Common steps and sub-activities

Long song

The Long drawn song (Mongolian: Уртын дуу,, Urtyn duu) is a central element of the traditional Music of Mongolia and Siberia. This genre is called "Long song" not because the songs are long (even if some of them are), but because each syllable of text is extended for a long duration. A four-minute song may only consist of ten words.

There are lyrics, but they are actually totally unimportant, as long songs are a form of chant.

The sound can be a single note – a single tone designed to come close to what is called your ‘resonant frequency’ the frequency that induces a trance or multiple notes may be used to resonate different organs.

The main feature of the long song is the prolonged, tenuto notes with deeply modulated vibrato on the vowels. These majestic vibrating notes called shuranhai give the song high resonant qualities.  The length of the note means that there is a far greater likelihood that resonance will occur – the longer the sound, the more the organs will vibrate, thus whether the objective is healing or trance, the organ [brain or body]  is more likely to resonate if the note is extended.

The key is the repetition and in a sense the monotony of the sound and the words as well as the resonant frequencies used.

Long songs often use horses as a symbol or theme repeated throughout the song. The horse is a symbol of spiritual experience and more particularly out of body flight.

UNESCO has declared the Mongolian Long Song one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005.

The training needed to achieve this form of song is extensive and you need a good voice.


The following contains some long song elements