5 Interesting Facts About Mongolian Morin Khuur, The Horse-headed Fiddle

When you travel to Mongolia, the Mongolian folk culture will always impress you. One of the most unique musical instruments, The Horse-headed Fiddle, called in Morin Khuur in Mongolian language, take a big place in Mongolian music, dance, celebration, even in visual art. This traditional music instrument has only two strings but can make all kind of melodies to tune. Take your time and see the five interesting facts about Morin Khuur.

1. The Most Artistic Music Instrument of Mongolia

As  in visual art, Mr. Yadamsuren had drawn a famous picture, named " Uvgun Huurch" can be translated as "The Elder Fiddler",  in 1958 when he was 53 years old. In Early 1950’s Mongolian novel writer Rinchen.B was suggested the initial idea of drawing ‘The Old Horse-head Fiddler’. The Artist used mixed drawing technique by combining with Euro-Mongolian speciality. This art have become one of the Mongolian National Art Pride. This wonderful drawing is kept now in Art Gallery of Ulaanbaatar city.  If you love art you should definitely mark this place for your bucket list.

morin khuur horse head fiddler picture mongolia

"Uvgun Huurch" can be translated as "The Elder Fiddler".  Artist: Yadamsuren.U. 1958 

2. The Most Ancient Music Was Played By Morin Khuur 

During the 14th century, The Great Mongol Empire had their very own National Anthem named “Ancient Splendid”. In many historical notes, “Ancient Splendid” was the most respected and ceremonial song of major celebrations. This National Anthem has always been involved Horse-headed Fiddle melody which proves more ancient than Yuan Dynasty.
Now the "Ancient Splendid"  becomes Mongolian Naadam Festival theme.

3. The Most Popular And Official Music Instrument In Mongolia 

In 2008, Horse-head Fiddle identified by UNESCO as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Started from that year each Mongolian Family officially place the instrument at home with the respects and symbolizes it as national pride. Also there is an great ensemble, Mongolian National Horse-head Fiddle Ensemble (MNHFE) wonderfully performs Folk music and International Classics by Morin Khuur. 
Some Interesting MNHFE performances played with Horse-headed Fiddle.

  • Bohemian Rhapsody. February 24th, 2019 
  • Game of Throne Theme March 8th, 2017 
  • Tribute to Michael Jackson. December 3rd, 2011 
  • Pirates of The Carribbean.February 25th, 2011

4. The Most Creative Ice-Instrument 

There are lot of creativie activities around this instrument besides folk music. Like, Flash mob, Rock bands, EDM remixes, but there is whole another level. The Horse-headed fiddle is made from ICE... How cool can that be? And they sounds just like an ordinary Horse-head fiddle. During Mongolian Winter time, you can attend many Ice Festival Events every year.

5.  The Most Awe-inspiring Instrument by Foreigners 

We are introducing Mr. Steve Morel, from France, one of the best foreign artists who is Horse-head Fiddle performer and researcher living in Mongolia. He learned to play the instrument and studied Mongolian language in just 2 years. And now started own art school for Horse-head fiddle to studying, crafting etc. 




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