The Urtiin Duu is the most refined form of Mongolian folk song, possessing an extremely rich rhythm, and capturing the free ranging spirit of the nomadic Mongols with its wide and meandering melody, expansive range, and abundance of ornamentation. The singing of the urtiin duu requires of the singer considerable artistic feeling and skill.
The Urtiin Duu is a main part of the Mongolian traditional music. This genre is not called Long song because the songs are long (even if some of them are), but because each syllable of text is extended for a long duration. A four-minute song may only consist of ten words. Lyrical themes vary depending on context; they can be philosophical, religious, romantic, or celebratory, and often use horses as a symbol or theme repeated throughout the song.
The main feature of the long song is the prolonged, tenuto notes with deeply modulated vibrato on the vowels. These majestic vibrating notes called shuranhai give the song profound philosophical, meditational character and they often depict the spacious mountain valleys and the tranquility of the Mongolian soul.
Three major styles are identified in long songs: besreg urtiin duu -mini long song, urtiin duu and aizam urtiin duu-majestic long songs. The styles reflect the way of the performance of the shuranhai and other techniques rather than the sizes of the songs.