More than 1,400 year-old Altai Harp re-sounds in Ulaanbaatar

2016-07-04 13:04:06

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ “Asar Urgoo (Tent Palace) of Legendary Nomads” has opened at the yard of the Choijin Lama Monastery-Museum of Ulaanbaatar. The Altai – Mongolian ballad group is performing the masterpieces of the Altai folklore with Altai Harp, an extraordinary historic finding dating back to Turkic period, which existed more than 1,400 years ago on Mongolian lands.

The musical instrument was discovered in 2008 in the remains of an ancient tomb in Mankhan soum of Khovd Province, located in the far northwestern Mongolia, by the Mongolian archaeologists. After the excavation, the team handed over the tomb’s findings to a German team for further studies. 

After years of studying the origin of this musical instrument, the head of Mongolian Ethnic Music Bureau Mr D.Ganpurev along with music instruments maker P.Baigalijav have recreated a copy, keeping the original shape and feature of the ancient instrument. Both the original and the copy were displayed at the “Heritages of Steppe Warriors” exhibition in the National History Museum in 2014. Since then, the Altai Harp has been acknowledged as an exclusive cultural heritage of Mongolia and the official token of Mongolia-Germany cultural friendship.

The Mongolian Ethnic Music Bureau has also been making efforts in restoring one of the Mongolian lost heritages – the Toirom (Circle) Dance. The dance has been mentioned in the Secret History of the Mongols, indicating its popularity in the 12 and 13th centuries.

The Altai – the ethnic ballad group – named after the Altai Mountains and the Harp itself, was established in 2011. The band has performed in Turkey upon invitation by the President of Turkey Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and in the Grand Hall of UNESCO. The Altai is rehearsing to stage a performance in China in July 14 at the invitation of the Chinese president Mr Xi Jinping. The band has released its first album named “Zolgoe doo” (Let’s Greet), which has 30 songs.