Photos of Music and Dance of Mongolia

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Music and Dance of Mongolia

The traditional music of Mongolia plays a very important role in the culture of the country, with great variations between the different ethnic groups. The best known national instrument is the Morin Khuur, the two-string fiddle with the carving of a horse head at the top of the peg box, considered a symbol of the country. Other instruments, as can be seen in folk ensembles performing in Ulaanbaatar and elsewhere, are the Surnai-ever buree, a folk oboe with a conical body made of wood or horn (ever buree = horn), the Shudraga or Shanz, a string instrument, with a sound comparable to that of a banjo), a base, with a horse-head carving and the Yatga or Yatuga, a half-tube zither with a movable bridge.

Girl with Morin Khuur
 
Morin Khuur orchestra
 
Traditional dancing
 
Traditional dancing
 
Mongolian dances
 
Children dancing
 
Performing a ''Long Song''
 
Traditional music
 
Performing a ''Short Song''
 
Tumen Ekh dance
 
Throat singing
 
Song and orcherstra
 
Mongolian music
 
Mongolian dance
 
Tumen Ekh Song
 
Fast Mongolian dance
 
Mongolian contortion
 
Contortion artist
 
Girl dance performance
 
Girl dance performance
 
Children's performance
 
Dance performance
 
Girl dance performance
 
Morin khuur
 
Mongolian songs
 
Khöömii ''throat singing''
 
Mongolian dance
 
Yatga and Khöömii
 
Playing the Yatga
 
Morin khuur
 
Kazakh dancing
 
Playing the Yoochin
 
Kazakh singer
 
Kazakh singer
 
Playing the Dombyra
 
Kazakh song
 

There are different styles of singing, like the "Long song" (Urtyn duu), so called because each syllable of text is sung for a long duration, with deep vibrato. There is also the "Short song" (Bogino duu), not as spectacular or ancient as "long songs" and technically not as complex as the latter, but still, performing them requires having a trained voice and good rhythm. Short songs are generally very upbeat and are accompanied by an orchestra. But the best known singing tradition is Khöömii ("throat singing") in which the singer produces more than one pitch at the same time, creating overtones by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of his mouth, voice box and the back of his throat; it almost sounds like whistling. It is especially popular in the west of Mongolia and across the Russian border in Tuva.

Traditional dancing may be observed in the theatre performances in Ulaanbaatar, like those of the Mongolian National Song & Dance Ensemble and the Tumen Ekh Song & Dance Ensemble, but can also been seen at the yearly Naadam Festivals and children are often the star performers - the culture is very much alive. And Mongolian contortion, a gymnastic art, is popular with young girls in both Mongolia and China; young girls display incredible flexibility.