blown while the musician inhales through his nose. The air is collected inside the cheeks and exhaled by the pressure of the cheeks’ muscles (same principle as for the bagpipe). The base of the tongue is used as a valve.
- Ever buree (wind instrument)

Reed instrument – a folk oboe with a conical body made of wood or horn (ever buree = horn), widening towards the end. It has seven finger holes and one thumbhole. A metal staple carries the reed and a lip-disc in the shape of a funnel. The short form of the instrument is known as “haidi”, meaning ‘flute of the sea’.
- Lavai (white shells)
White shells with whorls leading from the left to the right handside are considered a lucky charm, and therefore they are very much in demand. In order to blow them, they are equipped with a mouthpiece made from brass.
According to a Lamaistic legend, Buddha himself gave this instrument to the Dragon King as a present.
- Khuuchir (string instrument)
Formerly, the nomads (called “the savages”) mainly used the snake skin violin or horsetail violin. The Chinese call it “the Mongol instrument” or “Huk’in”. It is tuned in the interval of a fifth and is small or middle sized.
The khuuchir has a small, cylindrical, square or cup-like resonator made of bamboo, wood or copper, covered with a snake skin and open at the bottom. The neck is inserted in the body of the instrument. It usually has four silk strings, of which the first and the third are accorded in unison, whereas the second and fourth are tuned in the upper fifth. The bow is coated with horsetail hair and inseparably interlaced with the string-pairs; in Chinese this is called “sihu”, that is “four”, also meaning, “having four ears”. The smaller instruments have only two strings and are called “erh’hu”, that is “two” in Chinese.
- Tovshuur (string instrument)
The khun tovshuur is a two-stringed instrument similar to the lutes of Tuva, Altai or Kazakhstan. The body and the neck are carved from cedar wood and the body is often covered with the leather of wild animals, camels or goats. The head of the neck is formed like a swan. The Mongol legends say that they originate from a swan. The strings are wound from horsetails hair and tuned in the interval of a fourth.The West Mongols used this traditional instrument to accompany the “tuuli” (heroic-epic myths) and “magtaal” (praise songs).

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Posted by on Jul 26 2012. Filed under Arts & Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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