Morin khuur

The Morin khuur is a chordophone of Mongolian origin whose name translates as horse-head fiddle. It is played with a bow and produces a sound which is poetically described as expansive and unrestrained, like a wild horse neighing, or like a breeze in the grasslands. It is the most important musical instrument of the Mongolian people, and the Mongolian nation.
The instrument consists of a wooden-framed sound box to which two strings are attached. It is held nearly upright with the sound box in the musician’s lap or between the musician’s legs. The strings are made from hairs from horses’ tails, strung parallel, and run over a wooden bridge on the body up a long neck to the two tuning pegs in the scroll, which is always carved into the form of a horse’s head.
The bow is loosely strung with horse hair coated with larch or cedar wood resin, and is held from underneath with the right hand. The underhand grip enables the hand to tighten the loose hair of the bow, allowing very fine control of the instrument’s timbre.
The larger of the two strings has 130 hairs from a horse tail, while the female string has 105 hairs from a mare’s tail. Traditionally, the strings were tuned a fifth apart, though in modern music they are more often tuned a fourth apart. The strings are stopped either by pinching them in the joints of the index and middle fingers, or by pinching them between the nail of the little finger and the pad of the ring finger.
Source:http://www.mongoliatourism.gov.mn/

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