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Kyrgyz Traditional Music & Instruments

 Kyrgyzstani music is nomadic and rural. Travelling musicians and shamans called manaschi are popular for their singing and komuz-playing. Their music is typically heroic epics, such as the most famous story, the Manas epic, which is the patriotic tale of a warrior named Manas, and his descendants, who fight with the Chinese.

Aside from the komuz, Kyrgyz folk instruments include the kyl kiak (qyl-qyiyak), a two-stringed upright bow instrument (cf. fiddle), sybyzgy, a side-blown flute, chopo-choor and the temir ooz komuz (mouth komuz), also known as jew's harp in some countries. The komuz is the national instrument of Kyrgyzstan. It is a plucked string instrument. The kyl kiak, however, is also an important symbol of Kyrgyz identity. It is a string instrument, related to the Mongolian morin-huur, and is associated with horses and the vital role they play in Kyrgyz culture.


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