Tradition music and dancing
Laments about the open stppe,
natures and horses are popular themes of traditional Mongolian music. Long
songs, as the name suggests, last quite a while and are loved by Mongolians.
The original long songs were written about eight hundred years ago and there
are special songs written for weddings, festival and religious ceremonies.
There are traditional Mongolian string and wind instruments, as well as drums
and gongs, Mongolians have made their music through the ages using metal,
stone, bamboo, leather and wood. The most popular musical instruments is Morin
Khuur (horse fiddle) which is said to represent the movement and sounds of a
horse. It is a square fiddle with a long, straight handle curving at the tip
and topped with a carving of a horse’s head. Every Mongolian family strives to
have a morin khuur in their ger, although thery are hand make and fairly
expensive instruments. Small flutes and pipes are also popular.
Many musical instruments are used purely for religious ceremonies. A shell
shaped bugle called dun is used to gather lamas before ceremony and ganlin
horns are still used to dispel bad spirits. The ganlin is made from the femur
of an eighteen-year-old female virgin (who died of natural causes) and is
filled down to size. Example of this instruments can be ofund in Choijin Lama
museum in Ulaanbaatar (see the city guide section) and in Manzushir monastery 5
km-s south of the capital.
Mongolia’s Buddhist temples host the spectacular Tsam dances during special
religious ceremonies. Lamas wearing huge, ornate masks and brilliantly
decorated costume sway and circle to the sound of gongs and trumpets. It is
threatrical art by those bearing the external appearance and characters of
different apostles and devils, animals and real people. The scenery opening,
inaction, musical climax and outcome of tsam dance reflect the character of the
participicants in different ways: cruel, calm or humorous.
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