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    - Altai-Khangain-Ayalguu - Duo Temuzhin - Traditional Songs of Mongolia

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P & C December 1998
- Face Music / Albi

- last update 03-2016

- FM 50023 - P & C 1997
more information songs - in German

1. Altai magtaal - trad. - 6:53
2. Bogd Dunjingarav uuliin magtaal - trad. - 4:31
3. Böögiin ayalguu (Shaman's melody) - trad. - 2:26
4. Jeven goliin ayalguu - trad. - 2:09
5. Ulaanbaatariin magtaal - music & text: G. Vavgaan - 4:58
6. Hel khuur - trad. - 1:13
7. Tömör hel khuur - trad. - 2:10
8. Hümüün törölhtön - trad. - 1:22
9. Höömij - trad. - 3:16
10. Goviin Öndör mod - trad. - 4:15
11. Khuder dungui nutag - trad. - 2.32
12. Khangain magtaal - trad. - 6:28
13. Mandal jüüjee - trad. - 2:29
14. Düüjin Khuar, Sanduitai mod - trad. - 2:42
15. Kherlengiin barija - trad. - 3:09
16. Zavkhan nutgiin magtaal - trad. - 3:31
17. Avgiin tsagaan uul - trad. - 2:30
18. Tsonkhon deer suusan yalaa - trad. - 3:00
19. Hotgoidiin unaga - trad. - 5:42
20. Khalkh jonon - trad. - 3:40
21. Kholiin gazar - trad. - 1:26
22. Günjilmaa - trad. - 1:49


1. Altai magtaal - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc., hel khuur, tovshuur, aman tsuur - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
The Altai mountains are situated in Central Asia and their foothills reach Kazakhstan, Gorno Altaisk (South Siberia), Tuva, Mongolia and China. The Mongolian Altai is, together with the Gobi Altai and with its 13 peaks and the 77 valleys the longest mountain range. It extents from the west of Mongolia up to the Gobi desert in the south. The tribes living here use the riches of water and the steppe grass that the nature is offering them for their big herds. They live upon milk products, barley and wheat, on lamb and beef, and, occasionally, by chasing. Like the Turk people of the Altai, they also drink fermented mare's milk, called "Airag".
In this praise song to Altai (magtaal), the riches of the nature are praised. The mountains bestow strength and decide the destiny of the people living here. The texts are handed down orally. They belong to the songs sung most often and know many versions. They are played by all the Mongolian tribes as well as by the Turk tribes. (Gorno-Altai, Tuva, Chakasia...).

2. Bogd Dunjingarav uuliin magtaal - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc., hel khuur, tovshuur, bells - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
The Bogd Dunjingarav Mountain (uul) lies south to the capital Ulaanbaatar and was declared holy already by Dshingis Khan. The mountain has an altitude of 2224 meters (7296 ft.) and counts 28 valleys.
This is a song of praises (magtaal) of the inexhaustible richness of nature with water, unique water falls, flowers and medicinal herbs.

3. Böögiin ayalguu - Shaman's melody - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc., hel khuur, perc. (hengereg)
Instrumental piece "Böögiin Melody" (ayalguu) as the shamans use it for their rituals.
Hengereg is a large drum used exclusively by the shamans. On it they beat the rhythms, comparable to the "speaking drums" of the North American Indians.

4. Jeven goliin ayalguu - Jeven river melody - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc., aman tsuur
With this flute, made of "uliangar"-wood (bur chervil - umbellifer), called "aman tsuur", the melodies of the Jeven river, whose source is in the west of Mongolia in the Altai, are reproduced.

5. Ulaanbaatariin magtaal - music and text: G. Yavgaan
- Yavgaan: voc., hel khuur, tovshuur - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
Vavgaan wrote this praise song (magtaal) at the occasion of the 355th anniversary of today's capital Ulaanbaatar (previously known under the names of Örgöö, Ikh Khuree, Nomiin Khuree, Niislel Khuree). The capital is surrounded by four peaks. In the south the famous Bogd Dunjingarav is towering up, and in the north the river Khatan Tuul is flowing by.
In the text, the greatness of the town and its radiation are praised, just as well as the legend of its protector, the "Khangardi" (a fabulous creature with grip arms) is recited.

6. Hel khuur - trad.
- Yavgaan: hel khuur (instrumental with Jew's harp made of wood)
(for more information see "instruments").

7. Tömör hel khuur - trad.
- Yavgaan: tömör hel khuur (instrumental with Jew's harp made of brass)

8. Hümüün törölhtön - trad.
- Yavgaan: hulsan hel khuur (Jew's bamboo harp)
This song was sung for the first time in 1924 by a woman in the old town of Ulaanbaatar, at a time when its name still was "Niislei Khuree".
The newly won freedom of the Mongol women to finally be allowed to study and to be free to dedicate their life for science, is praised.

9. Höömij - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc. (Upper partial song - for more information see "singing technique")

10. Goviin Öndör mod - The highgrown trees of the Gobi desert - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc., hel khuur - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
A camel mother tries to nurse her little one in the Gobi desert. She wanders along high trees and finds a newborn. She thinks that this isn't her little one, therefore she doesn't nurse it. A shepherd hurries by and plays a wonderful melody on the horse-violin "morin khuur". The camel mother bursts out in tears and finally she starts to nurse the little one.

11. Khüder dungui nutag - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc. - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
This praise song tells of the tribe of the Burjatas, today settled in the Khuder dungui land (nutag). A minority, a little tribe which still grieves over the loss of the old home country in the west and which tells the young ones of that at one-time wonderful world.

12. Khangain magtaal - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc., tovshuur - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
In Mongolia, there are three large mountain areas, the Altai to the west, the Khangain in the middle, and the Khentyi to the east of the country. The Khangain rises up to 4800 meters (15'748 ft.). The Ülger myth, "ülger tuuli", of the legendary creature and protector of the region is told. The mountain Khangain is pleaded to help to overcome the everyday life and it is asked for its blessing. The people should be allowed to live here in peace and happiness, they should get plenty of children, and own a large number of cattle.

13. Mandal jüüjee - trad.
- Batsaikhan: morin khuur (instrumental)
In the form of a long song "urtiin duu", the wide and magnificent steppes with their ever changing landscapes are presented. An instrumental piece on the "morin khuur", full of facets and with plenty of ornaments.

The Mongols use different song types, such as:
- tuuli, heroic-epic myth
- urtiin duu, long song, melismatic richly decorated. It is sung in the highest register and has no fixed rhythm.
There are three categories of long songs:
- the extended, with uninterrupted flowing melodies, richly decorated, containing long falsetted passages.
- the usual, is shorter, less decorated, and renouncing to the falsetto.
- the shortened, has short verses, choruses, and flighty melodies.
- bogino duu: short song, atrophic, syllabic, rhythmically tied, sung without decoration.
- höömij, upper partial singing.

14. Düüjin Khuar, Sanduitai mod - trad.
- Batsaikhan: morin khuur (instrumental)
This long song "urtiin duu" is about the Khalkh tribes, living in the steppes of the east of Mongolia and about their king Duujin Khuar and the positive power of the "Sanduitai" tree, about the eight chambers of live, the beauty of the sun and the moon.

15. Kherlengiin barija - trad.
- Batsaikhan: morin khuur (instrumental)
This long song "urtin duu" deals with the Khalkh people living in the east of Mongolia and with the river Kherlen (Kherlengiin barija), which flows down from the Khentyi massive past the vast steppes in the east of Mongolia.

16. Zavkhan nutgiin magtaal - Praise song on the land of Zavkhan - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc., tovshuur - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
Zavkhan is in located the northwest of the country. It is a wonderful area with a high mountain "Otgontenger" and the Zavkhan river flowing past the sand steppe of the "Khangai".

17. Avgiin tsagaan uul - Avgin, the white mountain - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc. - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
The story tells of a Mongol dreaming faraway from his homeland of this white mountain.

18. Tsonkhon deer suusan yalaa - trad.
- Batsaikhan: morin khuur (instrumental)
A Mongol observes a fly (yalaa) sitting on a window glass and dreams of his homeland with its splendour of nature and of his love to his beautiful bride.

19. Khotgoidiin unaga - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc. - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
The song tells of a wonderful horse from the Khotgoidiin land.

20. Khalkh jonon - trad.
- Batsaikhan: morin khuur (instrumental)
This song is about the black horses which are a great many in Central Mongolia.

21. Kholiin gazar - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc. - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
A Mongol of the Zavkhan tribe is far away and suffers from homesickness.

22. Günjilmaa - trad.
- Yavgaan: voc. - Batsaikhan: morin khuur
At a time when there lived a beautiful girl called Günjilmaa, and a Mongol from the tribe of the Khalkh fell in love with her.

- map sketch Mongolia


- Tsuur (wind instrument)
Tsuur is a traditional Mongolian folk instrument made of uliangar wood (bur chervil - umbellifer). Melody and sound resemble the sound of the Jeven river flowing. The "aman tsuur" made by the Altai-Uriankhai tribe are most famous in respect of melody and sound.

- Khun tovshuur (string instrument)
Khun tovshuur is a two-stringed instrument similar to the lutes of Tuva, Altai or Kazakhstan. The body and the neck are carved from cedar wood and the body is often covered with the leather of wild animals, camels or goats. The head of the neck is formed like a swan. The Mongol legends say that they originate from a swan. The strings are wound from horse-tails and tuned to an interval of a fourth.
The West Mongols used this traditional instrument to accompany the "tuuli" (heroic-epic myths) and "magtaal" (praise songs).

- Morin khuur (string instrument - horse-violin)
Morin khuur is a typical Mongolian two-stringed instrument. The body and the neck are carved from wood. The end of the neck is like a horse-head and the sound is similar to a violin or a cello. The strings are wound from horse-tail hairs. It is played with a bow made of willow, with a horse tail bow-string coated with larch or cedar wood resin.
Since Ghengis Khan, the Mongol used this instrument to play classical music. They have rich possibilities of sound.
The legend tells that a man who missed his horses, after his death, made a string instrument with a horse head from his edge bone and horse-tails from skin bones and used it to produce sounds similar to the ones you can hear from the horse herds.

- Hel khuur
Nowadays, a Jew's harp is made of brass or steel, but in earlier days it was made of wood. A spring, acting as a vibrator, is fitted into a horseshoe-shaped metal holder and is called 'tongue'. The player places the long part of the instrument against his mouth, touching it with his front teeth and manipulating the tongue with his right hand. The pitch can be varied by changing the shape of the mouth cavity, which at the same time acts as a resonance chamber.

Singing technique:

- Khöömij (upper partial singing)

The performance of overtone singing takes usually place during social events such as eating or drinking parties.
The Mongols call their overtone singing höömij (= throat, pharynx). The singer creates a constant pitched fundamental considered as a drone, and at the same time modulates the selected overtones to create a formantic melody from harmonics.
Several techniques are known, depending on the vocal source and the place of resonance: kharkhiraa = lung, khamriin = nose, tövönkhiin = throat and bagalzuuriin = pharynx. Overtone singers form and vary sound and timbre with their mouth, teeth, tongue, throat, nose and lips. They always form two distinct tones simultaneously sustaining the fundamental pitch.
Overtone singing can also be heard from Turkic-speaking tribes in disparate parts of central Asia. The Bashkir musicians from the Ural Mountains call their style of overtone singing uzlyau; the Khakass call it khai, the Altai call it koomoi and the Tuvinians khoomei.
Up to date, overtone singing is a common feature of Siberian peoples as well as the Kazakhs and Mongolian tribes. Overtone or throat singing is a special technique in which a single vocalist produces two distinct tones simultaneously. One tone is a low, sustained fundamental pitch (a kind of drone) and the second is a series of flutelike harmonics, which resonate high above this drone. Who masters this singing technique may even make the overtone sound louder then the fundamental pitch, so the drone is not audible anymore. A different technique often used by overtone singers combines a normal glottal pitch with the low frequency, pulse-like vibration known as vocal fry. The Turkic tribes in the Altai use to sing their texts in such a low vocal fry register of about 25-20 Hz).

- Yavgaan G.

Yavgaan was born on 2.7.1947 as the youngest son of Gendenpiliin the territory of Zavkhan, situated in the western part of Mongolia.
His father was a famous singer of "urtin duu" long song in the province. In his childhood he heard from his parents many traditional songs and with his uncle he began to teach in "höömij" guttural singing.

Since 1968 he works as a professional in national Mongolian art - with the National Folk- and Dance-Ensemble.
1984 - he received the Mongolian patent of laventor for khun tov shuurand khun hel khuur
1984 - he won the first place in the scene of symposium of Asian countries for the song: Altain magtaal
1986 - concerts in England
1987 - he visited the Festival of World Young People and Students in Seoul and won the first price for the songs "Altain magtaal" and "Bogd Dunjingarav"
Since 1990 he works for his own company "Temuzhin-Munkh" in traditional art; folk music and dance.

With national art he toured in many countries, such as: England, USA and Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland, Benelux, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Japan, North and South Korea, Hong Kong, Taipei, Russia, Czchechien, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Germany, Hungary and many others.

1988 - Khangai Khaanii Magtaal, Altain Magtaal, Dunjingarav Mountain Magtaal UNESCO
1992 - Ensemble Temuzhin - JVC, Japan
1997 - "Altai-Khangain-Ayalguu" (melody) - Duo Temuzhin - Face Music
1998 - "Altai-Khangain-Ayalguu2" (melody) - Ensemble Temuzhin - Face Music

- Batsaikhan Ch.

Batsaikhan was born on 19.9.1958 as the sixth son of Chultem. He learned to play mandolin when he was five years old and at the age of 13 he started to play with the "morin khuur" horse-violin at the music academy under professor Jamayan.

1978 - he won the first price as student in folk music at the music academy
1985-89 - he participated at the XII and XIII festival for Young People and Students
1992 - he won the award for "best Mongolian artist"

He plays with "morin khuur" different traditional folk music as well as classical music, such as: Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky and many others.
He toured in countries like: Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Czchechien, Slovakia, Hungary, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taipei, Thailand, Austria, Germany and many others.

1992 - Ensemble Temuzhin - JVC, Japan
1997 - "Altai-Khangain-Ayalguu" (melody) - Duo Temuzhin - Face Music
1998 - "Solongo" - Ensemble Ardiin Ayalguu - Face Music
- published by Green Man Review
- published by Wieland Musikbaltt - 1997
- published by Der Bund - 1997
- published by Jazz thing - bluerhythm - 1998

Batsaikhan Ch., Yavgaan G. - Yavgaan G., Batsaikhan Ch