Mongolian music is colorful with diverselocal versions and is a common national identity.
The historical development of Mongolian music experienced the following three phases. Genghis Khan united Mongolia in the early thirteenth century. Kublai Khan established the Yuan Dynasty and turned the Mongolian tribes into one nation. As the common language and lifestyles formed, the uniform national style of Mongolian music followed. The music can be classified into three regional groups:central, Horqin Grassland in the east and Oira (Wala) in the west. The local versions of Mongolian music since the Ming and QingDynasties are no more than the results of evolution, differentiation and integration of the above three regional versions.
Mode has always been an important factor in the national and regional styles of Mongolian music. This is because the regional versions of the music are often reflected in some unique modes.Though Mongolian music, with the basic mode being of a prentatonic scale, is part of the Chinese music system,the diatonic scale and even unique Mongolian modes also exist in addition to aprentatonic scale. But, the melody basis from which they are developed is not of a Western temperament, but of the unique Chinese five-note system.
Long-tone folk songs
This is one of the main artistic forms and is extremelypopular in Mongolian pasturing areas. With rather free internal structures, its topics are mainly about homesickness, family members, praising horses, and wine. Typically, one folk song is about one topic and very few long songs are found. Long-tone folk songs are the group nameof several kinds of folk songs created by the Mongolian people during their long-time nomadic life. The themes of these songs include pastorals, praising, homesickness, weddings, and love. The characteristics of these songs are high idioms, wide compasses, melodious tunes, changing melodies and long rhythms (mostly compound tempos). As for the formalstructures, most of them aretwo-part periods, but most compound period and multi-period in connected sentences are notregular.Twolyrics lines form a paragraph and are repeated on different foot. In the combinations of lyrics and tunes, tune patterns aremorethan words in number. Speaking with a drawl and dragging out a word in singing is of ten used and melodies are decorated bydecorative sounds (Nuogula).Apart from vocal solos, choruses including unisons, antiphonal singing, accompanied singing andevenchaoer are found. Outstanding long-tone folk songs include Rich and Vast Alxa, Song of Lunfanjiu, Chagantaohai, Good Fare well and Peony Beams popular in Alxa, Inner Mongolia, Vast Grassland popular in Hulunbuir, LittleYellow Horses, Walking Horses popularnXilingol, and Imposing andRobust Horses and Homesick Songs popular in Horqin Grassland. They are all period-type long-tunes
The Mongolians are a musical people. The vastMongolian grasslands area sea of folk songs. At each Mongolian tent, the songs they inherited from older generations are heard everywhere. The manyMongolian folk songs are of a highquality. They are a music treasure whose value can never be overestimated. Vast green grasslandsstretch into the horizon. White clouds float like cotton in the sky. Hordes of horses are like the foam of breaking waves.Milk-white Mongolian tents are like pearls scattered on a jade plate. The sky and earth combine to form anextremely magnificentpicture. The Mongolians have three treasures: grasslands, horses and Mongolian long-tone songs. TheMongolians are a simple yet expansive people. Their songs have pleasant melodies and unique charms, reflecting the expansiveness ofthe Mongolian people. No matter where you are, you will feel the breath of the grasslands and appreciate the high artistic achievements once youhear the long-tone Mongolian pastorals. Inner Mongolia is vast in size and its different lifestyles in different regions give rise to different singing styles. Therefore, Mongolian folk songs are both uniform in style and diverse inregional flavors. After long years of development, Inner Mongolia has evolved to have five regions of folk song styles. Theyare Hulunbuir, Horqin,Xilingol, Ordos and Alxa. They overlap in some places. Nuogula, a special vocal skill used in long-tone songs,is for the twists and turns of sounds, which is similar to roulade. It has an important role in the formation of long-tone Mongolian songs. Long-tone pastorals are typical of the grassland culture and a result of the development of Mongolian music.TheMongolian herding people and generations of folk song singers have contributed countless emotions and efforts to the development of long-tone songs.The cultural meanings, values and charms of the long-tone songscan never end andare perpetual.