Music

How to communicate with animals

Lindsay Myron
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The "morin khuur," or horse-head fiddle, is the most famous instrument of Mongolia and is considered a symbol of its culture and heritage. The instrument was traditionally made in honor of a herder’s best horse, with the two strings made of the horse’s tail hair and the scroll carved in the shape of its head. Played with a bow, the sounds can communicate with a herder’s animals or the Mongolian homeland, or they can simply accompany a folk tale on a winter’s night. If you have the chance, try to see the Mongolian Morin Khuur Ensemble perform at the Cultural Palace in Ulaanbaatar. The group of some 35 musicians is world-renowned and is worth seeing.

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