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Ker-Tolgoo

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Ker-Tolgoo

This solo instrumental piece, played by Samara Tokhtakunova on a komuz, exemplifies the genre known as kuu. "Ker-Tolgoo" was composed by Niyazaaly, a composer who flourished a century ago. The title refers to the canter of a horse.

The complexity of the melody is partly a result of the structure of the instrument. The komuz has three strings, which can be tuned at least eight different ways to obtain particular acoustic effects with minimal effort. The mastery of musicians like Tokhtakunova exemplifies the important role of women in nomadic instrumental traditions. (During, Levin 2001)

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