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Morin Khuur - Horse Fiddle: Mongolian traditional musical instrument


Language: English

The design of the Morin Khuur is closely linked to the all-important cult of the horse. The instrument's hollow trapezoid-shaped body is attached to a long fretless neck bearing a carved horse head at its extremity. Just below the head, two tuning pegs jut out like ears from either side of the neck. The soundboard is covered with animal skin, and the strings and bow are made of horsehair. The instrument's characteristic sound is produced by sliding or stroking the bow against the two strings. Common techniques include multiple stroking by the right hand and a variety of left-hand fingering. It is mainly played in solo fashion but sometimes accompanies dances, long songs (urtiin duu), mythical tales, ceremonies and everyday tasks related to horses. To this day, the morin khuur repertory has retained some tunes (tatlaga) specifically intended to tame animals. Owing to the simultaneous presence of a main tone and overtones, morin khuur music has always been difficult to transcribe using standard notation. It has been transmitted orally from master to apprentice for many generations.


on this subject: Nomination file/Dossier de candidature


Topics and Tags
Place/region: Mongolia, Asia and the Pacific
Series: 2008 Inscriptions on the Representative List
Type: Documentary
Duration:
Production and personalities:
Publisher: Mongolian National Centre for Intangible Heritage
Published in:
Rights: Mongolian National Centre for Intangible Heritage
 

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Original: DVD
Location: EV only
UMVS reference: AVFONDS-CLTITH-2008-00068-MNG.DV
Rights holder: UNESCO ; Mongolian National Centre for Intangible Heritage