Songlines | Mongolia

Mongolia Profile

  • Related Artists: Anda Union, Hanggai

The size of Western Europe, Mongolia is the world’s least populated country with just 2.8 million people who are vastly outnumbered by 26 million horses, camels, cattle and goats. But its nomadic pastoralist and mountain people boast an extraordinary technique of overtone singing, traditionally performed by hunters and herders, which simultaneously produces a deep, growling drone and ethereal harmonics high above it. The same principle is evident in the music of indigenous instruments such as the horse-hair fiddle, flute, zither and lute. Several of the best-known groups in the style hail from the republic of Tuva on Mongolia’s northwest border, among them Huun-Huur-Tu and Yat-Kha.

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