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Traditional musical instruments.
The kylkobyz is the most ancient bowed instrument on earth and according to one German scientist, it spread beyond the boundaries of the nomad’s territory of Central Asia, becoming the prototype of all European bowed string instruments.
It was cut out of a whole piece of wood in the gouged form with a membrane covering the lower part. Two strings of untwisted horsehair ran across its length and the curved neck supported a head on which rings, bells and plates hang. This instrument comes without a fingerboard.
The arched bow was inlaid with bone and often a mirror was placed in the inside open part of the frame. This sacred instrument was the embodiment of cosmos for the nomad. This was substantiated by the fact that it incorporated ALL the materials used in making other instruments -wood, metal, hair, leather and bone. Its design is a synthesis of ALL instrumental groups -string, bowed, membrane, idiophone and wind.
Correspondingly, the kylkobyz synthesises ALL playing techniques. It is an instrument-orchestra, exclusively rich in timbre range and an ideal embodiment of the archaic concepts of a Universal Musical Instrumentю The music it produces is sacred and the sound is thought to carry some magical force. Traditionally it was used by shamans in their rituals and by epic-tellers, zhyrau, to accompany the epic.
There were simpler versions of the instrument coming in a smaller size and without any ringers intended for non-ritual use. During the Soviet era an improved 4-stringed instrument was made using violin strings and pitch for soloists, orchestras and ensembles.