The oldest Mongolian Musical Instrument

Morin khuur or horse-head fiddle is the most ancient Mongolian musical instrument which dates back to Hun dynasty (Xiongnu) in 3rd century BCE. Morin Khuur literally means means horse sound or melody.

Hi, I am T. K. and I am the head eagle hunter of my tribe, just kidding! Connect with me on FB and leave  your comments, questions etc.

The following is one of the professional players, Araanz, Bat-Ochir, listen...

The legend says of a poor man who had the magical horse which could run faster than a wind and even fly on wings. The horse gets killed by jealous rich man who was loosing all the races. The man made a musical instrument from the horse to mourn and to express his sorrow in remembrance of his best loyal friend.

horse headed fiddl

My friend, a prominent Mongolian actor, invites a freelance artist to perform a Mongolian music at his wife's birthday party here in LA, Ca. I have recorded it, though it did not sound perfect it stirs a spirit of every mongol who was present at the party. The file is too big to upload to my site.

You can see this Mongolian musical instrument at the honored place of almost every mongolian family but you can hear their sounds from a few people or musicians during special events such as Naadam, dedication services etc.

horse-headed fiddl

It is believed that the handle of the horse-head fiddle used to be made of horse ribs and its base of horse skin but not today. All of them are made of wood.

To honor the horse, its head is carved of wood and placed at the top over the dragon which some say symbolize the conquest of the south.

Two strings are made of long tail hair of horses. There is a unique hand technology that makes the strings to produce heavenly sounds.

This musical instrument is used to perform folk songs at special family celebrations and national holidays.

There is a growing interest in this uniquely Mongolian instrument among Mongolian people supported by the government. In 2011, 999 kids from Zavkhan province alone played in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. In the first video, they are training.

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