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Tuvan People And The Igil. A Formal Analysis Of A Video On Mymusiclab About The Tuvan People.

906 words - 4 pages

Tuvan lies in the geographical center of Asia, in Southern Siberia. The tuvans are known for their use of the overtone singing style. One of the most important instruments that are utilized by the tuvans is the "igil." This instrument has many cultural values and significance. Looking at Video 1, this instrument is played by bowing the strings and is held nearly upright when played. It can also be seen from the video near the top of the neck above the tuning pegs, there is a shape of a carved horse's head. There is a famous Tuvan tale, which illustrates how the igil originated and why the horse is significant on the igil. The tale starts off about a boy named Ösküs-ool, who adopts a baby mare from an evil Mongolian prince that was about to abandon the mare because it was orphaned. Ösküs-ool began to feed the mare and take care of it, and soon it became a great gray stallion. Ösküs-ool's horse began to beat the evil prince's horses in every race. It became a favorite of the people, and with each win became more famous throughout Tuvan. The evil prince then became angered, and ordered his servants to steal the horse and push it over a cliff. Ösküs-ool began to search endlessly for his horse, but came up short. He then had a dream about his horse telling him to hang the horse's skull on an old larch tree. Then to make a musical instrument from the wood of that tree, call it 'igil' and cover it with the skin of the horse's face. Ösküs-ool did as the horse in his dream commanded. He then played the instrument, and remembered the good times he had with this horse, the igil seemed happy. He then remembered his horse was gone and started to weep, as did his igil. This tale showcases an incredible amount of spiritual power and beliefs of the tuvan people. Looking at the music of the Tuvan people, it is apparent that they have strong beliefs in spirits. The igil is traditionally used to accompany Tuvan throat singing. This is where two or more pitches sound simultaneously over a fundamental pitch. Multiphonic singing styles are utilized. Throat singing, literally means singing from the throat and requires the proper environment in order to be utilized perfectly. This style of singing travels far, and the open landscape of Tuva allows for these sounds to carry a great distance. Looking at Video 2, the landscape of where throat singing is usually sung is demonstrated. The area is vast and open. There is a lot of nature to be seen around. It can also be seen that there was only one performer, which is traditionally how a lot of tuvan music is performed. Many times singers will travel far into the countryside looking for the right river, or will go up to the mountainside...

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