This morin khuur (traditional Mongolian stringed instrument) is made of carved wild goat bone, with horse hair strings. It took B.Altanchimeg over a year to collect and carve the bones.
I love this picture by Marcus Riga of the inside of a ger, with the family altar and morin khuur (traditional fiddle strung with horse hair) right next to the flatscreen TV and DVD player.
Battlefoxes mentioned that one of the musicians of the Mongolian folk-rock band Altan Urag uses a morin khuur (horse-head fiddle, which traditionally has a scroll carved to look like a horse’s head and strings of braided horsehair) with, uh, a not very traditional scroll.
Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia — I was staying with a family in a yurt, on the outskirts of Ulaan Baatar. Their son Todo plays the Morin Khuur, a traditional Mongolian stringed instrument, said to be the precursor of the violin. Todo was practicing one day. I sat listening.
“What’s this song about?” I ask him.
A few minutes later he’s playing a new song.
“And this one, what’s it about?”
He continues practicing.
“Is this one about a horse too?”
Instruments du groupe transmongolia on Flickr.
The stringed instrument looks like a morin khuur (horse-head fiddle) but has too many strings. Does anyone know what it is?
Гуравхан чандастай морин хуураараа дэлхийг Уярааж билэ
Very fancy morin khuur (horse-head fiddle).
April 29 to May 2nd is the Third International Morin Khuur festival in Ulaanbaatar.
The Morin Khuur is a traditional mongolian violin-like instrument carved to resemble a horse’s head at the top. It has two strings; the larger is made from 130 hairs from a stallion’s tail, the smaller 105 hairs from a mare’s tail. Modern ones sometimes have nylon strings. The bow is also strung with horse hair, and the musician wraps their fingers around the bow so that they can make it tighter or looser and control the tone of the sound.
Altan Urag, the Mongolian Folk Rock Band.