Enchanting Mongolia, Traditonal Music of Mongolia (various Artists) Nebelhorn 016 (recorded April 1993)

This well recorded CD only features three tracks of master khöömiich Ganbold. However it also contains the superb Long Song singing of Norovbanzad as well as excellently played pieces for Morin Khuur, Yatag, Limbe, Huuchir, Shudraga and various ensembles.


1) Prologue

    Composition: Ts. Suchbaatar, Text and Speaker: N. Jantsannorov 1:59

2) Variations Of Mongolian Throat Singing

     Vocals and Murin khuur: T. Ganbold 3:36

     These typical Mongolian vocal techniques we especially prevalent in the Altai

     mountain range. Palate, tongue and teeth all contribute to the sound formation. It is       

     possible to hold a fundamental tone.

3) Nutgiin Ujanga ("Homeland Tune")

    Composition: Naranbaatar,Yatga Soloist: E. Otgontujaa 3:28

    The Yatga is a harp‑like, gut‑strung instrument. The movable bridges permit  

    different basic Tunings. Various playing techni­ques permit a very rich spectrum of


4) Seruun Saichan Tshangai (Beautiful Cool Tshanga)

    Vocals Ms. Norovbansad, Morin khuur Tsh Batsaichan 3:03 

    The long or long drawling song is the most characteristic song­ form of the

    Mongolians. It demands great physical strength and concentration of the performer. 

    Tonal, volume ornamentation and dynamic diversity are equally important. Ms

    Norovbanzad has long been considered the greatest performer of this type of song.

5) Khalkh Shonon Charyn Jawdal ("The Ride Of The Khalkh Horses")

    Morin Khuur Soloist: Ts H. Batsaichan 3:21

    The Morin Khuur, or "horse‑violin", is the most important instrument used in

    Mongolia. It symbolically reflects the central role the horse plays in the Mongolian

    sensibility. The neck of the instrument is always crowned by a horse's head. The  

   strings and bow stringings are made of horse-hair. Horse sounds (neighing,

    hoof-beats) are often musically imitated.

6) Er Bor Chartsaga (“Strong Brown Hawk")

    Vocals D. Battemer, Morin Khuur Ts H. Batsaichan 4:28

    Also a long drawling song. The respective geographical placement of the singer determines the melody. It makes a difference for example, whether the song is

    sung in a valley or on the summit of a mountain.

7) a – Argaguy Amrag (“Hidden Beloved)

    b-   Junden Geegee (a girls name)

    Sudraga soloist : L.Namsshilamaa 2:17

    This banjo‑like instrument is played in five different tunings. The glissando of the a-part is typical of the Khalkh.

8) Sanchju Gelem (“Beautiful Horse”)

     Vocals Sh. Dawaachuu 1:16

    The short song is historically younger, having been prevalent for perhaps a hundred years. In contrast to the long drawling song, the very lively short song tends to  

    have objects as themes. Here a man sings of the pride he feels for his beautiful horse, the good saddle, and precious saddle blanket.

9) Derwen Tsag (“Four Seasons”)

    Limbe soloist : D Gantemer  4:08

    This virtuoso flute piece is noteworthy for its circular (or permanent) breathing: during the player breathes through his nose, so that none of the usual breathing

     pauses occur. This technique can be learned

10) Derwets Tshastai Khaliun (“Four‑Year‑Old Khaliun horse) b‑ Goosh Nanaa (“A girls Name”)

      Throat Singing T.Ganbold

      Morin Khuur Sh.Batsaichan

11) a ‑ Tsagaan Ssar  b ‑ Chech Torgon Tsamts (two Mongolian folk songs)

      Instrumental ensemble: Yochin: G. Nansalmaa:   Morin khuur: Tsh Batsaichan:   Huuchir: A Solongo:

      Yatga J. Otgontuja.  Limbe: D. Gantemer  Shudraga: I‑ Namschilma 2:20

      These six instruments form what can be considered the classic Mongolian ensemble. Besides the instruments already introduced, the Yochin, similar to the

      European dulcimer, and the smaller knee fiddle Huuchir are play a part. Usually a performance consists of two parts in different keys and tempos. Often the

      melody is played in unison

12) a- Ai Nanaa ( a girl’s name) b- Chojor Setgel (Two Souls)

      Hiichir soloist : A Solongo 2:38

      On the Huuchir, which is built both as a soprano and an alto instrument (here an alto), two metal strings are run over a cylindrical body. They are not pressed on a fingerboard; instead they are fingered freely. The pizzicato of part b is especially charming.

13) Urchan chingir Salchi

     Vocals : N Norovbanzad, Morin Khuur Tsh Batsaichan 3:21

     This masterly ssung long drawling song describes relieving (re living a) calming mood of autumn, in which concerns of the heart also appear in a different light.

14) Derwen Oirdyn Uria (“The Four Oyrad Tribes")  Morin khuur: Tsh. Batsaichan 4:19

      The Morin khuur is the most important instrument not only for the Central Mongolian Khalkh, but for the West Mongolian Oyrad as well. Here it is also used as

      dance accompaniment.

15) Erdene Sasgiin Unaga ("Foals From Erdene")

      Vocals D. BATTEMER Morin Khuur: Tsh Batsaichan  2 58

      The topic of this long drawling song is the universal image of the identity between love for one's mother and love for one's homeland.

16) a ‑ Torguud Nutag (“Homeland Torguud”) b ‑ SILEN BEJER (a name)

      Vocals: T. Ganbold  2 37

      T. Ganbold gives another sample of his mastery.

17) Tsetseg Nuuryn Cheweend (“On Flower Lake”)

      Composition: Ts. Suchbaatar

      Morin Khuur Quartet: Batsaichan, Shagdarshan, Bujanbaatar, Bujantshin 4:46

      The astonishing possibilities of the Morin khuur become especially clear in this quartet, which are hardly second to the expressive power of the Classical  

      European string Quartete. Although adaptations of European concert literature are very charming, we of course choose a Mongolian piece.

18) Ar Chewtsch ("Song Of The Forest") 

      Vocals : N. Norovbansad

      Morin Khuur: Tsh Batsaichan  2:41

     The great singer ends series with a song containing a typical Mongolian theme: like the temperament of a young mountain horse, youthful love is also inpatient,

     impetuous and short.



The Mongolians, who have to this day preserved their ancient culture and history, call their remote homeland the Land of the Blue Sky. Such a blue sky seems to be possible only in this country of vast steppes and jagged mountain ranges, which roll and fold seeming forever under the immense sky. Listen to this album, you will hear the melodious sounds of the steppes and your eyes will be filled with the boundless Mongolian blue, for this is a music that paints a provocative landscape in the imagination.

For centuries, the way of life in Mongolia has been deeply influenced by the stark geography and the cycle of the four quite distinct seasons, and the music, of course reflects this. The Mongolians are a nomadic people, and over the ages the climate, the sky and the land an extraordinary way of expressing it through music. The sounds and tones you will hear are quite unlike any others you might come across in any other music, whatever its origin.

The long, melodious, guttural throat songs, which are a distinctive part of Mongolian music, require a tremendous vocal range, a very specific precision and skill like no others in the world and an exceptional willpower to accomplish. The short, vivid, lyrical songs, which describe love and affection for parents and family and friends, are accompanied by energetic movements and embellishments that often remind a Westerner of an intricate ballet. This is the music of communal festivities and wedding ceremonies, the dance of wanderers and livestock breeders and galloping horses, performed to the rhythm of the blue sky and the steppes and the Altai Range, which, fittingly enough, resembles mountains from a fairytale. Mongolian music is magical, and it excites the human imagination and spirit in a way that is unique.

In listening to these sounds, you come to understand that the Mongolians have been preserving and enriching their heritage for many centuries now. Whether a  “sensany” played on the traditional, two­ stringed “horse Violin” that has been passed down for thousands of years and revered for centuries, or the performance of modern, quite melodious music by a string quartet describing the galloping of a horse and the raising of dust, or a western Classical Symphony perfoermed on traditional Mongolian instruments, whether using the singular art of drawn out guttural singing or being used as a movie sound track (such as the score for Under The Spell Of The Blue Sky which is about Chingis Han and was based on a poem) the music is always inimitable and sublime.

Every nation and people, of course, have created their own particular heritage and culture, but how many, in this increasingly homogenized world, have managed to preserve what has been handed down to them? Consider, for example, what has happened to the Native American culture over the past 350 years. Thus we are indeed fortunate to have this example of Mongolian culture and music before us, a small portion, though it may be. The art created by the Mongolians is not only for Mongolians but for all peoples to learn from and to enjoy. For how long this art will retain its singularly individual national character, no one can say for

certain; something you might consideras you listen to the music sing of its unique landscape anti people.


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