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Sound of the steppes

Updated: 2024-06-24 13:04 ( chinadaily.com.cn )
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In the vast and wind-swept steppes of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, where nomadic traditions entwine with the pulse of nature, there exists a profound connection between the people and their music. The connection is embodied by the haunting melodies of the morin khuur, a traditional two-stringed instrument often referred to as the horse-headed fiddle.

The morin khuur occupies a revered position as a key instrument in traditional Mongolian music. Its beautiful tones are often used to accompany khoomei, or throat singing, a vocal style characterized by harmonic overtones, which further enhances the depth and emotional resonance of ethnic Mongolian music.

Beyond its musical prowess, the morin khuur is also used during ceremonial contexts, such as weddings, festivals, and spiritual rituals, where it connects participants with their cultural heritage and their ancestors.

Despite modernization and urbanization, the morin khuur remains a cherished part of daily life for many families of Mongolian ethnicity. The instrument is also integrated into the educational system, where it is taught in schools as part of efforts to preserve cultural heritage and promote traditional music education, passing down both musical techniques and cultural values from one generation to the next, and it was inscribed in 2008 on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


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