Morin Khuur

Name: Morin Khuur.
Type: Spike Fiddle, Chordophone.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Tuning: F-Bb
Specimens: 2 in collection.
Country: Mongolia & Inner Mongolia, China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The name morin khuur or ‘moriny tolgoit khuur’ is used to denote a fiddle having a horse head often with a dragon’s head underneath. Heads of dragon, birds, sea monsters etc. This iconography also found on Tibetan lutes.

Construction: The morin khuur is built around a trapezoid frame. A recent practice from violin luthery has been adapted being the addition of a sound post. This is to allow the ease transmission of sound through the body and the rest of the instrument. A neck is mounted later in the assembly process. Having two friction tuning pegs on either side at the top of the instrument located right where the horses head would be. F-holes as seen on the violin are sometimes carved in to Morin khuur (as seen on my specimen).