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Folk Songs

Mongolian music is a reaction to their surroundings and life. Caring for a baby provokes melody. Seeing a calf being rejected, its mother is convinced to return by singing. Seeing white gers spread across the green pasture inspires a proud melody. Traveling a long way on horseback, riding sets a pace, the pace delivers rhyme, and here again the song is involuntary. Hurrying to one’s beloved, the heartbeat composes another melody. The sources of song are endless. Birthdays, weddings, national holidays, winning a horse race or wrestling competition, celebration of the elderly, mare’s milk brewing, wool cutting, cashmere combing, and harvest comprise an endless chain of reasons for singing and dancing .
Through the ages, music has spread around Mongolia through home teaching and festivities. Any family or clan event was a good chance for musicians and singers to gather together. Coming from different areas, most often representing different tribes, people has the opportunity to perform, to learn from others and to take home a new melody or song. In this way, the ancient patterns of various corners of Mongolia have been preserved by local masters for the whole nation. The Mongolians love music, the songs they sing express their feelings and music of their hearts and souls. There are several types of songs that have their own features.

Buuvey Song
A buuvey song is a lullaby, or any sweet melody “expressing a mother’s boundless love” for her baby. “Buuvey… buuvey… buuvey…” is repeated while caressing a child to make him or her sleep. The melody may come from the heart of mother and be improvised. There are also lullaby songs with legends already composed, learned by the family and distributed to other families and generations.

Labor Song
These are melodies sung while working. The hunter’s call attracts the animal by imitating its call in order to select a specific type of animal and to hunt with certainty, without wounding. Various herder’s calls manage the flock by signaling to go to pasture, return home, generate more milk, encourage insemination, bring a mother back to her calf, and so on.

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2 Responses for “Folk Songs”

  1. Looks a lot like Alberta, Canada!

  2. lenore weiss says:

    Manduhai the Wise
    In the Year of the Tiger
    when people could not sleep in their tents,

    or birds in their nests,
    I, Manduhai, Mongolian queen

    carried the spirit pole of my ancestors,
    Dayan Khan, a cripple whose

    bones were massaged with camel’s milk
    warmed in a silver bowl. On that day

    he was strapped to my horse in a basket
    and named Great Khan, child of Genghis.

    Later when the steppes became mud,
    we stepped through mud together,

    and when it was cold,
    we warmed out hands by the same fire.

    With him, my waters gave birth to eight sons
    and together we covered Mongolia

    with the hooves of our mares.
    From the Tuul River to the Orkhon,

    we were two shafts of one cart
    drawn by a white camel.

    And when I could no longer
    bear armor,

    his hand was silk
    on my heart and limbs.

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