Name: Morin Khuur.
Type: Spike Fiddle > Chordophone.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312
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. The sound post improves the passing of sound through the medium being the body and the rest of the instrument. Structural stability is also improved for Morin Khuurs that have a wooden body.
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).