The Urtiin duu or “long song” is one of the two major forms of Mongolian songs, the other being the short song” (bogino duu). As a ritual form of expression associated with important celebrations and festivities, Urtiin duu plays a distinct and honoured role in Mongolian society. It is performed at weddings, the inauguration of a new home, the birth of a child, the branding of foals and other social events celebrated by Mongolia’s nomadic communities.The Urtiin duu can also be heard at the naadam, a festivity featuring wrestling, archery and horseracing competitions.
The Urtiin duu is a lyrical chant, which is characterized by an abundance of ornamentation, falsetto, an extremely wide vocal range and a free compositional form. The rising melody is slow and steady while the falling melody is often intercepted with a lively rhythm. Performances and compositions of Urtiin duu are closely linked to the pastoral way of life of the Mongolian nomads on their ancestral grasslands.
Widely believed to have originated 2,000 years ago, the Urtiin duu has been recorded in literary works since the thirteenth century. A rich variety of regional styles has been preserved until today, and performances as well as contemporary compositions still play a major role in the social and Read more about this element on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage website.