The Hu is a Mongolian folk rock band known for their unique blend of traditional Mongolian music and modern rock elements. The band incorporates several traditional Mongolian instruments into their music, alongside more contemporary instruments. Here are some instruments commonly used by The Hu:
Morin khuur (also known as the horsehead fiddle)
The Morin Khuur is a traditional Mongolian instrument commonly known as the horsehead fiddle due to the carved horsehead at the top of its neck. It is considered the national instrument of Mongolia and holds significant cultural importance. The instrument has two strings made of horsehair, which are played with a bow made of horsehair as well.
The body of the Morin Khuur is typically made from a hollowed-out piece of wood, covered with a membrane made of sheepskin or cowhide. The bridge, which holds the strings, is placed on the membrane. The sound produced by the Morin Khuur has a distinct and haunting quality, often compared to the sound of a horse neighing, hence its name.
Traditionally, the Morin Khuur was played by nomadic herders and was an integral part of Mongolian pastoral life. It was used for various purposes, such as storytelling, singing, and accompanying traditional dances. In recent years, musicians like The Hu have brought the Morin Khuur into the contemporary music scene, blending its unique sound with rock and other modern genres.
Tovshuur (also known as the Mongolian lute)
The Tovshuur is another traditional Mongolian instrument that is widely used in Mongolian folk music. It is a fretted string instrument resembling a guitar, with a long neck and a round or pear-shaped body. The body of the Tovshuur is typically made from a hollowed-out piece of wood, covered with a membrane made of sheepskin or cowhide.
The Tovshuur usually has three or four strings, which are made of horsehair or nylon. The strings are plucked or strummed with the fingers or a pick. Similar to the Morin Khuur, the Tovshuur’s sound has a distinct and melodic quality that is characteristic of Mongolian music.
The Tovshuur is often used to accompany singing and storytelling, as well as solo performances. Its versatile nature allows musicians to play a wide range of melodies and rhythms. In the context of The Hu’s music, the Tovshuur adds a traditional Mongolian flavor to their rock sound, creating a unique fusion that has gained them international recognition.
Aman khuur (also known as jew’s harp)
The Aman Khuu, also known as the Jew’s Harp, is a small, traditional musical instrument found in various cultures around the world, including Mongolia. It consists of a metal or bamboo frame with a flexible metal or bamboo tongue. The performer holds the frame against their mouth and plucks the tongue, which creates vibrations and produces a twanging sound. By manipulating their mouth shape and using their breath, the player can vary the pitch and tone of the instrument.
In Mongolian music, the Aman Khuu is often used as a rhythmic and melodic accompaniment to singing or other instruments. It adds a distinctive twang and percussive element to the music, contributing to the unique Mongolian sound.
In the context of The Hu’s music, the electric guitar adds a powerful and dynamic element. It combines with the traditional Mongolian instruments to create a fusion of ancient and modern sounds, blending the raw energy of rock music with the traditional melodies and rhythms of Mongolian folk music.
In The Hu’s music, the bass guitar contributes to the band’s overall sound by providing a deep, resonant tone and anchoring the rhythmic foundation. It works in conjunction with the drums to create a tight and powerful rhythm section, driving the music forward.
The drums play a crucial role in providing a strong and driving rhythm. They contribute to the band’s powerful and energetic sound, adding intensity and groove to their music. The drum patterns often incorporate elements inspired by both rock music and traditional Mongolian rhythms, resulting in a distinctive and captivating style.
Lastly, you could label the throat as an instrument because that’s what The Hu band are very well known for, their awesome throat singing abilities. Together, the aman khuur, electric guitar, bass, and drums create a rich and layered musical experience in The Hu’s music, blending traditional Mongolian elements with modern rock instrumentation to create a unique and captivating sound.