terça-feira, 20 de maio de 2014

Traditional Mongolian Music & Dance

Mongolian traditional music and songs
Odes to nature, horses and the open steppe are popular themes of traditional Mongolian music.
Long songs, as the name suggests, have lasted a long time and are loved by Mongolians. The original long songs were written about 800 years ago and there are special songs for weddings, festivals and religious ceremonies.
Traditional Mongolian instruments include string and wind instruments, drums and gongs. Mongolians have made their music instruments through the ages using metal, stone, bamboo, leather and wood.
The most popular instrument is the “Morin khuur” (horse headed fiddle). It is a square fiddle with the long, straight handle curved at the tip and topped with the carving of a horse's head. It is said to represent the movement and sounds of a horse.  Every Mongolian family strives to have a morin khuur in their ger even though they are hand-made and fairly expensive instruments. In the beginning, it was simply a ladle for airag on which strings were strung. At that time the instruments was called “shanagan khuur” (shanaga is ladle or dipper). Later, the sounds and board took the form of a trapeze and the master carvers who made these popular instruments began to decorate them with whimsical figures. Then the head of horse, an animal greatly loved by all Mongolians, appeared on the neck, and the name was changed to morin khuur. Twelve animals are carved on the neck in accordance with twelve years cycle of the lunar calendar. The morin khuur has two strings and a bow made from the hair of horse's tail. At the top of the morin huur's neck is a horse's head, but here too, there are 4 other animals – camel, cow, sheep and goat, the Mongolian symbols of wealth and plenty. The morin huur is most suitable to accompany the traditional long and short songs and Mongolian classical dance bielgee. The Mongolian government has declared the ‘Morin huur is our state instrument,” so government founded the Horse headed fiddle orchestra. In 13 th century Mongolia, there was such a famous orchestra. Usually Mongolians use the horse headed fiddle during Naadam, the White Month (Tsaagan Tsar), wedding 
celebrations and other big ceremonies. 
National Dance in Mongolia
The Mongolian classical traditional dance is bielgee, and it is particular to the people western Mongolia.
It is performed to the music of Mongolian national musical instruments, such as the morin khuur (horse headed fiddle) and yochin. Typically it is performed in a ger in a circle of people, or in other words, in a limited small space, before the hearth, so that the dancers make use of their rhythmic movements express various aspects of their identities, such as sex, tribe, and ethnic group. Plastic movements of the dancer‘s hands express everything in the dance.
Beilgee is a descriptive dance, actually a pantomime, with the dancer acting several scenes from everyday life of herders, such as milking the cow, cooking, hunting, etc.
The first part of the Bielgee dance, called the Elkhendeg, is ritually solemn, with the dancer slowly spreading his arms, gracefully waving his hands and moving his shoulders. In the second part, called the joroo mori, the character of the dance suddenly changes. The body rhythmically swaying, the dancer's movements become light aongoliannd challenging, in imitation of the gait of a horse.
Sources: Wikipedia   horseback
Watch and listen the videos: 
Ulan BatorMongolia (documentary).

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