Instruments

Tuvan folk instruments

Amyrga (Амырга)

It is a tapered wooden pipe without end slice about 50 cm long, manufactured from two halves, hollowed out of wood, which are covered with the animal gut and fastened by multiple bindings of the tendons or willow. Amyrga is an echoic tool, hunting decoy. It produces the sounds of overtone series by drawing an air (not blowing, as usual), imitating the call of the male red deer during estrus.

Byzaanchy (Бызаанчы)

It is a stringed bowed instrument. It has small cylindrical or slightly conical case, often made of horn or wood. The upper side is covered by leather membrane. A round neck is passed through the case, ending with a four-sided head. The instrument has four strings of horsehair; 1st and 3rd ones are tuned in unison, 2nd and 4th are also in unison, but a quart above. Two hair strands of onion-shaped bow are passed between pairs of strings. When playing performer holds the instrument vertically, placing it on his knee, and runs bow over a pair of tuned in unison strings simultaneously. He puts fingers of the left hand under the strings and gently touches them by nails, eliciting sounds.

Dungur (Дунгур)

It is a one-sided frame drum (tambourine) with a handle. It is one of the main tools of the shaman. A round frame drum is wooden, animal skin is stretched to the shell and suspended on the straps. A wooden beam is mounted in the open side of the drum, by which the shaman holds a tambourine, and two iron ones. Drawings of animals, birds and humans are engraved on the skin of a drum. Small curved pieces of iron and silk in different colors are hung on iron beams. Upon impact, which is done with a mallet “orba”, the stronger buzz and clatter of iron comes out.

Duyug (Дуюг)

It is duyuglar (дуюглар) in the plural. It is a self-sounding percussion (idiophone), boiled and dried horse hooves. Sound production is from hooves beat directly with each other. This instrument was manufactured for the first time and put into music use by percussionist and drummer Alexey Saryglar.

Igil (Игил)

It is a bowed stringed musical instrument. It has a slotted elliptical case (cut together with the neck and the head of one piece of wood), a neck without frets, and 2 strings, tuned in quart or quint. The strings are made of horsehair. The total length of igil is about 800-900 mm.

Kengirge (Кенгирге)

It is a large double-sided drum. It was taken from the musical instruments of Buddhism and modernized by group percussionist Alexey Saryglar. Both sides are upholstered in leather wild goat. The wooden frame is made of hard rock larch.

Konguluur (Конгулуур)

It is a reed hanging bell.

Limbi (Лимби)

It is a wind instrument, transverse flute with finger holes.

Doshpuluur (Дошпулуур)

It is a stringed instrument with two or three strings. The top and rear sounding-boards are leather membrane, catgut or nylon strings. It is played mostly accompanying the throat singing.

Khomus (Хомус)

It is a jaw harp. When playing khomus is forced by two plates against the teeth, the tongue passes freely between the teeth without touching them, and oral cavity serves as a resonator. Changing of mouth articulation and breathing gives the opportunity to change the timbre of the instrument. In addition, a new shade to the sound is made by changing the position of the diaphragm, numerous pharyngeal, laryngeal, tonguey, lip and other methods of phonation. It is usually made of metal, wood or bone.

Hapchyk (Хапчык)

It is a percussion instrument, membranofon. It is made from dried bull scrotum (membrane), which is filled with boiled and dried sheep patella. Sound is produced by blow to the membrane. It was put to use by group percussionist Alexey Saryglar.

Shoor (Шоор)

It is a wind instrument. It is a kind of longitudinal flute, made of wood or dried hollow inside plant stem. Length is not less than 50-60 cm in diameter at the base of 1.5-2 cm. It is open on both sides. The wider end of the tube is pressed at the right half of the mouth to the upper teeth. Whistling sound is obtained by blowing air. Periodically closing and opening the outlet, as well as changing the air pressure, a performer receives sounds of basic overtone of the main tone. Shoor sounds softly, iridescently. The modus doesn’t have the certain height and depends on the length of the instrument.

Ediski (Эдиски)

It is a hunting decoy, a piece of birch bark. It is played by pinching birch bark between the lips and breathing in the air or blowing. Sound is produced due to fluctuations of air. High-pitched sound of this instrument resembles cry of female musk deer and her cub. Sometimes, instead of birch bark, leaves of bergenia or sedge are used. Ediski is used to extract high-pitched sounds and often to imitate bird calls and cries of birds and other animals, emitting a sharp sound.