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Mongolian Throat Singing
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region in northern China and is known for its distinctive musical traditions, which often tell stories of Mongolian life or religion. One of the most ancient Mongolian traditions is throat singing in which the singer is able to hit multiple notes at the same time. Because each syllable is greatly extended, a four-minute song may have only ten words and is called a Long Song. Singing is typically accompanied by the morin khuur, a horsehead fiddle, or the topshuur, a two-stringed plucked instrument. This video features the members of Ih Tsetsn (音和思琴乐团), a Mongolian music group that appeared at the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival program “China: Tradition and the Art of Living.” One member of the group explains that their parents are either singers or instrumentalists who use music to interpret their lives in Mongolia. “You cannot get away from nature, and the grasslands [of Mongolia] are closest to nature,” he explains. “No matter how the world develops, the music of the grasslands should spread across the world.” Learn more about Ih Tsetsn: Learn more about “China: Tradition and the Art of Living”: Editing: Jackson Harvey Camera: David Barnes, Ed Fry, Abby Sternberg, Albert Tong, Josh Cogan [Catalog No. CFV11266; © 2019 Smithsonian Institution]
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1 min 32 sec
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