Folklore

Kyrguz culture

The Kyrgyz value music highly. From ancient times Kyrgyz people have been using available natural materials to make musical instruments, whose usage allow to preserve and express the sound of the nation, singing folklore songs. Most feasts have a singing break between courses, when guests take turns belting out traditional melodies.  Instrumental accompaniment has a strong tradition, too. Riddles, proverbs, and tongue twisters also have important places in the hearts of the people. There are many Kyrgyz instruments that differ by their sound range. The most important Kyrgyz instrument is the komuz, a three-stringed pear-shaped object made of apricot wood, usually. The strings were historically made of sheep intestine. The komuz has a quiet, amiable sound, though strange, electrified versions have begun to appear - that is not a folklore instruments already. The ability to play the komuz is widely respected, though the importance of tuning before playing seems to be less widely acknowledged.

The choor (‘pipe’) is a wind instrument, from 40-100 cm long with 0 to 4 holes. It can be made of cane, honeysuckle wood, copper, or other materials, and has a nasal, buzzing tone. A clay ocarina shaped like a ball with three holes is also widespread, called the chopo choor (‘clay pipe’).

The ooz komuz (‘mouth komuz’) is a small mouth harp, made of iron, brass, bronze, or copper. The sound comes from the twanging of a small metal tine, with overtones produced by positioning the player’s lips, mouth, and teeth.

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