International project on “Study of Traditional Heritage and Singing Proficiency of Long Song” (2008-2014)

By | 2015年7月1日 | 865 views

The expedition to study the heritage and tradition of Mongolian folk long song involved over 40 researchers from Mongolia, Russia and PR of China. The team implemented research expeditions in 8 different regions and rural areas over a distance of 40 000 km of travel among the Mongol etlmic groups living in the territories of Mongolia, Russia and China; interviewed about 300 long song singers aged between 12 to 90, documented video recordings of over 170 hours and recorded over 500 long songs and version melodies in duplicated number.

The research documentation became the base of the united database of the registration and information of long song singers and audio and video recordings of long song of Mongol nations.

A. Joint expedition of Mongolia and China in the Gobi region of Mongolia

The expedition team conducted a research study in the areas of 23 soums of four provinces, including Altanbulag, Undur-Shireet and Bayan-Unjuul soums of Tuv province, Adaatsag, Deren and Tsagaan-Delger soums of Dundgobi province, Gobi-Sumber, Altan-Shiree of Dornogobi province and Darkhan soum of Khentii province, between August 1-21,2008 and conducted a targeted research on techniques to sing Bayanbaraat and Borjigon style melodies among the singing school and techniques of Mongolian folk long song.

As a result of the research, 15 long song singers who obtained the school and techniques to sing the Bayanbaraat and Borjigon long song were interviewed and documented video recordings of 20 hours in 20 DV tapes. 65 songs sung in Bayanbaraat style and 70 songs of Borjigon style, in total 135 long songs were documented in the database.

The  grand long songs  of  ‘Khuur magnai’, ‘Tumen ekh’, ‘Erkhem tur’, ‘Zamba tiv’, ‘Amban tsetsen khaany khulug’, ‘Tegsh tavan khusel’, ‘Ochir dari’, ‘Jargaltain delger’ and ‘Erdeniin galbirvaasan mod’ are sung in Bayanbaraat style. It shows the state of transmitting the tradition of Bayanbaraat style long song and the bearers are aged between 70 and 90. There’s no activity conducted to transmit this style to younger generations, which threatens the tradition of the Bayanbaraat long song.

The grand long songs of ‘Ar khuvchiin unaga’, ‘Altan bogdyn shil’, ‘Dumun’, ‘Uyakhan zambutiviin naran’, ‘Enkh mendiin bayar’, ‘Urikhan khongor salkhi* and ‘Jargaltain delger’ are sung in Borjigon style. The local traditional training of long song is continuing, which is proved by the home training of long song and master and disciple connection in this Borjigon area.

B. Joint expedition of Mongolia and China in the Khangai region of Mongolia

The expedition team conducted a research study in the soums of Khujirt, Bat-Ulzii, Uyanga, Arvaikheer and Nariinteel of Uvurkhangai province, Ulziit, Galuut and Bayankhongor soums of Bayankhongor province and Chuluut, Undur-Ulaan, Taikhar, Tsetserleg, Battsengel, Ugiinuur, Gurvanbulag and Dashinchilen soums of Arkhangai province during August 1-21, 2008. During the research, over 40 long song singers were interviewed and documented video recordings of 30 hours.

The number of young long song singers who sing in authentic Central Khalkha style is few and the bearers are aged between 60 and 75. Only 10% of total singers involved in the research are young singers.

In this area, the shorter-scale long songs are dominant, including “Arkhan khuvch”, “Altan bogdyn shil”, “Ar khangai nutag”, “Baruukhan undur”, “Baatar beeliin unaga”, “Jargaltain delger”, “Tengeriin agaar”, “Dumun”, “Khuren tolgoin suuder”, “Khuglug khangai”, “Nariin saikhan kheer”, “Joroo baakhan ulaan”, “Ikh bogd”, “Oroo saikhan khuren”, “Mandal Juujaa”, “Gandan uulyn tsetseg”, “Undur saikhan bor” and “Tsombon tuuraitai tal” as well as grand long songs of Bayanbaraat, Borjigon, Khar-Del and Khurkh-Binder such as ‘Tumen ekh’ /in Bayanbaraat style/, ‘Ochir dari’ /in Bayanbaraat style/, ‘Uyakhan zambutiv’ /in Bayanbaraat and Borjigon mixed style/, ‘Enkh mendiin bayar’ /in Borjigon style/, ‘Seraun saikhan khangai’ /in Borjigon style/, ‘Lam gurvan erdene’ /in Bayanbaraat style/, ‘Ertnii saikhan’ /khar-del/ and ‘Khoyor bor’ /khurkh-binder/ are sung.

C.   Joint expedition of Mongolia and China in the western leagues of the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia, China

The expedition team conducted a research study in the 7 counties of 2 leagues in the western part of the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia in mid September, 2009, interviewed over 50 long song singers and bearers of long song heritage and documented video recordings of … hours.

In the regions of Ordos and Alxa in western part of Inner Mongolia, the traditions of Khalkha and Oirat long songs are kept and transmitted. However, there is a high threat and risk for the long song succession to be lost in this region. For instance, due to the social change, the nomadic thinking and sense of space is changed and the diapason and scale of long song melody is to be restricted. In the other hand, it was certain that the native environment of long song to exist and be transmitted is getting limited.

D.  Joint expedition of Mongolia and China in the eastern leagues of the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia, China

The expedition team interviewed over 70 long song singers and bearers of long song heritage and documented over 100 long song melodies /in duplicated number/ in video recordings of 15 hours.

In the leagues of Hulunbuir, Xilin gol and Jirim of Inner Mongolia, the counties of Chahar, Sonid Left Banner, Abag, East Ujimqin, Jarad, Horqin, Old Barag, New Barag and New Buryat, the styles of long songs are commonly spread. In these areas, the long songs are still simg, but the long song succession is at the brick of extinction.

E. Joint expedition of Mongolia and Russia in Buryatia, Russia

The expedition team conducted a research study of Buryat long song and its tradition in the Tunkin /Tunkinsky District/ on the east side of Sayan mountain range, Agin-Buryat /Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug/, east Buryat or Aga Buryatia and Tsogto-Hangil in June, 2009.

During the research, 17 long song singers of the two regions were interviewed and made a documentation of video recordings of 10 hours to include in the database.

In the area of Agin region of Buryatia, there are larger-scale short songs, including ‘Altargana’, ‘Unchin tsagaan botgo’ and ‘Elee burged’. Buryatia is rich in short song styles such as ‘Nergelgiin duun’, ‘Shalig duun’, ‘Aajim /aidon/ duun’, Shashny duun /religious/, Teegiin duun, Hair setgeliin /romantic/ duun, Moriny duun and Chargyn duun and others. It is of interest that songs of the shorter-scale long song style in Tunkin in the region of Eastern Sayan of mountainous area were found. The general style or feature of this melody was similar to those in the areas of the mountain ranges of Mongol Altai, Khan Khukhii and Khuvsgul. However, the long song succession is getting lost and there is a lack of activities to transmit this style of long song, hence we conclude it is one of the priorities to preserve and transmit the long song of Mongol nations.

F.  Joint expedition of Mongolia and Russia among the Buryats in Mongolia

The expedition team conducted a research study among the Burayts in Batshireet, Binder and Dadal soums of Khentii province, during August 19-29,2009 for a period of ten days, interviewed about 20 Buryat long song singers and documented video recordings of 10 hours.

As a result of the research, it was concluded that the Buryats in Khentii sing the songs of ‘Khingan goloi boljuukhai’, ‘Sedhilei duun’, ‘Naranai garahaa zughuu’, ‘Zayan naya’, ‘Erebeger sookhorkhon’, ‘Ylgyn duun’, ‘Yokhroi duun’ and ‘Altargana’ and keep then-long song succession.

G.  Expedition to study the Khotogoid long song heritage and tradition

The expedition team conducted a research study on the current situation of Khotogoid long song and larger scale songs and its traditions in the soums of Telmen, Bayan-Khairkhan and Tes in Zavkhan province and Tsetserleg, Tsagaan-Uul, Burentogtokh, Arbulag, Alag-Erdene, Tumurbulag, Tunel, Tosontsengel and Ikh-Uul soums of Khuvsgul province, the Burayts in Batshireet, Binder and Dadal soums of Khentii province, during August 18-28, 2009 for a period of two weeks.

As a result of the research, the team interviewed 25 singers, documented video recordings of 10 hours and recorded over 80 long songs /in duplicated number/. Although transmitting the Khotogoid long song is quite adequate, it was observed that the tradition of grand long song is threatened.

In this area, the shorter-scale long longs with emotive melody are sung, including “Minii borlog mori’, ‘Zurag saaral’, ‘Tosongiin oroi’, ‘Deltei tsenkher’, ‘Budarmaar budarmaar salkhi’, ‘Namgar namgar salkhi’, ‘Uvriin setgel’, ‘Nuur nogoon Telmen’, ‘Musun Uul’, ‘Aliman shuguin burgas’, ‘Tsengiin shuvuu’, ‘Galuut golyn nogoo’, ‘Nuur ikh jugnai’, ‘Joroo bor’, ‘Khashlaga zandan khar’, ‘Oroo saikhan kheer’, ‘Agaryn gurvan suljee’, ‘Toost Bulnai’, ‘Jiijuu duruu’, ‘Arjgar kheer’, ‘Khongor tolgoin buutsand’, ‘Khoid khangain orgil’, ‘Shinaa nuuryn khukhuu’, ‘Seruun gyalaad’, ‘Dunkher khalzan khainag’ and ‘Duuren bulag’ as well as the long songs of Central Khalkha and Western Khalkha regions, Bayanbaraat and Borjigon style melodies, including ‘Alia saaral’, ‘Tsombon tuuraitai khuren’, ‘Kheerkhen khaltar’, ‘Ochir dar lam’, Avralyn deed’, ‘Nariin khukh mori’, ‘Undur saikhan bor’, ‘Altan bogdyn shil’ and ‘Tegsh tavan kliusel’ are sung in the version of local melody.

H. Expedition to study the Western Khalkha long song heritage and tradition

The expedition team conducted a research study in the soums of Khaliun, Tugrug, Sharga, Tonkhil and Darvi of Gobi-Altai province and Tsetseg, Darvi and Chandmani soums of Khovd province, during August 14 – 28, 2009. During the research, about 20 long song singers aged between 40 and 90 were interviewed and documented video recordings of 20 hours. As a result of the research, over 100 long songs /in duplicated number/ were documented in the database.

The grand long songs of ‘Khuur magnai’, ‘Tumen ekh’, ‘Erkhem tur’, ‘Zamba tiv’, ‘Amban tsetsen khaany khulug’, ‘Tegsh tavan khusel’, ‘Ochir dari’, ‘Jargaltain delger’ and ‘Erdeniin galbirvaasan mod’ are sung in Bayanbaraat style. It shows the state of transmitting the tradition of Bayanbaraat style long song and the bearers are aged between 70 and 90. There’s no activity conducted to transmit this style to younger generations, which threatens the tradition of the Bayanbaraat long song.

As a result of the research on the heritage of Western Khalkha long song which confronts the region of Oirat long song, the following conclusions are made:

Firstly:The comparative study of Western Khalkha long song and Oirat and Central khalkha long song is made possible. Furthermore, the database, research materials and documentations are collected, compiled and maintained which enables the comparative study of the long songs styles of Bayanbaraat, Borjigon, Khotogoid, Buryat, Inner Mongolian western and eastern region long songs to determine the differences and similarities in the form, melody composition, inner quality and characteristics, singing techniques and methodology.

Secondly:The long songs of ‘Erkhem tur’ and ‘Durtmal saikhan’, renowned to be of ‘Zasagt khan county’ /former administrative unit before People’s revolution in 1921/ were recorded as the traces and evidences of Central Khalkha grand long songs being sung in Western Khalkha. However, there are no young successors to continue this tradition and the tradition of grand long song is in danger to be lost.

Thirdly:In the western border of Western Khalkha long song region, including Tsetseg, Darvi and Chandmani soums of Khovd province and Tonkhil and Darvi soums of Gobi-Altai province, the Khalkha long songs were influenced by Oirat songs. Although the local singers explained that ‘the lyrics of our western Khalkha long song have similar features and words with Oirat songs, the melody is totally different’. It can be concluded that the melody of Oirat short songs influenced the western Khalkha long song, further the melody and singing technique of Western Khalkha long song have the influences of sharp and sudden movement and unique technique to singing in horizontal lines of the pitch diapason of Oirat songs. Further, the long song in the western part of Western Khalkha region has a tendency to gain ‘abridged’ form of both melody and the vocal energy flow of the singer. Such tendencies are observed from the songs of ‘Khoyor Altai nutag’, ‘Khan UuP, ‘Jargaltain delger’, ‘Ar khuvch’ and ‘Bogdyn Undur’ sung in Tsetseg, Darvi and Chandmani soums of Khovd province and songs of ‘Shar talyn tsetseg’, ‘Menget kheer’, ‘Zeergenetiin shil’, ‘Ar khuvch’ and ‘Khan uul’ in Tonkhil and Darvi soums of Gobi-Altai province. Then many songs including ‘Jargaltain delger’, ‘Khuren tolgoin suuder’, ‘Erkhem tur’, ‘Durtmal saikhan’, ‘Urgun uul’, ‘Khan Uul’ and ‘Urikhan khongor salkhi’ are sung according to the technique of expanding the horizontal line of pitches, the main principle of singing techniques of Central Khalkha long songs is observed. Therefore, we conclude, approximately 30-40 per cent of Western Khalkha long songs were influenced by Oirat shorter-scale long song.

In 2011 we have investigated singing techniques and repertoires of 17 singers, the bearers of the special genre of the Mongolian Folk long Song named as Western Mongolian Long Song in the Uvs aimag of Mongolia. These bearers are aged 55-80 and mainly belong to the Bayad and Dorbed ethnic groups. The old sutras inform us that more than 200 folk long songs sung by Bayad and Durbed people. But in 2011 we have registered just 50 long songs.

In 2013 researcher MA M.Dorjdagva implemented a fieldwork in the Eastern region of Mongolia among Dariganga and Uzemchin ethnic groups. He interviewed about 16 folk long song singers aged 60-84 and collected legends and customs which connected with these songs. Singing techniques and repertoires of them have most similar character with the Uzemchin khoshuu (league)’s singers from Inner Mongolia. Also some singing techniques remind Dariganga’s long folk songs. At present, folk long song singers of the Uzemchin banners are mostly singing 10 long folk songs as well as Dariganga people sing more than 5 long folk songs. In Matad soum of the Dornod aimag a tradition of the Khatigan tribe’s long folk song -is broken and local administration took some measures to save this heritage.

Basically the sphere of the long folk songs of the Eastern region is beaming narrow. In this region herders ceased to produce mare’s milk. Fermented mare milk (airag) is the main drink in the festivals of the Mongols. Without airag the Mongolian festivals do not last long. The Mongols prefer drink airag and to sing long folk song. Therefore in the eastern region herders prefer to sing short and modern songs.

In 2014 We continued our researches on long folk song heritages among Tuva people who live in the Sayan Mountain region of the Tuva Republic of Russia. We interviewed 2 people. Also we clarified that in 1970 in this mountain region the people sung same long folk songs with Khalkha people from Mongolia. But recently next generation from that people don’t know about these songs. Although they still develop short folk songs heritages. These short songs have a similar singing techniques and melodies with Durbed and Bayad peoples from Mongolia and Tunkhen Buriad people from Russia. Therefore, these geographical and singing method similarities we view that these songs are included in the sub-group of the “Oirad-Mongolian folk songs”.

In our mind basic functions of the long folk songs in the Mountain, Gobi and Steppe regions of Mongolia are:

  1. These long folk songs preserve cultural manner and artistic thinking of the ethnic groups of Mongolia still now.
  2. These long folk songs tradition advantageously influence to the natural and cultural ecologies. In other words these heritages complexly take nature-oriented taboos, customs and beliefs. These long folk songs consists of the peace-offering songs for the mountainous, river and forest spirits, praising songs for these spirits as well as songs asking for the rain, and asking to stop natural diseases (sand-spout, dryness and snow) etc.,

In 2015 we are planning to investigate long folk songs and their customs among the Sartuul and Eljigin ethnic groups of Mongolia.

The result and outcomes of the project:

As the result of having the Mongolian long song listed and declared as the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity jointly by Mongolia and China, international researchers cooperated in the expedition of surveillance study and collected research database among the Mongolians living in Mongolia, Russia and China. The outcomes of the project are:

  1. As we consider, the boundaries of the distribution of the school of singing of Khalkha style long song with different energetic movements of larynx and pharynx producing fine, soft and extended melodies can be defined as follows: the Xilin gol, Ordos and Alxa leagues of Inner Mongolia as the southern boundary; Hulunbuir league of Inner Mongolia as the eastern boundary; the areas of Khalkha people in Gobi-Altai, Zavkhan and Khovd aimags of Mongolia as the western boundary; the area of Khotogoid long song heritage as the northwestern boundary; and the ‘ai don duun’ /Slow song/ in the Tunkin district in western Buryatia as the northern boundary.
  2. Within the framework of the research, over 300 long song singers were interviewed and documented in video recording, which became the foundation of the registration and information database of long song singers of Mongol nations in three countries.
  3. By documenting the melodies, local style or variant melodies of over 500 long songs sung in local school techniques and melodies in audio and video recordings became the basis of the registration and information database of long songs of Mongol nations in three countries.
  4. The comparative study of variant melodies and variant lyrics of long songs among Mongol nations, enable to further determination of the origin and center of long songs and the primeval melody of long song.

In the future, the basic study to compile the ‘Long song anthology of Mongol nations’ is to be accomplished. International researchers with the support of international research institutions will implement this basic study project.

source: http://www.nomadic.mn/projects/international-research-projects-grants/104-international-project-on-study-of-traditional-heritage-and-singing-proficiency-of-long-song-2008-2014